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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.
  • AOC's first congressional endorsements reflect subtle shift away from outsider status      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 05:00:13 -0400

    AOC's first congressional endorsements reflect subtle shift away from outsider statusRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appears to be playing more of an insider game in some of her recent endorsements. But she's insisting her insurgency is focused on policy, not merely disruption.


    AOC's first congressional endorsements reflect subtle shift away from outsider statusRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appears to be playing more of an insider game in some of her recent endorsements. But she's insisting her insurgency is focused on policy, not merely disruption.


     

  • Bill de Blasio's net worth as he pulls out of 2020 presidential race      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:24:00 -0400

    Bill de Blasio's net worth as he pulls out of 2020 presidential raceNew York Mayor de Blasio announced that he is officially dropping out of the 2020 presidential race -- here's a look at his current finances.


    Bill de Blasio's net worth as he pulls out of 2020 presidential raceNew York Mayor de Blasio announced that he is officially dropping out of the 2020 presidential race -- here's a look at his current finances.


     

  • 'It's happening': Alien enthusiasts descend on Area 51 for a UFO party      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:41:14 -0400

    'It's happening': Alien enthusiasts descend on Area 51 for a UFO partyAn event that began as a Facebook joke is expected to attract several thousand people to a remote area of the Nevada desert over the next three days.


    'It's happening': Alien enthusiasts descend on Area 51 for a UFO partyAn event that began as a Facebook joke is expected to attract several thousand people to a remote area of the Nevada desert over the next three days.


     

  • Architect Reinaldo Leandro on the Art of Building Design and Personal Style      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:17:59 -0400

    Architect Reinaldo Leandro on the Art of Building Design and Personal Style


    Architect Reinaldo Leandro on the Art of Building Design and Personal Style


     

  • School board reverses decision to ban cheerleaders' tribute to slain classmate      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 11:50:51 -0400

    School board reverses decision to ban cheerleaders' tribute to slain classmateA Wisconsin school board that was under fire for banning a tribute to a slain student at a football game has reversed its decision.


    School board reverses decision to ban cheerleaders' tribute to slain classmateA Wisconsin school board that was under fire for banning a tribute to a slain student at a football game has reversed its decision.


     

  • Woman convicted in texting suicide case denied parole      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:12:45 -0400

    Woman convicted in texting suicide case denied paroleThe Massachusetts woman convicted of urging her boyfriend to kill himself via text messages has been denied early release. The state Parole Board announced Friday it rejected Michelle Carter's bid for release after serving about half her 15-month jail sentence. Carter appeared before the board Thursday.


    Woman convicted in texting suicide case denied paroleThe Massachusetts woman convicted of urging her boyfriend to kill himself via text messages has been denied early release. The state Parole Board announced Friday it rejected Michelle Carter's bid for release after serving about half her 15-month jail sentence. Carter appeared before the board Thursday.


     

  • On Kavanaugh and the FBI, time to investigate the investigation: Sen. Whitehouse      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 05:00:16 -0400

    On Kavanaugh and the FBI, time to investigate the investigation: Sen. WhitehouseWhy didn't the FBI pursue tip-line leads and interview witnesses? As a US attorney, I wouldn't have made charging decisions on such cursory work.


    On Kavanaugh and the FBI, time to investigate the investigation: Sen. WhitehouseWhy didn't the FBI pursue tip-line leads and interview witnesses? As a US attorney, I wouldn't have made charging decisions on such cursory work.


     

  • Justin Trudeau's brownface scandal is bad. But voting him out isn't the solution      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 09:03:11 -0400

    Justin Trudeau's brownface scandal is bad. But voting him out isn't the solutionLet’s make sure that this incident forces us to examine not just Trudeau but also Canada and its racism‘Imagine how much thought and action (and make up!) must have gone into planning and painting young Justin Trudeau brown.’ Photograph: APRecently surfaced photos of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in brownface while at an ‘Arabian Nights’ party in 2001 are disturbing on a number of levels. First, if you’ll allow me to point out the obvious, Trudeau is the only person in makeup! The other partygoers who are pictured are barely costumed, yet Trudeau looks like he just walked out of an old Tintin comic book as the stereotypical Arab villain.It doesn’t end there. The makeup that Trudeau is wearing in the photos is not limited to his face but is liberally applied across his breastbone and completely covers his hands. Imagine how much thought and action (and make up!) must have gone into planning and painting young Justin Trudeau brown.Third, Justin Trudeau wasn’t young! He was 29-years-old at the time of this party. Like the rest of us mortals (his image in the US notwithstanding), Trudeau is bound to the rules of space and time, which means that, when this party was thrown, Trudeau was not acting in some minstrel show in the American south in 1901. On the contrary, he was 29 years-old, in Vancouver, and living in the year 2001. By 2001, minstrelsy was already recognized as socially unacceptable behavior.Fourth, Justin Trudeau seems to have a blackface/brownface problem, with earlier examples now coming to light. The now world-famous and debonair Canadian politician has, on at least two occasions, been recorded in blackface, surely disappointing legions of his fans across the globe. Just think about it. While so people in the US seem ready to believe that Melania or Ivanka (or both) are ready to ditch Trump and hitch a universal-health-care ride to Trudeau-land due to the young leader’s good looks and suave manners, Trudeau seems to want to play out some deep-level desire to leave his whiteness behind and become…an Arab.Justin Trudeau wants to be me.I’m joking, of course, to make a point. I doubt Trudeau wants to be an Arab man or a black man or an Indian man, though he has dressed up as all three. But what such racial pantomimes do is exaggerate the distance between white people and non-white people for the amusement of the dominant culture. Nothing underlines whiteness more than a white person temporarily and exaggeratedly leaving whiteness behind and acting like a person of some other race.Why? Because racial pantomimes are not really about costumes or humor but are about power, the power to degrade the people of another race, the power to ridicule the manners of another ethnicity, and the power to make racism look like it’s all just good fun.Nor is this kind of racism limited to the politicians in Canada. I grew up in Canada (I hold both American and Canadian citizenship) and what I see in these photos feels personal. I remember very clearly the bullying and taunts that the few non-white kids, myself included, routinely faced in school. As a Muslim kid, I was forced to leave my elementary school classroom and wait in the hall while the Lord’s Prayer was read aloud over the school speakers. As a brown kid, I was constantly told by other kids that I was dirty because my knees and elbows were a darker color than the rest of my skin. In my high-school gym’s locker room, I was regularly ridiculed and beaten because I was a “Paki,” and any brown kid in Canada when I was growing up was pejoratively called a “Paki.” My feeble response at the time was to tell my attackers: “I’m not from Pakistan.” That would sometimes elicit a pause. Then a chuckle. Then the beating would continue.Now, it’s true that things have improved in Canada since I was growing up in the 1970s and 80s, but it’s also true that Canadians still aren’t all that good at confronting their own racisms. This is partly because the American behemoth to the south had for a long time convinced many Canadians that racism was limited to the anti-black bigotry of the American variety. Today, many Americans (and a few Canadians) still believe the myth of a non-racist Canada. But Canadian racism is real, and it’s still as pernicious, systemic and psychologically damaging as any other. Indigenous communities in particular are still forced to battle Canadian racism in the most profound ways conceivable. And until there is a real movement to confront and eliminate it in all of its varieties, racism will live on in Canada and these incidents and injustices will keep occurring.The immediate question in front of us is what Canadians should do today. Trudeau and his Liberal Party are now in the final weeks of a re-election campaign, and the main challenger, the Conservative Party, headed by Andrew Scheer, is already exploiting the scandal. Scheer has called Trudeau “not fit” to be prime minister. But just days earlier, Scheer was excusing the rampant and excessive racism and homophobia found among members of his own party. And while the Liberals have disappointed indigenous communities on several fronts since assuming power, the Conservatives haven’t even offered an indigenous policy or strategy.Which leads us to the clear answer. Justin Trudeau’s racist pantomimes are reprehensible. But let’s make sure that what we are examining is not only Trudeau but also Canada and its racism. Otherwise, the solutions we come up with will be not even skin deep but simply made-up. * Moustafa Bayoumi is the author of the award-winning books How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America and This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror. He is Professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.


    Justin Trudeau's brownface scandal is bad. But voting him out isn't the solutionLet’s make sure that this incident forces us to examine not just Trudeau but also Canada and its racism‘Imagine how much thought and action (and make up!) must have gone into planning and painting young Justin Trudeau brown.’ Photograph: APRecently surfaced photos of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in brownface while at an ‘Arabian Nights’ party in 2001 are disturbing on a number of levels. First, if you’ll allow me to point out the obvious, Trudeau is the only person in makeup! The other partygoers who are pictured are barely costumed, yet Trudeau looks like he just walked out of an old Tintin comic book as the stereotypical Arab villain.It doesn’t end there. The makeup that Trudeau is wearing in the photos is not limited to his face but is liberally applied across his breastbone and completely covers his hands. Imagine how much thought and action (and make up!) must have gone into planning and painting young Justin Trudeau brown.Third, Justin Trudeau wasn’t young! He was 29-years-old at the time of this party. Like the rest of us mortals (his image in the US notwithstanding), Trudeau is bound to the rules of space and time, which means that, when this party was thrown, Trudeau was not acting in some minstrel show in the American south in 1901. On the contrary, he was 29 years-old, in Vancouver, and living in the year 2001. By 2001, minstrelsy was already recognized as socially unacceptable behavior.Fourth, Justin Trudeau seems to have a blackface/brownface problem, with earlier examples now coming to light. The now world-famous and debonair Canadian politician has, on at least two occasions, been recorded in blackface, surely disappointing legions of his fans across the globe. Just think about it. While so people in the US seem ready to believe that Melania or Ivanka (or both) are ready to ditch Trump and hitch a universal-health-care ride to Trudeau-land due to the young leader’s good looks and suave manners, Trudeau seems to want to play out some deep-level desire to leave his whiteness behind and become…an Arab.Justin Trudeau wants to be me.I’m joking, of course, to make a point. I doubt Trudeau wants to be an Arab man or a black man or an Indian man, though he has dressed up as all three. But what such racial pantomimes do is exaggerate the distance between white people and non-white people for the amusement of the dominant culture. Nothing underlines whiteness more than a white person temporarily and exaggeratedly leaving whiteness behind and acting like a person of some other race.Why? Because racial pantomimes are not really about costumes or humor but are about power, the power to degrade the people of another race, the power to ridicule the manners of another ethnicity, and the power to make racism look like it’s all just good fun.Nor is this kind of racism limited to the politicians in Canada. I grew up in Canada (I hold both American and Canadian citizenship) and what I see in these photos feels personal. I remember very clearly the bullying and taunts that the few non-white kids, myself included, routinely faced in school. As a Muslim kid, I was forced to leave my elementary school classroom and wait in the hall while the Lord’s Prayer was read aloud over the school speakers. As a brown kid, I was constantly told by other kids that I was dirty because my knees and elbows were a darker color than the rest of my skin. In my high-school gym’s locker room, I was regularly ridiculed and beaten because I was a “Paki,” and any brown kid in Canada when I was growing up was pejoratively called a “Paki.” My feeble response at the time was to tell my attackers: “I’m not from Pakistan.” That would sometimes elicit a pause. Then a chuckle. Then the beating would continue.Now, it’s true that things have improved in Canada since I was growing up in the 1970s and 80s, but it’s also true that Canadians still aren’t all that good at confronting their own racisms. This is partly because the American behemoth to the south had for a long time convinced many Canadians that racism was limited to the anti-black bigotry of the American variety. Today, many Americans (and a few Canadians) still believe the myth of a non-racist Canada. But Canadian racism is real, and it’s still as pernicious, systemic and psychologically damaging as any other. Indigenous communities in particular are still forced to battle Canadian racism in the most profound ways conceivable. And until there is a real movement to confront and eliminate it in all of its varieties, racism will live on in Canada and these incidents and injustices will keep occurring.The immediate question in front of us is what Canadians should do today. Trudeau and his Liberal Party are now in the final weeks of a re-election campaign, and the main challenger, the Conservative Party, headed by Andrew Scheer, is already exploiting the scandal. Scheer has called Trudeau “not fit” to be prime minister. But just days earlier, Scheer was excusing the rampant and excessive racism and homophobia found among members of his own party. And while the Liberals have disappointed indigenous communities on several fronts since assuming power, the Conservatives haven’t even offered an indigenous policy or strategy.Which leads us to the clear answer. Justin Trudeau’s racist pantomimes are reprehensible. But let’s make sure that what we are examining is not only Trudeau but also Canada and its racism. Otherwise, the solutions we come up with will be not even skin deep but simply made-up. * Moustafa Bayoumi is the author of the award-winning books How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America and This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror. He is Professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.


     

  • Iran issues 'battlefield' warning and U.S. deploys troops      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 11:10:18 -0400

    Iran issues 'battlefield' warning and U.S. deploys troopsAny country that attacks Iran will become the "main battlefield", the Revolutionary Guards warned Saturday after Washington ordered reinforcements to the Gulf following attacks on Saudi oil that it blames on Tehran.


    Iran issues 'battlefield' warning and U.S. deploys troopsAny country that attacks Iran will become the "main battlefield", the Revolutionary Guards warned Saturday after Washington ordered reinforcements to the Gulf following attacks on Saudi oil that it blames on Tehran.


     

  • Making Sense of Israel’s Post-Election Political Chaos      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:17:23 -0400

    Making Sense of Israel’s Post-Election Political ChaosThe vote count in this week’s Israeli national elections is now 99 percent complete, allowing for a sense of which party obtained what number of seats. Unfortunately for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the results will make it extremely difficult for him to form a coalition, putting his long-running tenure in jeopardy. As of this writing, Netanyahu is planning to skip the U.N. General Assembly meeting next week to focus instead on building a government.Does he have a chance? Let’s take a look at the math. The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, has 120 seats to be divided up among the various political parties. No single party has ever obtained a majority of 61 or more seats, so every Israeli government has been a coalition of parties. After elections, parties must recommend their preferred prime minister to Israel’s president (currently Reuven Rivlin). The president is then responsible for deciding which party to task with forming a coalition. Once he makes his choice, the head of that party is given six weeks to draft an agreement with other parties to form a government.This time around, it is unclear which party will be able to make a coalition, as almost every possible combination of like-minded parties cannot reach a 61-seat majority. To see why, let’s break down the results by party.*    *    *Blue and White: 33 seats Blue and White is an amalgamation of three factions. It’s led by Benny Gantz, a former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff, and boasts two other former chiefs of staff as well as TV host Yair Lapid, who originally entered politics on a platform fueled by secular voters’ resentment of the ultra-Orthodox, in its ranks.The political positions of Blue and White are rather vague, falling somewhere in the center. In appealing to voters, the party has drawn on its leaders’ security credentials to project strength, while portraying itself as tough on Israel’s enemies in the same way as the Likud. Secular Israelis who take umbrage at ultra-Orthodox citizens’ control of Israel’s religious institutions and their unwillingness to serve in the IDF were drawn to support Lapid.No less important, however, is what Blue and White is not: Netanyahu. In both campaigns, its leaders consciously presented themselves as free of the corruption, hedonism, and hunger for power that many Israelis see in the long-time prime minister.Likud: 31 seats The Likud party has been led by Netanyahu for almost a decade and a half. In that time, it’s seen its support grow steadily to its current 31 seats. After the Second Intifada, in which hundreds of Israelis were killed by Palestinian suicide bombers, voters turned to the right. Right-wing politicians, they felt, were the best bet to keep the country safe. Likud, which runs on a free-market, traditionalist platform and paints itself as resolute on security issues, has been the main beneficiary of this trend.Netanyahu rose with the Likud to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. He claims responsibility for guarding Israel’s stability through the Arab Spring, the subsequent collapse of many Arab states, and the civil war in Syria. He sees himself as a Churchill-like figure fighting the rise of a nuclear-armed Iran. But he has been dogged by corruption allegations throughout his tenure — he currently faces looming indictments on bribery and fraud charges — and his response has been to accuse the police and legal system both of participating in a “leftist conspiracy” to overthrow him.Joint List: 13 seats Four different Arab-Israeli political parties came together to form the Joint List, whose current head is Ayman Odeh. The coalition has managed to work together despite the wildly disparate ideologies of its constituent parties, which range the gamut from the far-left, Communist-rooted Hadash to the more conservative, Islamist Ra’am. No Arab-Israeli party has ever sat in a coalition government, and Odeh's post-election statements to the press suggest that streak is unlikely to be broken this time around.Yisrael Beytenu: Eight seats This secular-nationalist party aims to be a voice for Israelis who emigrated from the former Soviet Union en masse in the early 1990s. It was founded in 1999 by Avigdor Lieberman -- a Moldovan immigrant who once worked as a nightclub bouncer and began his political career as a protégé of Netanyahu -- when Lieberman recoiled at Netanyahu’s handling of the peace process. Lieberman has brought the party into coalition with Netanyahu multiple times over the last decade, but broke from the PM in 2018 and has vowed not to join any coalition government that includes the ultra-Orthodox parties.The Rest Several more parties represent voters from all over the political map. Israel’s two ultra-Orthodox parties — Shas (nine seats) and United Torah Judaism (eight seats) — don’t fall easily along the left–right spectrum, but generally oppose the mandatory draft of yeshiva students, which causes friction with secular and moderately religious Israelis, friction given voice, most notably, by Lieberman and Lapid. The New Right and Jewish Home parties (seven seats combined) ran together as the Yamina bloc in the election but have since separated. It is thought that both will remain on Netanyahu’s side, though the comments of former Yamina leaders in the election’s immediate aftermath have cast doubt on that prospect.Meanwhile, on the left, the once-mighty Labor party (six seats), whose members included many of Israel’s founding fathers, has withered in recent years as Netanyahu’s Likud has come to dominate the country’s politics. Its head is Amir Peretz, a longtime party member and former minister of defense, and it partnered with a much smaller party, Gesher, in this week’s election. Rounding out the results, the latest incarnation of the Meretz party, called the Democratic Union (five seats), is the farthest to the left out of all parties that won seats.*    *    *So that’s the breakdown. What does it mean for the upcoming negotiations? Netanyahu’s previous coalitions were all made up of right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties. Assuming the former Yamina bloc is willing to join with Likud, Shas, and UTJ, Netanyahu can count on a total of 55 seats, six shy of a majority. Lieberman, who through Yisrael Beytenu controls eight seats, precipitated the election by refusing to sit in coalition with Likud and the ultra-Orthodox parties.There are even fewer options with which to form a center-left government. Partnering with Labor-Gesher and the Democratic Union would give Gantz’s Blue and White just 44 seats. Yisrael Beytenu’s eight seats would get Gantz up to 52, assuming Liberman was willing to join with the left-wing parties. Gantz could conceivably try to bring the ultra-Orthodox parties into an agreement, but that seems exceedingly unlikely for a number of reasons. For one thing, Lieberman has refused to join in coalition with the ultra-Orthodox parties. For another, many ultra-Orthodox leaders have vowed not to sit with Gantz’s colleague Lapid, and Haredi parties sitting in a coalition with the leftist Labor-Gesher and Democratic Union would lead straightaway to conflicts over gay rights and the place of religion in the Israeli state. If somehow these many obstacles were overcome, Gantz would control only 61 seats — just enough to govern in a highly unstable coalition.If the Arab party joined a left-wing coalition, that could be a game changer, but it’s highly unlikely. Many Arab Knesset members are unwilling to be formally part of an Israeli government, and many Jewish centrist politicians disdain the Arabs’ anti-Zionism.One option to resolve the stalemate is a so-called unity government comprising Blue and White and Likud, with the parties’ leaders taking turns as prime minister. Such an arrangement has happened in Israeli politics once before, in the 1980s, with Likud and Labor sharing power. But it would have a high potential for instability, and Gantz has said that he won’t support any government headed by a Netanyahu-led Likud if Netanyahu is formally charged in the pending corruption cases against him. A pre-indictment hearing to determine if Netanyahu will be charged is scheduled for early October.There of course remains the possibility of a revolt within the Likud against Netanyahu. During the election, both Lieberman and Lapid indicated that senior Likud politicians would consider ousting the prime minister and bringing the Likud into a unity government without him. But Likud members generally place a high value on loyalty to their leader, and several months ago Netanyahu pushed through a change to the party’s bylaws that makes it harder to expel him, perhaps sensing that some in the party were growing restless.None of this bodes well for anyone who’d been hoping to see Netanyahu remain in power. But his political obituary has been written before, and he’s still standing, at least for the moment. It is entirely possible that the prime minister, a masterful political tactician, will try to find a different path. He may entice politicians in the center-left bloc to defect to his side, or offer the moon in hopes of changing Lieberman’s mind, or even try to scuttle the negotiations if he can’t win them and precipitate an unprecedented third election, which all involved have suggested they wish to avoid. Only time will tell.


    Making Sense of Israel’s Post-Election Political ChaosThe vote count in this week’s Israeli national elections is now 99 percent complete, allowing for a sense of which party obtained what number of seats. Unfortunately for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the results will make it extremely difficult for him to form a coalition, putting his long-running tenure in jeopardy. As of this writing, Netanyahu is planning to skip the U.N. General Assembly meeting next week to focus instead on building a government.Does he have a chance? Let’s take a look at the math. The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, has 120 seats to be divided up among the various political parties. No single party has ever obtained a majority of 61 or more seats, so every Israeli government has been a coalition of parties. After elections, parties must recommend their preferred prime minister to Israel’s president (currently Reuven Rivlin). The president is then responsible for deciding which party to task with forming a coalition. Once he makes his choice, the head of that party is given six weeks to draft an agreement with other parties to form a government.This time around, it is unclear which party will be able to make a coalition, as almost every possible combination of like-minded parties cannot reach a 61-seat majority. To see why, let’s break down the results by party.*    *    *Blue and White: 33 seats Blue and White is an amalgamation of three factions. It’s led by Benny Gantz, a former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff, and boasts two other former chiefs of staff as well as TV host Yair Lapid, who originally entered politics on a platform fueled by secular voters’ resentment of the ultra-Orthodox, in its ranks.The political positions of Blue and White are rather vague, falling somewhere in the center. In appealing to voters, the party has drawn on its leaders’ security credentials to project strength, while portraying itself as tough on Israel’s enemies in the same way as the Likud. Secular Israelis who take umbrage at ultra-Orthodox citizens’ control of Israel’s religious institutions and their unwillingness to serve in the IDF were drawn to support Lapid.No less important, however, is what Blue and White is not: Netanyahu. In both campaigns, its leaders consciously presented themselves as free of the corruption, hedonism, and hunger for power that many Israelis see in the long-time prime minister.Likud: 31 seats The Likud party has been led by Netanyahu for almost a decade and a half. In that time, it’s seen its support grow steadily to its current 31 seats. After the Second Intifada, in which hundreds of Israelis were killed by Palestinian suicide bombers, voters turned to the right. Right-wing politicians, they felt, were the best bet to keep the country safe. Likud, which runs on a free-market, traditionalist platform and paints itself as resolute on security issues, has been the main beneficiary of this trend.Netanyahu rose with the Likud to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. He claims responsibility for guarding Israel’s stability through the Arab Spring, the subsequent collapse of many Arab states, and the civil war in Syria. He sees himself as a Churchill-like figure fighting the rise of a nuclear-armed Iran. But he has been dogged by corruption allegations throughout his tenure — he currently faces looming indictments on bribery and fraud charges — and his response has been to accuse the police and legal system both of participating in a “leftist conspiracy” to overthrow him.Joint List: 13 seats Four different Arab-Israeli political parties came together to form the Joint List, whose current head is Ayman Odeh. The coalition has managed to work together despite the wildly disparate ideologies of its constituent parties, which range the gamut from the far-left, Communist-rooted Hadash to the more conservative, Islamist Ra’am. No Arab-Israeli party has ever sat in a coalition government, and Odeh's post-election statements to the press suggest that streak is unlikely to be broken this time around.Yisrael Beytenu: Eight seats This secular-nationalist party aims to be a voice for Israelis who emigrated from the former Soviet Union en masse in the early 1990s. It was founded in 1999 by Avigdor Lieberman -- a Moldovan immigrant who once worked as a nightclub bouncer and began his political career as a protégé of Netanyahu -- when Lieberman recoiled at Netanyahu’s handling of the peace process. Lieberman has brought the party into coalition with Netanyahu multiple times over the last decade, but broke from the PM in 2018 and has vowed not to join any coalition government that includes the ultra-Orthodox parties.The Rest Several more parties represent voters from all over the political map. Israel’s two ultra-Orthodox parties — Shas (nine seats) and United Torah Judaism (eight seats) — don’t fall easily along the left–right spectrum, but generally oppose the mandatory draft of yeshiva students, which causes friction with secular and moderately religious Israelis, friction given voice, most notably, by Lieberman and Lapid. The New Right and Jewish Home parties (seven seats combined) ran together as the Yamina bloc in the election but have since separated. It is thought that both will remain on Netanyahu’s side, though the comments of former Yamina leaders in the election’s immediate aftermath have cast doubt on that prospect.Meanwhile, on the left, the once-mighty Labor party (six seats), whose members included many of Israel’s founding fathers, has withered in recent years as Netanyahu’s Likud has come to dominate the country’s politics. Its head is Amir Peretz, a longtime party member and former minister of defense, and it partnered with a much smaller party, Gesher, in this week’s election. Rounding out the results, the latest incarnation of the Meretz party, called the Democratic Union (five seats), is the farthest to the left out of all parties that won seats.*    *    *So that’s the breakdown. What does it mean for the upcoming negotiations? Netanyahu’s previous coalitions were all made up of right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties. Assuming the former Yamina bloc is willing to join with Likud, Shas, and UTJ, Netanyahu can count on a total of 55 seats, six shy of a majority. Lieberman, who through Yisrael Beytenu controls eight seats, precipitated the election by refusing to sit in coalition with Likud and the ultra-Orthodox parties.There are even fewer options with which to form a center-left government. Partnering with Labor-Gesher and the Democratic Union would give Gantz’s Blue and White just 44 seats. Yisrael Beytenu’s eight seats would get Gantz up to 52, assuming Liberman was willing to join with the left-wing parties. Gantz could conceivably try to bring the ultra-Orthodox parties into an agreement, but that seems exceedingly unlikely for a number of reasons. For one thing, Lieberman has refused to join in coalition with the ultra-Orthodox parties. For another, many ultra-Orthodox leaders have vowed not to sit with Gantz’s colleague Lapid, and Haredi parties sitting in a coalition with the leftist Labor-Gesher and Democratic Union would lead straightaway to conflicts over gay rights and the place of religion in the Israeli state. If somehow these many obstacles were overcome, Gantz would control only 61 seats — just enough to govern in a highly unstable coalition.If the Arab party joined a left-wing coalition, that could be a game changer, but it’s highly unlikely. Many Arab Knesset members are unwilling to be formally part of an Israeli government, and many Jewish centrist politicians disdain the Arabs’ anti-Zionism.One option to resolve the stalemate is a so-called unity government comprising Blue and White and Likud, with the parties’ leaders taking turns as prime minister. Such an arrangement has happened in Israeli politics once before, in the 1980s, with Likud and Labor sharing power. But it would have a high potential for instability, and Gantz has said that he won’t support any government headed by a Netanyahu-led Likud if Netanyahu is formally charged in the pending corruption cases against him. A pre-indictment hearing to determine if Netanyahu will be charged is scheduled for early October.There of course remains the possibility of a revolt within the Likud against Netanyahu. During the election, both Lieberman and Lapid indicated that senior Likud politicians would consider ousting the prime minister and bringing the Likud into a unity government without him. But Likud members generally place a high value on loyalty to their leader, and several months ago Netanyahu pushed through a change to the party’s bylaws that makes it harder to expel him, perhaps sensing that some in the party were growing restless.None of this bodes well for anyone who’d been hoping to see Netanyahu remain in power. But his political obituary has been written before, and he’s still standing, at least for the moment. It is entirely possible that the prime minister, a masterful political tactician, will try to find a different path. He may entice politicians in the center-left bloc to defect to his side, or offer the moon in hopes of changing Lieberman’s mind, or even try to scuttle the negotiations if he can’t win them and precipitate an unprecedented third election, which all involved have suggested they wish to avoid. Only time will tell.


     

  • Texas man wanted for allegedly divorcing his wife without her knowledge      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:32:15 -0400

    Texas man wanted for allegedly divorcing his wife without her knowledgeA Texas man is wanted by police after he allegedly filed for and completed divorce proceedings against his wife without her knowledge. 


    Texas man wanted for allegedly divorcing his wife without her knowledgeA Texas man is wanted by police after he allegedly filed for and completed divorce proceedings against his wife without her knowledge. 


     

  • Stranded cars, rescues and deadly flooding: Waters slowly begin receding in Houston after Imelda      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:21:02 -0400

    Stranded cars, rescues and deadly flooding: Waters slowly begin receding in Houston after ImeldaAs floodwaters began slowing receding in Houston, police worked to clear freeways of hundreds of stranded vehicles after four days of relentless rain


    Stranded cars, rescues and deadly flooding: Waters slowly begin receding in Houston after ImeldaAs floodwaters began slowing receding in Houston, police worked to clear freeways of hundreds of stranded vehicles after four days of relentless rain


     

  • 'This Is an Emergency. Our House Is on Fire.' Greta Thunberg Addresses New York's Climate Strike      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 11:47:58 -0400

    'This Is an Emergency. Our House Is on Fire.' Greta Thunberg Addresses New York's Climate StrikeOrganizers expect thousands to turn out, and 16-year-old climate activists Greta Thunberg is scheduled to speak.


    'This Is an Emergency. Our House Is on Fire.' Greta Thunberg Addresses New York's Climate StrikeOrganizers expect thousands to turn out, and 16-year-old climate activists Greta Thunberg is scheduled to speak.


     

  • High school sparks controversy over 'ridiculous' lunch: 'It's honestly sad'      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:24:52 -0400

    High school sparks controversy over 'ridiculous' lunch: 'It's honestly sad'A Minnesota high school is facing criticism for serving a meal that many people have since called "ridiculous."


    High school sparks controversy over 'ridiculous' lunch: 'It's honestly sad'A Minnesota high school is facing criticism for serving a meal that many people have since called "ridiculous."


     

  • Sheriff: 1 officer dead, 1 injured in Louisiana shooting      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 20:17:27 -0400

    Sheriff: 1 officer dead, 1 injured in Louisiana shootingOne police officer was fatally shot and another wounded Friday after a vehicle chase north of New Orleans, authorities said. Mandeville Police Chief Gerald Sticker confirmed one officer's death and the other's injury from gunfire in his community on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, near U.S. 190 and Louisiana Highway 22. Sticker said at a news conference that the wounded officer, who's being treated at Lakeview Regional Medical Center, is expected to survive.


    Sheriff: 1 officer dead, 1 injured in Louisiana shootingOne police officer was fatally shot and another wounded Friday after a vehicle chase north of New Orleans, authorities said. Mandeville Police Chief Gerald Sticker confirmed one officer's death and the other's injury from gunfire in his community on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, near U.S. 190 and Louisiana Highway 22. Sticker said at a news conference that the wounded officer, who's being treated at Lakeview Regional Medical Center, is expected to survive.


     

  • Don't Forget France Has Quite A Few Nuclear Weapons      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 03:45:00 -0400

    Don't Forget France Has Quite A Few Nuclear WeaponsNot only America is looking out for Europe.


    Don't Forget France Has Quite A Few Nuclear WeaponsNot only America is looking out for Europe.


     

  • Dozens detained in Kazakhstan at anti-China protests      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 09:36:31 -0400

    Dozens detained in Kazakhstan at anti-China protestsALMATY/NUR-SULTAN (Reuters) - Police detained dozens in Kazakhstan's two largest cities on Saturday as they took part in the latest protest against China's influence in the Central Asian republic. Neighboring China is already one of Kazakhstan's largest investors and trade partners and a plan to relocate a number of Chinese plants and factories to the former Soviet republic has faced public opposition. The latest round of protests on Saturday was organized by supporters of Mukhtar Ablyazov, a fugitive banker living in France who has been the fiercest critic of Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.


    Dozens detained in Kazakhstan at anti-China protestsALMATY/NUR-SULTAN (Reuters) - Police detained dozens in Kazakhstan's two largest cities on Saturday as they took part in the latest protest against China's influence in the Central Asian republic. Neighboring China is already one of Kazakhstan's largest investors and trade partners and a plan to relocate a number of Chinese plants and factories to the former Soviet republic has faced public opposition. The latest round of protests on Saturday was organized by supporters of Mukhtar Ablyazov, a fugitive banker living in France who has been the fiercest critic of Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.


     

  • A car crashed through a Sears in Woodfield Mall outside Chicago and kept driving, injuring at least 2 shoppers      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:07:36 -0400

    A car crashed through a Sears in Woodfield Mall outside Chicago and kept driving, injuring at least 2 shoppersA black SUV appears to have driven through a Sears into the Woodfield Mall outside Chicago, with police stating at least 2 people were injured.


    A car crashed through a Sears in Woodfield Mall outside Chicago and kept driving, injuring at least 2 shoppersA black SUV appears to have driven through a Sears into the Woodfield Mall outside Chicago, with police stating at least 2 people were injured.


     

  • Elizabeth Warren just issued the most scathing call for impeachment yet      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 22:18:20 -0400

    Elizabeth Warren just issued the most scathing call for impeachment yetFollowing new reports about a whistleblower complaint, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, sent out a series of tweets.


    Elizabeth Warren just issued the most scathing call for impeachment yetFollowing new reports about a whistleblower complaint, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, sent out a series of tweets.


     

  • ‘House Hunters’ host Suzanne Whang dies at 56 after long battle with cancer      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:03:49 -0400

    ‘House Hunters’ host Suzanne Whang dies at 56 after long battle with cancerSuzanne Whang, who hosted HGTV's "House Hunters" for nearly a decade, died on Thursday after a long battle with breast cancer.


    ‘House Hunters’ host Suzanne Whang dies at 56 after long battle with cancerSuzanne Whang, who hosted HGTV's "House Hunters" for nearly a decade, died on Thursday after a long battle with breast cancer.


     

  • DHS contradicts Candace Owens on same day she testifies before Congress about white nationalism      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 22:18:19 -0400

    DHS contradicts Candace Owens on same day she testifies before Congress about white nationalismConservative commentator Candace Owens said white nationalism is “just election rhetoric” on the same day DHS added violent white supremacist extremist to its list of priority threats.


    DHS contradicts Candace Owens on same day she testifies before Congress about white nationalismConservative commentator Candace Owens said white nationalism is “just election rhetoric” on the same day DHS added violent white supremacist extremist to its list of priority threats.


     

  • GOP Strategy to Shield Trump by Canceling Primaries Carries Risk      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 06:00:00 -0400

    GOP Strategy to Shield Trump by Canceling Primaries Carries Risk(Bloomberg) -- The Republican Party’s gambit to kill primary elections to ensure President Donald Trump’s renomination may protect the president from short-term losses but has also put the spotlight on his challengers.Republicans in four states have canceled presidential primaries next year in an effort, they say, to save money.Given Trump’s popularity within the party, it’s unlikely the primaries would make a big difference anyway. But canceling primaries could result in more uncommitted delegates to the Republican National Convention next year, meaning they would not be pledged to Trump and could be less loyal if things go sideways.“The attempts to stifle competition have backfired,” challenger William Weld. “The Republican Party in Washington is working on voter suppression. I’m working on enlarging the electorate.”Weld has spent the last six days campaigning in New Hampshire and had four cable television news appearances scheduled this week. “The dial-o-meter has dialed way up,” he said.The former Massachusetts governor, who ran as a libertarian in 2016, has been courting others to join him as anti-Trump Republicans. Joe Walsh and Mark Sanford, two Tea Party conservatives who lost re-election to Congress, are also running.“It seems more like a real primary than when I was the solitary standard bearer out there planting my flag,” Weld said.Polls show Trump remains popular with the overwhelming majority of Republican voters. But his allies’ fear of a runaway primary is founded in history: No modern president has ever won re-election after a serious primary challenge.Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson dropped out after poor showings in New Hampshire. Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush all won renomination but were wounded by challenges from Ronald Reagan, Ted Kennedy and Pat Buchanan.And even though Weld, Sanford and Walsh don’t pose the same level of threat to Trump, the state Republican parties in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas are preventing history from repeating itself by canceling their nominating contests.“The logic behind the move was, ‘Circle the wagons and protect the incumbent.’ I get it,” Sanford told Bloomberg Radio on Wednesday. But he said that move doesn’t make sense if Trump is — as he claims — the most popular president ever among Republicans.“If that is true, you would take the win. You would take 90% all day long, particularly in the first-in-the-South primary,” Sanford said, referring to the primary in his home state of South Carolina. “It suggests that someone looking at the numbers is concerned, and that his support is a mile wide and an inch deep.”Trump’s challengers don’t have to win the nomination to hurt his chances of re-election. Buchanan lost New Hampshire with 37% of the vote in 1992, but exceeded expectations and showed Bush’s weakness on taxes and the economy. Buchanan went on to win only 18 delegates, but they earned him a speaking slot at the convention. Bush then lost to Bill Clinton in the general election.Two recent national polls both show that Trump’s challengers are all polling at 3% or less.So Trump seems to be mostly ignoring them. Sort of. “I guess it’s a publicity stunt,” he said last week. “So, to be honest, I’m not looking to give them any credibility. They have no credibility.”Trump has said he had nothing to do with the effort to cancel nomination contests in key states next year.Without a presidential preference primary, the unbound delegates could come back to haunt Trump in a worst-case scenario.“They are basically free agents,” said Elaine Kamarck, a Brookings Institution fellow and expert in primary politics.“The more untethered delegates, the easier it is to break open a convention,” she said.That’s exactly why anti-Trump activists in Colorado moved to cancel that state’s GOP primary in 2016, instead sending unpledged delegates to the Cleveland convention. Some of those delegates played a role in a short-lived attempt to derail Trump’s nomination on the opening day.Once a party insurgent, Trump now has all the benefits of incumbency and appears focused on the general election. He has not campaigned in Iowa, and made one official visit to New Hampshire last month.Trump’s three Republican challengers have different strategies for dealing with the canceled primaries. Walsh says he’s redoubling efforts in the states without primaries.“We’re going to campaign in South Carolina, Arizona, Nevada, and Kansas, because I believe if we let these Republican voters know that the president of the United States just took away their right to vote, they’ll march on the headquarters of their state parties to get that right to vote back,” he told CNN Monday.Weld is focusing on 20 states with open primaries — meaning independents and sometimes even Democrats can switch parties. He’s hoping that retail-level politics and his appeal as a moderate can win crossover voters in places like New Hampshire.“I can campaign there as many days a week as I want, and always sleep in my own bed,” Weld said from Boston on Wednesday. “I don’t think Mr. Trump has an appetite for retail-level campaigning in New Hampshire. He’ll probably hold a few rallies and shake a few hands and leave it at that.”His argument to Democrats: “They can try to guess who’s the strongest Democrat. But if they want to vote against Trump they can cross over and vote against Trump.”To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Korte in Washington at gkorte@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    GOP Strategy to Shield Trump by Canceling Primaries Carries Risk(Bloomberg) -- The Republican Party’s gambit to kill primary elections to ensure President Donald Trump’s renomination may protect the president from short-term losses but has also put the spotlight on his challengers.Republicans in four states have canceled presidential primaries next year in an effort, they say, to save money.Given Trump’s popularity within the party, it’s unlikely the primaries would make a big difference anyway. But canceling primaries could result in more uncommitted delegates to the Republican National Convention next year, meaning they would not be pledged to Trump and could be less loyal if things go sideways.“The attempts to stifle competition have backfired,” challenger William Weld. “The Republican Party in Washington is working on voter suppression. I’m working on enlarging the electorate.”Weld has spent the last six days campaigning in New Hampshire and had four cable television news appearances scheduled this week. “The dial-o-meter has dialed way up,” he said.The former Massachusetts governor, who ran as a libertarian in 2016, has been courting others to join him as anti-Trump Republicans. Joe Walsh and Mark Sanford, two Tea Party conservatives who lost re-election to Congress, are also running.“It seems more like a real primary than when I was the solitary standard bearer out there planting my flag,” Weld said.Polls show Trump remains popular with the overwhelming majority of Republican voters. But his allies’ fear of a runaway primary is founded in history: No modern president has ever won re-election after a serious primary challenge.Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson dropped out after poor showings in New Hampshire. Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush all won renomination but were wounded by challenges from Ronald Reagan, Ted Kennedy and Pat Buchanan.And even though Weld, Sanford and Walsh don’t pose the same level of threat to Trump, the state Republican parties in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas are preventing history from repeating itself by canceling their nominating contests.“The logic behind the move was, ‘Circle the wagons and protect the incumbent.’ I get it,” Sanford told Bloomberg Radio on Wednesday. But he said that move doesn’t make sense if Trump is — as he claims — the most popular president ever among Republicans.“If that is true, you would take the win. You would take 90% all day long, particularly in the first-in-the-South primary,” Sanford said, referring to the primary in his home state of South Carolina. “It suggests that someone looking at the numbers is concerned, and that his support is a mile wide and an inch deep.”Trump’s challengers don’t have to win the nomination to hurt his chances of re-election. Buchanan lost New Hampshire with 37% of the vote in 1992, but exceeded expectations and showed Bush’s weakness on taxes and the economy. Buchanan went on to win only 18 delegates, but they earned him a speaking slot at the convention. Bush then lost to Bill Clinton in the general election.Two recent national polls both show that Trump’s challengers are all polling at 3% or less.So Trump seems to be mostly ignoring them. Sort of. “I guess it’s a publicity stunt,” he said last week. “So, to be honest, I’m not looking to give them any credibility. They have no credibility.”Trump has said he had nothing to do with the effort to cancel nomination contests in key states next year.Without a presidential preference primary, the unbound delegates could come back to haunt Trump in a worst-case scenario.“They are basically free agents,” said Elaine Kamarck, a Brookings Institution fellow and expert in primary politics.“The more untethered delegates, the easier it is to break open a convention,” she said.That’s exactly why anti-Trump activists in Colorado moved to cancel that state’s GOP primary in 2016, instead sending unpledged delegates to the Cleveland convention. Some of those delegates played a role in a short-lived attempt to derail Trump’s nomination on the opening day.Once a party insurgent, Trump now has all the benefits of incumbency and appears focused on the general election. He has not campaigned in Iowa, and made one official visit to New Hampshire last month.Trump’s three Republican challengers have different strategies for dealing with the canceled primaries. Walsh says he’s redoubling efforts in the states without primaries.“We’re going to campaign in South Carolina, Arizona, Nevada, and Kansas, because I believe if we let these Republican voters know that the president of the United States just took away their right to vote, they’ll march on the headquarters of their state parties to get that right to vote back,” he told CNN Monday.Weld is focusing on 20 states with open primaries — meaning independents and sometimes even Democrats can switch parties. He’s hoping that retail-level politics and his appeal as a moderate can win crossover voters in places like New Hampshire.“I can campaign there as many days a week as I want, and always sleep in my own bed,” Weld said from Boston on Wednesday. “I don’t think Mr. Trump has an appetite for retail-level campaigning in New Hampshire. He’ll probably hold a few rallies and shake a few hands and leave it at that.”His argument to Democrats: “They can try to guess who’s the strongest Democrat. But if they want to vote against Trump they can cross over and vote against Trump.”To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Korte in Washington at gkorte@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     

  • Jeffrey Epstein victim says Prince Andrew bought her vodka at a London club when she was 17 before having sex with her      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 17:21:59 -0400

    Jeffrey Epstein victim says Prince Andrew bought her vodka at a London club when she was 17 before having sex with herVirginia Roberts Giuffre, who has accused Jeffrey Epstein of sex trafficking her, explained how the late financier's close associate Ghislaine Maxwell coerced her into having sex with Prince Andrew of Britain.


    Jeffrey Epstein victim says Prince Andrew bought her vodka at a London club when she was 17 before having sex with herVirginia Roberts Giuffre, who has accused Jeffrey Epstein of sex trafficking her, explained how the late financier's close associate Ghislaine Maxwell coerced her into having sex with Prince Andrew of Britain.


     

  • History buff finds ships that sank in 1878 in Lake Michigan      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 21:41:19 -0400

    History buff finds ships that sank in 1878 in Lake MichiganA diver and maritime history buff has found two schooners that collided and sank into the cold depths of northern Lake Michigan more than 140 years ago. Bernie Hellstrom, of Boyne City, Michigan, said he was looking for shipwrecks about 10 years ago when a depth sounder on his boat noted a large obstruction about 200 feet (60 meters) down on the lake bottom near Beaver Island. "I've made hundreds of trips to Beaver Island and every trip I go out the sounder is on," he told The Associated Press on Friday.


    History buff finds ships that sank in 1878 in Lake MichiganA diver and maritime history buff has found two schooners that collided and sank into the cold depths of northern Lake Michigan more than 140 years ago. Bernie Hellstrom, of Boyne City, Michigan, said he was looking for shipwrecks about 10 years ago when a depth sounder on his boat noted a large obstruction about 200 feet (60 meters) down on the lake bottom near Beaver Island. "I've made hundreds of trips to Beaver Island and every trip I go out the sounder is on," he told The Associated Press on Friday.


     

  • Single 25-year-old mother of 3 diagnosed with terminal cancer: 'I'm scared of leaving them behind'      Thu, 19 Sep 2019 16:51:24 -0400

    Single 25-year-old mother of 3 diagnosed with terminal cancer: 'I'm scared of leaving them behind'A single mother of three who had gone cancer-free for months has now been diagnosed with terminal cancer.


    Single 25-year-old mother of 3 diagnosed with terminal cancer: 'I'm scared of leaving them behind'A single mother of three who had gone cancer-free for months has now been diagnosed with terminal cancer.


     

  • Thousands of Paris police deployed over 'yellow vest' clash fears      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 22:48:57 -0400

    Thousands of Paris police deployed over 'yellow vest' clash fearsMore than 7,000 police officers are to be deployed for rallies in Paris on Saturday over fears that yellow vest protesters and their radical, anarchist "black blocs" could try to infiltrate a march against climate change in the French capital. The yellow vest movement erupted 10 months ago and blindsided President Emmanuel Macron, who protesters accused of being out of touch with the needs of ordinary French people.


    Thousands of Paris police deployed over 'yellow vest' clash fearsMore than 7,000 police officers are to be deployed for rallies in Paris on Saturday over fears that yellow vest protesters and their radical, anarchist "black blocs" could try to infiltrate a march against climate change in the French capital. The yellow vest movement erupted 10 months ago and blindsided President Emmanuel Macron, who protesters accused of being out of touch with the needs of ordinary French people.


     

  • Israel Could Not Survive Hamas' Missiles Without The Iron Dome      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 04:30:00 -0400

    Israel Could Not Survive Hamas' Missiles Without The Iron DomeIsrael lives in a dangerous neighborhood.


    Israel Could Not Survive Hamas' Missiles Without The Iron DomeIsrael lives in a dangerous neighborhood.


     

  • 3 people have died as Tropical Depression Imelda strikes Texas with flash floods 'worse than Harvey'      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:27:00 -0400

    3 people have died as Tropical Depression Imelda strikes Texas with flash floods 'worse than Harvey'Tropical Depression Imelda may drop up to 35 inches of rain onto southeastern Texas, the same region devastated by Hurricane Harvey.


    3 people have died as Tropical Depression Imelda strikes Texas with flash floods 'worse than Harvey'Tropical Depression Imelda may drop up to 35 inches of rain onto southeastern Texas, the same region devastated by Hurricane Harvey.


     

  • Navy Orders Trial for Two in Hazing Death of Green Beret Logan Melgar      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 17:33:10 -0400

    Navy Orders Trial for Two in Hazing Death of Green Beret Logan MelgarPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast/handoutA Navy SEAL and a Marine will be tried for the hazing death of Green Beret Logan Melgar, who was allegedly duct-taped and put in a chokehold by his military comrades in Mali two years ago.The Navy announced Friday that Marine Raider Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez, 34, and Navy Special Operations Chief Tony DeDolph, 40, were referred to a court-martial on murder and other charges that could land them with life sentences.An admiral made the decision after the evidence against the pair was laid out at a hearing in Norfolk, Virginia, last month, where two other military men who copped pleas took the stand against DeDolph and Madera-Rodriguez.According to testimony by Marine Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell and Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews, Melgar ditched the rest of the team on the way to a party at the French embassy—and they decided to get revenge by hazing him.In the dead of night, they used a sledgehammer to break into Melgar’s room and then rushed him. DeDolph allegedly applied a choke hold while Matthews and Maxwell duct-taped Melgar’s arms and legs. “The overall intent wasn’t to hurt him,” Matthews said.How a Green Beret’s Hazing Led to Murder Charges for Elite TroopsProsecutors alleged that the group also planned to have a local man molest Melgar, but the admiral declined to add sexual misconduct charges to the court-martial.DeDolph’s attorney, Phil Stackhouse, has argued the evidence does not support murder charges.“Clearly what happened is a horrible, tragic accident,” Stackhouse said. “Based on all the facts in this case, nobody went into that room to kill Staff Sgt. Melgar.”Two Alleged Murderers of Green Beret Sgt. Logan Melgar Are Negotiating with ProsecutorsRead 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.


    Navy Orders Trial for Two in Hazing Death of Green Beret Logan MelgarPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast/handoutA Navy SEAL and a Marine will be tried for the hazing death of Green Beret Logan Melgar, who was allegedly duct-taped and put in a chokehold by his military comrades in Mali two years ago.The Navy announced Friday that Marine Raider Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez, 34, and Navy Special Operations Chief Tony DeDolph, 40, were referred to a court-martial on murder and other charges that could land them with life sentences.An admiral made the decision after the evidence against the pair was laid out at a hearing in Norfolk, Virginia, last month, where two other military men who copped pleas took the stand against DeDolph and Madera-Rodriguez.According to testimony by Marine Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell and Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews, Melgar ditched the rest of the team on the way to a party at the French embassy—and they decided to get revenge by hazing him.In the dead of night, they used a sledgehammer to break into Melgar’s room and then rushed him. DeDolph allegedly applied a choke hold while Matthews and Maxwell duct-taped Melgar’s arms and legs. “The overall intent wasn’t to hurt him,” Matthews said.How a Green Beret’s Hazing Led to Murder Charges for Elite TroopsProsecutors alleged that the group also planned to have a local man molest Melgar, but the admiral declined to add sexual misconduct charges to the court-martial.DeDolph’s attorney, Phil Stackhouse, has argued the evidence does not support murder charges.“Clearly what happened is a horrible, tragic accident,” Stackhouse said. “Based on all the facts in this case, nobody went into that room to kill Staff Sgt. Melgar.”Two Alleged Murderers of Green Beret Sgt. Logan Melgar Are Negotiating with ProsecutorsRead 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.


     

  • Marianne Williamson wants a national mandatory service for people ages 18-26 to combat climate change      Thu, 19 Sep 2019 15:22:37 -0400

    Marianne Williamson wants a national mandatory service for people ages 18-26 to combat climate changeAt a presidential climate forum hosted by MSNBC, Marianne Williamson said Americans need a "World War II" level of mobilization against climate change.


    Marianne Williamson wants a national mandatory service for people ages 18-26 to combat climate changeAt a presidential climate forum hosted by MSNBC, Marianne Williamson said Americans need a "World War II" level of mobilization against climate change.


     

  • Breaking Down the Whistleblower Frenzy      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 06:30:53 -0400

    Breaking Down the Whistleblower FrenzyThe Democrats’ media narrative of impeachment portrays President Trump and his administration as serial law-breakers who, true to form, obstruct all congressional investigations of wrongdoing. This then becomes the analytical framework for every new controversy. There are at least two fundamental problems with this.First, our constitutional system is based on friction between competing branches vested with separate but closely related powers. The Framers understood that the two political branches would periodically try to usurp each other’s authorities. Congress often does this by enactments that seek to subject executive power to congressional (or judicial) supervision. Presidential pushback on such laws is not criminal obstruction; it is the Constitution in action.Second, we’ve become so law-obsessed that we miss the forest for the trees. Often, the least important aspect of a controversy -- viz., whether a law has been violated -- becomes the dominant consideration. Short shrift is given to the more consequential aspects, such as whether we are being competently governed or whether power is being abused.These problems are now playing out in the Trump controversy du jour (or should I say de l'heure?): the intelligence community whistleblower.As this column is written on Friday afternoon, the story is still evolving, with the president tweeting as ever, and the New York Times producing a report by no fewer than eight of its top journalists, joining the seven (and counting) who are working it for the Washington Post, which broke the story.It stems from -- what else? -- anonymous leaks attributed to former intelligence officials. Whether they are among the stable of such retirees now on the payroll at anti-Trump cable outlets is not known. While the media purport to be deeply concerned about Trump-administration law-breaking in classified matters, there is negligible interest in whether the intelligence officials leaking to them are flouting the law.A Promise to Ukraine? In any event, we learn that an unidentified “whistleblower” has filed a complaint with the intelligence community’s inspector general (IGIC), relating that President Trump had recent interaction with an unidentified foreign leader during which the president made a “promise” which is not further described to us, other than that the whistleblower found it very “troubling.” The inference that President Trump is the subject of the complaint (or at least a subject) derives from the fact that intelligence officials say it involves someone who is “outside the intelligence community,” and that there are issues of “privilege” that justify non-disclosure to Congress. (The president is “outside” the intelligence community in the sense of being over it as chief executive; and, as I discussed in a column earlier this week, presidents have executive privilege, which shields communications with advisers.)The latest news to break suggests that the communications (there is more than one) relate, at least in part, to Ukraine. The whistleblower complaint is believed to have been filed on August 12. President Trump is known to have spoken by phone with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25. Rudy Giuliani, who is Trump’s private lawyer (and who hired me as a prosecutor many years ago), has been open about urging Ukraine to pursue an investigation implicating Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Specifically, when he was Obama-administration vice president, Biden is rumored to have pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was conducting a corruption investigation of a natural-gas company. Biden’s son, Hunter, sat on the company’s board, and his law firm was lavishly compensated.Thus, the theorizing in anti-Trump circles is that an intelligence official privy to details of the July 25 call must have learned that the president made a quid pro quo arrangement with Ukraine, promising some kind of assistance in exchange for movement on an investigation that could politically wound Trump’s potential 2020 opponent. (A CNN interview that became a spirited argument between Giuliani and Chris Cuomo got lots of play on Friday. Meanwhile, to my knowledge, there has not been much congressional interest in examining Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign dealings with Ukraine in 2016, when our government encouraged Kiev to investigate Paul Manafort, and a leak about a claim of lavish cash payments to Manafort resulted in his removal as Trump’s campaign chairman.)President Trump is pooh-poohing the whistleblower complaint as a fabrication by “Radical Left Democrats and their Fake News Partners, headed up again by Little Adam Schiff.” That last derogatory reference is to the California Democrat and Trump antagonist who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. Conveniently omitted by the president are the facts that (a) the whistleblower has tried to comply with federal law and go through government channels rather than leaking information to the Trump-hostile media; (b) the IGIC to whom the whistleblower made his report is a Trump appointee, namely Michael Atkinson, a career Justice Department prosecutor who got the IGIC gig in 2018; and (c) Atkinson concluded that the whistleblower’s complaint was credible and sufficiently serious to be deemed a matter of “urgent concern.”‘Urgent Concern’ -- Another Confusing Dual-Use Term This brings us to a common situation that we rarely notice but that often skews public debate. I’ll call it the dual-use term: A word or phrase that has both a common meaning because it is invoked in everyday parlance and a specialized meaning in statutory law -- either because Congress has taken the trouble to define it or the courts have authoritatively construed it.“Urgent concern” is a dual-use term. Such terms confuse things because politicians seamlessly shift from the common to the specialized meaning. Frequently, legal consequences limited to the narrower legal sense of the term are triggered by anything that fits the term’s broad general understanding. To take a notorious example, “collusion” -- the subject, ahem, of a certain new book -- has both a broad general connotation (concerted activity that can be benign or sinister, or anything in between) and a narrow specialized meaning when invoked in law-enforcement investigations (criminal conspiracy). For years, Chairman Schiff and other Trump critics have intimated that episodes of unremarkable collusion in the broad sense (e.g., negotiating policy or real-estate deals with Russians) are evidence of illegal collusion in the narrow, specialized sense (conspiracy to commit cyberespionage with Russians).The common meaning of urgent concern is obvious: It could describe anything that raises the specter of imminent harm. But urgent concern is also a specialized term in federal law. Under Section 3033(k)(5)(G) (of Title 50, U.S. Code), an “urgent concern” relates to specified problems involving intelligence activities and classified information that are within the responsibility of the Director of National Intelligence. The DNI is the cabinet official who oversees the so-called community of intelligence agencies. The urgent concerns Section 3033 outlines include, for example, violations or abuses of laws or executive orders, or deficiencies in the funding, administration or operation of an intelligence activity. Section 3033 urgent concerns also include misleading of Congress regarding intelligence activities, and reprisals against whistleblowers who report an urgent concern.Notice the difference between the common and statutory meaning.Any executive action that imperils national security, particularly in connection with classified information falling into the hands of a foreign power, could accurately be described as a matter of urgent concern, as that term is commonly understood. Even if there were no Section 3033, and there were no specialized statutory definition of “urgent concern,” it would be entirely appropriate for Congress to inquire into such matters.On the other hand, if a situation qualifies as one of the narrower sets of “urgent concerns” defined by Section 3033, it triggers the mandatory reporting procedures prescribed in the statute. To wit, if an intelligence official believes a Section 3033 urgent concern has arisen, that official (a whistleblower) may report the matter to the IGIC with an eye toward its transmission to Congress. The IGIC then has two weeks to decide whether a complaint is credible. If the IGIC so finds, the matter must be referred to the DNI, who must notify the congressional intelligence committees within one week.Section 3033 Does Not Apply to the President Here, the whistleblower (who is reportedly represented by a lawyer well versed in Section 3033) believed President Trump’s undescribed promise to the unidentified foreign leader qualified as an “urgent concern” under the statute. On August 12, the whistleblower reported the matter to IGIC Atkinson. In what I believe was an error, Atkinson concluded that the complaint did indeed spell out a Section 3033 urgent concern because it was credible and raised a serious issue. (As we’ll see, my quarrel is with the application of the statute to the president; I assume the Trump-appointed IGIC is correct that the complaint is credible and serious.)Atkinson thus notified Joseph Maguire, the acting DNI. Maguire, however, did not believe the matter met the Section 3033 definition of an urgent concern, because it related to an activity by someone not under the authority of the DNI (inferentially, the president). Consequently, Maguire declined to pass the complaint along to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.As noted above, current and former intelligence officials continue to leak like sieves in their years-long campaign against the sitting president. Thus, the existence of the complaint, the report of it to the IGIC, and the acting DNI’s refusal to alert Congress became known to the media and to Chairman Schiff. The chairman is claiming that the Trump administration is violating the law by failing to notify Congress of an urgent concern, as mandated by Section 3033.In my view, Chairman Schiff’s claim, based on IGIC Atkinson’s interpretation of the statute, is wrong. Section 3033 does not apply to a president’s negotiations with or commitments to foreign powers, or to a president’s sharing of classified information with foreign powers. To repeat, the statute applies to intelligence activities by government officials acting under the authority of the DNI. If I am right, the Trump administration should not be accused of law-breaking for declining to follow Section 3033, even if the whistleblower had an “urgent concern” in the ordinary understanding of that term.In our system, the conduct of foreign policy is a nigh plenary authority of the chief executive. The only exceptions are explicitly stated in the Constitution (Congress regulates foreign commerce, the Senate must approve treaties, etc.). Congress may not enact statutes that limit the president’s constitutional power to conduct foreign policy; the Constitution may not be amended by statute.Consistent with this principle, the Justice Department has long adhered to the so-called “clear statement” rule: If the express terms of a statute do not apply its provisions to the president, then the statute is deemed not to apply to the president if its application would conflict with the president’s constitutional powers. Section 3033 does not refer to the president. By its terms, it applies to intelligence-community officials. And, in any event, it may not properly be applied to the president if doing so would hinder the president’s capacious authority to conduct foreign policy.At least when a Republican is in the White House, progressives are enthralled by laws that, in effect, empower bureaucrats -- here, “intelligence professionals”- to second-guess and otherwise check the president’s power to direct the executive branch. That is not our system.Congress’s Selective Interest in Presidential Abuses of Power In conducting foreign affairs, the president may make commitments to other foreign leaders (subject to the Constitution’s treaty clause). The president, unlike his subordinates, also has the power to disclose any classified information he chooses to disclose. Like all presidential powers, these may be abused or exercised rashly. When there is a credible allegation that they have been, that should cause all of us urgent concern.To take one example, President Obama misled Congress and the nation regarding the concessions he made to Iran in connection with the nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). The Obama administration, moreover, structured the arrangement so that commitments to Iran were withheld from Congress -- as if what were at stake were understandings strictly between Tehran and the U.N.’s monitor (the International Atomic Energy Agency), somehow of no concern to the United States. Representative Schiff’s skepticism about Iran became muted when a Democratic president cut the deal. Yet these cloak-and-dagger arrangements with a jihadist regime that proclaims itself America’s mortal enemy, in which a U.S. president willfully end-ran the Constitution’s treaty provisions and congressional oversight, were and remain urgent concerns for millions of Americans and most members of Congress.So how should we evaluate the current controversy?For starters, we should recognize what is important and what is not. Section 3033 should be the least of our considerations. As argued above, it very likely does not apply, despite the IGIC’s conclusion to the contrary. Its lack of application would not stop the whistleblower from getting the information to Congress (though it may affect whether the whistleblower is protected from reprisals). More to the point, it is irrelevant whether Congress should have been notified within one week of X date as prescribed by statute. Regardless of whether I am right about the statute’s inapplicability, the intelligence committees are now on notice and positioned to examine the matter.The issue is not Section 3033 and whether the DNI should have alerted Schiff. The issue is whether President Trump has abused his foreign-affairs powers.On that score, we should withhold judgment until more facts are in. Democrats would have us leap to the conclusion that impeachable offenses have been committed; the president would have us dismiss the matter out of hand as a political contrivance. There are reasons to doubt both of them.For one thing, there has been a three-year campaign by current and former government officials to undermine the Trump presidency by lawless leaks of politicized intelligence. On the other side of the coin, though, IGIC Michael Atkinson is a Trump appointee. It is he who found the whistleblower’s complaint serious and credible. And the acting DNI, Joseph Maguire, does not appear to be refuting that conclusion; his quibble (which I share) appears to be that Section 3033 urgent concerns are inapposite where presidential foreign-affairs powers are involved. Many of President Trump’s foreign policy moves have been impulsive; it is hardly inconceivable that he could have offered a commitment that was poorly thought through. Giuliani, a key outside adviser to the president, has been pressing the Ukrainians to look into Biden, and, when asked on Friday about whether he discussed Biden in the July call with Ukraine’s president, Trump declined to answer directly, replying, “Someone ought to look into Joe Biden.”And maybe someone should. The fact that Biden may end up being Trump’s rival in the 2020 election does not immunize him from investigation. If he used his political influence to squeeze a foreign power for his son’s benefit, that should be explored. Of course, Trump should not use the powers of his office solely for the purpose of obtaining campaign ammunition to deploy against a potential foe. But all presidents who seek reelection wield their power in ways designed to improve their chances. If Trump went too far in that regard, we could look with disfavor on that while realizing that he would not be the first president to have done so. And if, alternatively, the president had a good reason for making a reciprocal commitment to Ukraine, that commitment would not become improper just because, collaterally, it happened to help Trump or harm Biden politically.The president has the power to conduct foreign policy as he sees fit. The Congress has the power to subject that exercise to thorough examination. The clash of these powers is a constant in our form of government. It is politics. For once, let’s find out what happened before we leap to DEFCON 1.


    Breaking Down the Whistleblower FrenzyThe Democrats’ media narrative of impeachment portrays President Trump and his administration as serial law-breakers who, true to form, obstruct all congressional investigations of wrongdoing. This then becomes the analytical framework for every new controversy. There are at least two fundamental problems with this.First, our constitutional system is based on friction between competing branches vested with separate but closely related powers. The Framers understood that the two political branches would periodically try to usurp each other’s authorities. Congress often does this by enactments that seek to subject executive power to congressional (or judicial) supervision. Presidential pushback on such laws is not criminal obstruction; it is the Constitution in action.Second, we’ve become so law-obsessed that we miss the forest for the trees. Often, the least important aspect of a controversy -- viz., whether a law has been violated -- becomes the dominant consideration. Short shrift is given to the more consequential aspects, such as whether we are being competently governed or whether power is being abused.These problems are now playing out in the Trump controversy du jour (or should I say de l'heure?): the intelligence community whistleblower.As this column is written on Friday afternoon, the story is still evolving, with the president tweeting as ever, and the New York Times producing a report by no fewer than eight of its top journalists, joining the seven (and counting) who are working it for the Washington Post, which broke the story.It stems from -- what else? -- anonymous leaks attributed to former intelligence officials. Whether they are among the stable of such retirees now on the payroll at anti-Trump cable outlets is not known. While the media purport to be deeply concerned about Trump-administration law-breaking in classified matters, there is negligible interest in whether the intelligence officials leaking to them are flouting the law.A Promise to Ukraine? In any event, we learn that an unidentified “whistleblower” has filed a complaint with the intelligence community’s inspector general (IGIC), relating that President Trump had recent interaction with an unidentified foreign leader during which the president made a “promise” which is not further described to us, other than that the whistleblower found it very “troubling.” The inference that President Trump is the subject of the complaint (or at least a subject) derives from the fact that intelligence officials say it involves someone who is “outside the intelligence community,” and that there are issues of “privilege” that justify non-disclosure to Congress. (The president is “outside” the intelligence community in the sense of being over it as chief executive; and, as I discussed in a column earlier this week, presidents have executive privilege, which shields communications with advisers.)The latest news to break suggests that the communications (there is more than one) relate, at least in part, to Ukraine. The whistleblower complaint is believed to have been filed on August 12. President Trump is known to have spoken by phone with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25. Rudy Giuliani, who is Trump’s private lawyer (and who hired me as a prosecutor many years ago), has been open about urging Ukraine to pursue an investigation implicating Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Specifically, when he was Obama-administration vice president, Biden is rumored to have pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was conducting a corruption investigation of a natural-gas company. Biden’s son, Hunter, sat on the company’s board, and his law firm was lavishly compensated.Thus, the theorizing in anti-Trump circles is that an intelligence official privy to details of the July 25 call must have learned that the president made a quid pro quo arrangement with Ukraine, promising some kind of assistance in exchange for movement on an investigation that could politically wound Trump’s potential 2020 opponent. (A CNN interview that became a spirited argument between Giuliani and Chris Cuomo got lots of play on Friday. Meanwhile, to my knowledge, there has not been much congressional interest in examining Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign dealings with Ukraine in 2016, when our government encouraged Kiev to investigate Paul Manafort, and a leak about a claim of lavish cash payments to Manafort resulted in his removal as Trump’s campaign chairman.)President Trump is pooh-poohing the whistleblower complaint as a fabrication by “Radical Left Democrats and their Fake News Partners, headed up again by Little Adam Schiff.” That last derogatory reference is to the California Democrat and Trump antagonist who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. Conveniently omitted by the president are the facts that (a) the whistleblower has tried to comply with federal law and go through government channels rather than leaking information to the Trump-hostile media; (b) the IGIC to whom the whistleblower made his report is a Trump appointee, namely Michael Atkinson, a career Justice Department prosecutor who got the IGIC gig in 2018; and (c) Atkinson concluded that the whistleblower’s complaint was credible and sufficiently serious to be deemed a matter of “urgent concern.”‘Urgent Concern’ -- Another Confusing Dual-Use Term This brings us to a common situation that we rarely notice but that often skews public debate. I’ll call it the dual-use term: A word or phrase that has both a common meaning because it is invoked in everyday parlance and a specialized meaning in statutory law -- either because Congress has taken the trouble to define it or the courts have authoritatively construed it.“Urgent concern” is a dual-use term. Such terms confuse things because politicians seamlessly shift from the common to the specialized meaning. Frequently, legal consequences limited to the narrower legal sense of the term are triggered by anything that fits the term’s broad general understanding. To take a notorious example, “collusion” -- the subject, ahem, of a certain new book -- has both a broad general connotation (concerted activity that can be benign or sinister, or anything in between) and a narrow specialized meaning when invoked in law-enforcement investigations (criminal conspiracy). For years, Chairman Schiff and other Trump critics have intimated that episodes of unremarkable collusion in the broad sense (e.g., negotiating policy or real-estate deals with Russians) are evidence of illegal collusion in the narrow, specialized sense (conspiracy to commit cyberespionage with Russians).The common meaning of urgent concern is obvious: It could describe anything that raises the specter of imminent harm. But urgent concern is also a specialized term in federal law. Under Section 3033(k)(5)(G) (of Title 50, U.S. Code), an “urgent concern” relates to specified problems involving intelligence activities and classified information that are within the responsibility of the Director of National Intelligence. The DNI is the cabinet official who oversees the so-called community of intelligence agencies. The urgent concerns Section 3033 outlines include, for example, violations or abuses of laws or executive orders, or deficiencies in the funding, administration or operation of an intelligence activity. Section 3033 urgent concerns also include misleading of Congress regarding intelligence activities, and reprisals against whistleblowers who report an urgent concern.Notice the difference between the common and statutory meaning.Any executive action that imperils national security, particularly in connection with classified information falling into the hands of a foreign power, could accurately be described as a matter of urgent concern, as that term is commonly understood. Even if there were no Section 3033, and there were no specialized statutory definition of “urgent concern,” it would be entirely appropriate for Congress to inquire into such matters.On the other hand, if a situation qualifies as one of the narrower sets of “urgent concerns” defined by Section 3033, it triggers the mandatory reporting procedures prescribed in the statute. To wit, if an intelligence official believes a Section 3033 urgent concern has arisen, that official (a whistleblower) may report the matter to the IGIC with an eye toward its transmission to Congress. The IGIC then has two weeks to decide whether a complaint is credible. If the IGIC so finds, the matter must be referred to the DNI, who must notify the congressional intelligence committees within one week.Section 3033 Does Not Apply to the President Here, the whistleblower (who is reportedly represented by a lawyer well versed in Section 3033) believed President Trump’s undescribed promise to the unidentified foreign leader qualified as an “urgent concern” under the statute. On August 12, the whistleblower reported the matter to IGIC Atkinson. In what I believe was an error, Atkinson concluded that the complaint did indeed spell out a Section 3033 urgent concern because it was credible and raised a serious issue. (As we’ll see, my quarrel is with the application of the statute to the president; I assume the Trump-appointed IGIC is correct that the complaint is credible and serious.)Atkinson thus notified Joseph Maguire, the acting DNI. Maguire, however, did not believe the matter met the Section 3033 definition of an urgent concern, because it related to an activity by someone not under the authority of the DNI (inferentially, the president). Consequently, Maguire declined to pass the complaint along to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.As noted above, current and former intelligence officials continue to leak like sieves in their years-long campaign against the sitting president. Thus, the existence of the complaint, the report of it to the IGIC, and the acting DNI’s refusal to alert Congress became known to the media and to Chairman Schiff. The chairman is claiming that the Trump administration is violating the law by failing to notify Congress of an urgent concern, as mandated by Section 3033.In my view, Chairman Schiff’s claim, based on IGIC Atkinson’s interpretation of the statute, is wrong. Section 3033 does not apply to a president’s negotiations with or commitments to foreign powers, or to a president’s sharing of classified information with foreign powers. To repeat, the statute applies to intelligence activities by government officials acting under the authority of the DNI. If I am right, the Trump administration should not be accused of law-breaking for declining to follow Section 3033, even if the whistleblower had an “urgent concern” in the ordinary understanding of that term.In our system, the conduct of foreign policy is a nigh plenary authority of the chief executive. The only exceptions are explicitly stated in the Constitution (Congress regulates foreign commerce, the Senate must approve treaties, etc.). Congress may not enact statutes that limit the president’s constitutional power to conduct foreign policy; the Constitution may not be amended by statute.Consistent with this principle, the Justice Department has long adhered to the so-called “clear statement” rule: If the express terms of a statute do not apply its provisions to the president, then the statute is deemed not to apply to the president if its application would conflict with the president’s constitutional powers. Section 3033 does not refer to the president. By its terms, it applies to intelligence-community officials. And, in any event, it may not properly be applied to the president if doing so would hinder the president’s capacious authority to conduct foreign policy.At least when a Republican is in the White House, progressives are enthralled by laws that, in effect, empower bureaucrats -- here, “intelligence professionals”- to second-guess and otherwise check the president’s power to direct the executive branch. That is not our system.Congress’s Selective Interest in Presidential Abuses of Power In conducting foreign affairs, the president may make commitments to other foreign leaders (subject to the Constitution’s treaty clause). The president, unlike his subordinates, also has the power to disclose any classified information he chooses to disclose. Like all presidential powers, these may be abused or exercised rashly. When there is a credible allegation that they have been, that should cause all of us urgent concern.To take one example, President Obama misled Congress and the nation regarding the concessions he made to Iran in connection with the nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). The Obama administration, moreover, structured the arrangement so that commitments to Iran were withheld from Congress -- as if what were at stake were understandings strictly between Tehran and the U.N.’s monitor (the International Atomic Energy Agency), somehow of no concern to the United States. Representative Schiff’s skepticism about Iran became muted when a Democratic president cut the deal. Yet these cloak-and-dagger arrangements with a jihadist regime that proclaims itself America’s mortal enemy, in which a U.S. president willfully end-ran the Constitution’s treaty provisions and congressional oversight, were and remain urgent concerns for millions of Americans and most members of Congress.So how should we evaluate the current controversy?For starters, we should recognize what is important and what is not. Section 3033 should be the least of our considerations. As argued above, it very likely does not apply, despite the IGIC’s conclusion to the contrary. Its lack of application would not stop the whistleblower from getting the information to Congress (though it may affect whether the whistleblower is protected from reprisals). More to the point, it is irrelevant whether Congress should have been notified within one week of X date as prescribed by statute. Regardless of whether I am right about the statute’s inapplicability, the intelligence committees are now on notice and positioned to examine the matter.The issue is not Section 3033 and whether the DNI should have alerted Schiff. The issue is whether President Trump has abused his foreign-affairs powers.On that score, we should withhold judgment until more facts are in. Democrats would have us leap to the conclusion that impeachable offenses have been committed; the president would have us dismiss the matter out of hand as a political contrivance. There are reasons to doubt both of them.For one thing, there has been a three-year campaign by current and former government officials to undermine the Trump presidency by lawless leaks of politicized intelligence. On the other side of the coin, though, IGIC Michael Atkinson is a Trump appointee. It is he who found the whistleblower’s complaint serious and credible. And the acting DNI, Joseph Maguire, does not appear to be refuting that conclusion; his quibble (which I share) appears to be that Section 3033 urgent concerns are inapposite where presidential foreign-affairs powers are involved. Many of President Trump’s foreign policy moves have been impulsive; it is hardly inconceivable that he could have offered a commitment that was poorly thought through. Giuliani, a key outside adviser to the president, has been pressing the Ukrainians to look into Biden, and, when asked on Friday about whether he discussed Biden in the July call with Ukraine’s president, Trump declined to answer directly, replying, “Someone ought to look into Joe Biden.”And maybe someone should. The fact that Biden may end up being Trump’s rival in the 2020 election does not immunize him from investigation. If he used his political influence to squeeze a foreign power for his son’s benefit, that should be explored. Of course, Trump should not use the powers of his office solely for the purpose of obtaining campaign ammunition to deploy against a potential foe. But all presidents who seek reelection wield their power in ways designed to improve their chances. If Trump went too far in that regard, we could look with disfavor on that while realizing that he would not be the first president to have done so. And if, alternatively, the president had a good reason for making a reciprocal commitment to Ukraine, that commitment would not become improper just because, collaterally, it happened to help Trump or harm Biden politically.The president has the power to conduct foreign policy as he sees fit. The Congress has the power to subject that exercise to thorough examination. The clash of these powers is a constant in our form of government. It is politics. For once, let’s find out what happened before we leap to DEFCON 1.


     

  • Why do e-cigarette makers suddenly want to be regulated?      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 02:00:54 -0400

    Why do e-cigarette makers suddenly want to be regulated?Vaping manufacturers have recently begun supporting ‘Tobacco 21’ legislation but are they pushing lax regulation now to head off harsher regulation later?The push on legislation comes as the vaping industry, and e-cigarette maker Juul in particular, is coming under intense government pressure. Photograph: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty ImagesLobbyists are pushing to increase the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21 in states across America.But public health experts have warned the bills are often not what they appear, and contain loopholes and weak enforcement that could actually benefit big tobacco, because the laws often serve to prevent any future tightening of restrictions.In effect, the industry seems to be pushing for lax regulation now, to head off harsher regulation later.The push on legislation comes as the vaping industry, and e-cigarette maker Juul in particular, is coming under intense government pressure. Vaping is widely regarded as less harmful than smoking, but health authorities worry a new generation is becoming addicted to nicotine.John Schachter of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said: “We’ve seen them publicly pushing for ending youth access through ‘tobacco 21’ – as such bills are often called. “But we have a number of concerns on that front.”He said: “They try to portray it as, ‘We’re for tobacco 21, case closed.”He added that tobacco lobbyists then “try to water it down, and weaken it” when public health authorities push for additional provisions.Fears about vaping’s health effects have intensified since severe, pneumonia-like illnesses linked to vaping made 530 people ill in dozens of states and killed seven. The illness has not been traced to any single product or device.Though Juul has not been specifically implicated in cases of lung injuries, the company controls roughly 70% of the American e-cigarette market, and has had an undeniable appeal to teens.Roughly 8 million US adults and 5 million teens vape, according to the health secretary, Alex Azar. For decades, tobacco lobbyists opposed tobacco 21 legislation, often arguing such laws would mean young people could join the military and vote at 18 but not buy a pack of cigarettes.Dr Robert Crane, a family medicine professor at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the founder of Prevent Tobacco Addiction Foundation, has sought to push tobacco 21 laws almost exclusively since 1997.“In each and every state they were killed, absolutely slaughtered,” he said about the laws, “because the industry was so stealthily and skilfully against us. Fast-forward 20 years and we kept running and kept getting beat.”Then, about last year, lobbyists for groups such as the Vapor Technology Association began writing tobacco 21 legislation in places like Arizona, the Center for Public Integrity reported.Lobbyists “managed to get terrible tobacco 21 bills in Texas, Virginia and Arkansas and Utah”, said Crane. “Juul and Altria have their lobbyists out there pushing 21 in every single state.Health advocates say the bills are often problematic.In Texas, a recently enacted law exempts military members from the 21 age limit, and also prevents cities and towns from enacting stricter age limits. Juul and Altria, the parent company of Marlboro that owns a third of Juul, supported the bill.In Arkansas, a tobacco 21 law barred cities and towns from adopting any regulation more restrictive than the state’s on the “manufacture, sale, storage, or distribution of tobacco products”. That effectively bars cities and towns from banning flavored tobacco products, such as menthol or mint e-cigarette cartridges. Juul also supported that legislation.As of March 2019, Juul Labs was running ads to support tobacco 21 legislation in 22 states and Washington DC. The company has said the push is part of a plan to, “successfully address” the teen vaping epidemic. Juul shut down its social media account, said it has worked to stop minors from buying vape pods online and is working to trace its products.Already, public health experts have said efforts to stop teen vaping have failed. The rate of teen vaping rose to more than one-quarter of students in their final year of high, the New England Journal of Medicine reported Wednesday. About 12% vaped 20 out of last 30 days.A spokesman for Juul said the company prefers “clean tobacco 21 bills”, but at times “state level dynamics and politics” mean it will support bills that preempt cities and towns from stricter legislation.“For well over a year, we have publicly supported raising the minimum purchasing age for all tobacco and vapor products, including Juul, to 21 years in the US,” the spokesman said. “Tobacco 21 laws in the US fight one of the largest contributors to youth usage – social sourcing (obtaining products through family and friends over the legal age) – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce teen-use rates.”“Current efforts by the vaping industry, government agencies, and schools have thus far proved insufficient to stop the rapid spread of nicotine vaping among adolescents,” government researchers wrote in a letter to the editor of the journal.


    Why do e-cigarette makers suddenly want to be regulated?Vaping manufacturers have recently begun supporting ‘Tobacco 21’ legislation but are they pushing lax regulation now to head off harsher regulation later?The push on legislation comes as the vaping industry, and e-cigarette maker Juul in particular, is coming under intense government pressure. Photograph: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty ImagesLobbyists are pushing to increase the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21 in states across America.But public health experts have warned the bills are often not what they appear, and contain loopholes and weak enforcement that could actually benefit big tobacco, because the laws often serve to prevent any future tightening of restrictions.In effect, the industry seems to be pushing for lax regulation now, to head off harsher regulation later.The push on legislation comes as the vaping industry, and e-cigarette maker Juul in particular, is coming under intense government pressure. Vaping is widely regarded as less harmful than smoking, but health authorities worry a new generation is becoming addicted to nicotine.John Schachter of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said: “We’ve seen them publicly pushing for ending youth access through ‘tobacco 21’ – as such bills are often called. “But we have a number of concerns on that front.”He said: “They try to portray it as, ‘We’re for tobacco 21, case closed.”He added that tobacco lobbyists then “try to water it down, and weaken it” when public health authorities push for additional provisions.Fears about vaping’s health effects have intensified since severe, pneumonia-like illnesses linked to vaping made 530 people ill in dozens of states and killed seven. The illness has not been traced to any single product or device.Though Juul has not been specifically implicated in cases of lung injuries, the company controls roughly 70% of the American e-cigarette market, and has had an undeniable appeal to teens.Roughly 8 million US adults and 5 million teens vape, according to the health secretary, Alex Azar. For decades, tobacco lobbyists opposed tobacco 21 legislation, often arguing such laws would mean young people could join the military and vote at 18 but not buy a pack of cigarettes.Dr Robert Crane, a family medicine professor at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the founder of Prevent Tobacco Addiction Foundation, has sought to push tobacco 21 laws almost exclusively since 1997.“In each and every state they were killed, absolutely slaughtered,” he said about the laws, “because the industry was so stealthily and skilfully against us. Fast-forward 20 years and we kept running and kept getting beat.”Then, about last year, lobbyists for groups such as the Vapor Technology Association began writing tobacco 21 legislation in places like Arizona, the Center for Public Integrity reported.Lobbyists “managed to get terrible tobacco 21 bills in Texas, Virginia and Arkansas and Utah”, said Crane. “Juul and Altria have their lobbyists out there pushing 21 in every single state.Health advocates say the bills are often problematic.In Texas, a recently enacted law exempts military members from the 21 age limit, and also prevents cities and towns from enacting stricter age limits. Juul and Altria, the parent company of Marlboro that owns a third of Juul, supported the bill.In Arkansas, a tobacco 21 law barred cities and towns from adopting any regulation more restrictive than the state’s on the “manufacture, sale, storage, or distribution of tobacco products”. That effectively bars cities and towns from banning flavored tobacco products, such as menthol or mint e-cigarette cartridges. Juul also supported that legislation.As of March 2019, Juul Labs was running ads to support tobacco 21 legislation in 22 states and Washington DC. The company has said the push is part of a plan to, “successfully address” the teen vaping epidemic. Juul shut down its social media account, said it has worked to stop minors from buying vape pods online and is working to trace its products.Already, public health experts have said efforts to stop teen vaping have failed. The rate of teen vaping rose to more than one-quarter of students in their final year of high, the New England Journal of Medicine reported Wednesday. About 12% vaped 20 out of last 30 days.A spokesman for Juul said the company prefers “clean tobacco 21 bills”, but at times “state level dynamics and politics” mean it will support bills that preempt cities and towns from stricter legislation.“For well over a year, we have publicly supported raising the minimum purchasing age for all tobacco and vapor products, including Juul, to 21 years in the US,” the spokesman said. “Tobacco 21 laws in the US fight one of the largest contributors to youth usage – social sourcing (obtaining products through family and friends over the legal age) – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce teen-use rates.”“Current efforts by the vaping industry, government agencies, and schools have thus far proved insufficient to stop the rapid spread of nicotine vaping among adolescents,” government researchers wrote in a letter to the editor of the journal.


     

  • 2019 Editors' Choice Awards: The Best Trucks, SUVs, and Vans      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 13:15:00 -0400

    2019 Editors' Choice Awards: The Best Trucks, SUVs, and Vans


    2019 Editors' Choice Awards: The Best Trucks, SUVs, and Vans


     

  • Boy, 4, who was diagnosed with autism and cancer within months of each other beats odds      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 17:05:16 -0400

    Boy, 4, who was diagnosed with autism and cancer within months of each other beats oddsA 4-year-old boy who was diagnosed with autism and cancer within three months has impressively beaten the odds


    Boy, 4, who was diagnosed with autism and cancer within months of each other beats oddsA 4-year-old boy who was diagnosed with autism and cancer within three months has impressively beaten the odds


     

  • House votes to end forced arbitration in business disputes      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 13:40:22 -0400

    House votes to end forced arbitration in business disputesThe House approved a bill Friday to end forced arbitration clauses that prevent workers and consumers from filing lawsuits in disputes with companies over employment practices, billing or civil rights. Supporters, mostly Democrats, said the bill would restore access to justice for millions of Americans who are now locked out of the court system and forced to settle disputes against companies in a private arbitration system that often favors the company over the individual. Opponents, mostly Republicans, said the measure would make it harder for individual workers or consumers by forcing them into lengthy, expensive court fights that may end up shutting them out of the justice system entirely.


    House votes to end forced arbitration in business disputesThe House approved a bill Friday to end forced arbitration clauses that prevent workers and consumers from filing lawsuits in disputes with companies over employment practices, billing or civil rights. Supporters, mostly Democrats, said the bill would restore access to justice for millions of Americans who are now locked out of the court system and forced to settle disputes against companies in a private arbitration system that often favors the company over the individual. Opponents, mostly Republicans, said the measure would make it harder for individual workers or consumers by forcing them into lengthy, expensive court fights that may end up shutting them out of the justice system entirely.


     

  • Russia Can't Stop Israel's F-35 Stealth Fighters      Thu, 19 Sep 2019 21:00:00 -0400

    Russia Can't Stop Israel's F-35 Stealth FightersKey point: The F-35 operates on another level that Russia's air defense cannot handle.


    Russia Can't Stop Israel's F-35 Stealth FightersKey point: The F-35 operates on another level that Russia's air defense cannot handle.


     

  • Heavy rain, locally severe storms to soak the central US this weekend      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 13:40:22 -0400

    Heavy rain, locally severe storms to soak the central US this weekendTropical moisture streaming into the central Plains from the tropical systems in the East Pacific Ocean will help to fuel severe thunderstorms and downpours across the region this weekend.Drenching rain developed across the Dakotas Friday evening and continued into Saturday morning as a storm system began to strengthen over the region.Residents woke up to flooded roadways as over four inches of rain fell in Fargo, North Dakota, Friday night. Radar-estimated rainfall shows similar rainfall totals across much of the center of the state.Fargo, North Dakota normally receives 2.05 inches of rain through the month of September.More showers are expected to develop across North Dakota through Saturday afternoon. While the heavy rain is not expected to be as widespread as Friday night, any quick downpour can increase the risk for flash flooding across the rain-soaked area.Farther south, the central Plains will be on alert for severe thunderstorms and rounds of heavy downpours into Sunday.The storm system over the northern Plains will pull tropical moisture from Lorena and Mario, near the western coast of Mexico, into the central Plains. At the same time, the system will bring a cold front into the region.Showers and thunderstorms will continue to develop from southern Iowa and northern Missouri through central Kansas into Saturday afternoon as the front approaches the warm and humid air over the area."Storms that fire up later today will have the ability to produce flash flooding, hail, damaging wind gusts and there could be an isolated tornado," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys. The biggest threat for tornadoes will be when storms first develop, but downpours, hail and damaging wind gusts will continue to be a threat into the evening hours."Those who are attending any high school or collegiate sporting events should play heed to all weather warnings and take shelter when told to do so."Motorists traveling on Interstate-35 and Interstate-70 in these areas should be aware of changing weather conditions, decreased visibility in times of heavy rain and ponding on roadways.While the severe storm threat will be gradually diminishing after sunset, showers and storms will continue the risk for flash flooding expand from Oklahoma and Kansas into northern Illinois through Saturday night.On Sunday, occasional downpours will continue across much of the same areas as the cold front will be slow to exit the central Plains. But as tropical moisture is pulled farther north, drenching rain will spread into Illinois, Iowa and Michigan.Flash flooding will be most common in areas where the front stalls and brings multiple rounds of heavy rain to end the weekend. "This will have the ability to produce widespread rainfall totals of 1-3 inches with the AccuWeather StormMax™ of 6 inches," added Roys.Chicago; Kansas City, Missouri and Oklahoma City are forecast to be in the heavy rain area.Spectators heading the Kansas City Chiefs game on Sunday will need to be aware of possible road closures due to flooding and pack rain gear for the game.A line of locally heavy showers and thunderstorms along the cold front will begin to push south out of the central Plains Sunday night, while the bulk of the tropical moisture fueled rain spreads into parts of the Ohio Valley.The storm system will move toward the Northeast on Monday and drier air will settle into the northern and central Plains for the start of the work week.


    Heavy rain, locally severe storms to soak the central US this weekendTropical moisture streaming into the central Plains from the tropical systems in the East Pacific Ocean will help to fuel severe thunderstorms and downpours across the region this weekend.Drenching rain developed across the Dakotas Friday evening and continued into Saturday morning as a storm system began to strengthen over the region.Residents woke up to flooded roadways as over four inches of rain fell in Fargo, North Dakota, Friday night. Radar-estimated rainfall shows similar rainfall totals across much of the center of the state.Fargo, North Dakota normally receives 2.05 inches of rain through the month of September.More showers are expected to develop across North Dakota through Saturday afternoon. While the heavy rain is not expected to be as widespread as Friday night, any quick downpour can increase the risk for flash flooding across the rain-soaked area.Farther south, the central Plains will be on alert for severe thunderstorms and rounds of heavy downpours into Sunday.The storm system over the northern Plains will pull tropical moisture from Lorena and Mario, near the western coast of Mexico, into the central Plains. At the same time, the system will bring a cold front into the region.Showers and thunderstorms will continue to develop from southern Iowa and northern Missouri through central Kansas into Saturday afternoon as the front approaches the warm and humid air over the area."Storms that fire up later today will have the ability to produce flash flooding, hail, damaging wind gusts and there could be an isolated tornado," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys. The biggest threat for tornadoes will be when storms first develop, but downpours, hail and damaging wind gusts will continue to be a threat into the evening hours."Those who are attending any high school or collegiate sporting events should play heed to all weather warnings and take shelter when told to do so."Motorists traveling on Interstate-35 and Interstate-70 in these areas should be aware of changing weather conditions, decreased visibility in times of heavy rain and ponding on roadways.While the severe storm threat will be gradually diminishing after sunset, showers and storms will continue the risk for flash flooding expand from Oklahoma and Kansas into northern Illinois through Saturday night.On Sunday, occasional downpours will continue across much of the same areas as the cold front will be slow to exit the central Plains. But as tropical moisture is pulled farther north, drenching rain will spread into Illinois, Iowa and Michigan.Flash flooding will be most common in areas where the front stalls and brings multiple rounds of heavy rain to end the weekend. "This will have the ability to produce widespread rainfall totals of 1-3 inches with the AccuWeather StormMax™ of 6 inches," added Roys.Chicago; Kansas City, Missouri and Oklahoma City are forecast to be in the heavy rain area.Spectators heading the Kansas City Chiefs game on Sunday will need to be aware of possible road closures due to flooding and pack rain gear for the game.A line of locally heavy showers and thunderstorms along the cold front will begin to push south out of the central Plains Sunday night, while the bulk of the tropical moisture fueled rain spreads into parts of the Ohio Valley.The storm system will move toward the Northeast on Monday and drier air will settle into the northern and central Plains for the start of the work week.


     

  • White supremacist who praised ‘psychedelic Nazis’ caught with stockpile of guns and LSD      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 06:14:13 -0400

    White supremacist who praised ‘psychedelic Nazis’ caught with stockpile of guns and LSDIn a secret chat last November, according to court filings, two associates of a violent white supremacist group discussed whether drug use was in line with their political beliefs.“Psychedelic Nazis . . . There’s nothing more Aryan than entheogenic drug use,” Andrew Thomasberg, 21, texted a friend, according to prosecutors, referencing plants that have psychedelic effects. But, he added, “Drug addiction is untermensch” – a Nazi term for people considered subhuman.


    White supremacist who praised ‘psychedelic Nazis’ caught with stockpile of guns and LSDIn a secret chat last November, according to court filings, two associates of a violent white supremacist group discussed whether drug use was in line with their political beliefs.“Psychedelic Nazis . . . There’s nothing more Aryan than entheogenic drug use,” Andrew Thomasberg, 21, texted a friend, according to prosecutors, referencing plants that have psychedelic effects. But, he added, “Drug addiction is untermensch” – a Nazi term for people considered subhuman.


     

  • Injured crewman sues California dive boat owner after 34 diein fiery tragedy      Thu, 19 Sep 2019 15:44:27 -0400

    Injured crewman sues California dive boat owner after 34 diein fiery tragedyRyan Sims filed the suit last week in Ventura County Superior Court saying the Conception dive boat was unseaworthy and operated in an unsafe manner.


    Injured crewman sues California dive boat owner after 34 diein fiery tragedyRyan Sims filed the suit last week in Ventura County Superior Court saying the Conception dive boat was unseaworthy and operated in an unsafe manner.


     

  • Iran issues 'battlefield' warning as US deploys troops      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 10:59:42 -0400

    Iran issues 'battlefield' warning as US deploys troopsAny country that attacks Iran will become the "main battlefield", the Revolutionary Guards warned Saturday after Washington ordered reinforcements to the Gulf following attacks on Saudi oil installations it blames on Tehran. Tensions escalated between arch-foes Iran and the United States after last weekend's attacks on Saudi energy giant Aramco's Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oilfield halved the kingdom's oil output. Yemen's Huthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the strikes but the US says it has concluded the attacks involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounted to "an act of war".


    Iran issues 'battlefield' warning as US deploys troopsAny country that attacks Iran will become the "main battlefield", the Revolutionary Guards warned Saturday after Washington ordered reinforcements to the Gulf following attacks on Saudi oil installations it blames on Tehran. Tensions escalated between arch-foes Iran and the United States after last weekend's attacks on Saudi energy giant Aramco's Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oilfield halved the kingdom's oil output. Yemen's Huthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the strikes but the US says it has concluded the attacks involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounted to "an act of war".


     

  • Nikki Haley moves back to S.C., fuels political speculation      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:17:47 -0400

    Nikki Haley moves back to S.C., fuels political speculationNikki Haley, the former U.N. ambassador, will be moving back to her native South Carolina. It's a move that is fueling speculation that she could be returning to politics.


    Nikki Haley moves back to S.C., fuels political speculationNikki Haley, the former U.N. ambassador, will be moving back to her native South Carolina. It's a move that is fueling speculation that she could be returning to politics.


     

  • Giuliani Admits He Asked Ukraine About Biden Seconds After Denying He Did in Insane CNN Interview      Thu, 19 Sep 2019 23:42:29 -0400

    Giuliani Admits He Asked Ukraine About Biden Seconds After Denying He Did in Insane CNN InterviewShortly after numerous outlets reported on Thursday night that the intelligence community’s whistleblower complaint about President Donald Trump involves Ukraine, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani showed up on CNN for a largely incomprehensible interview that featured the former New York City mayor repeatedly contradicting himself while he tossed out personal insults at anchor Chris Cuomo.Giuliani, who has long been lobbying Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 elections, immediately began arguing with Cuomo over the merits of a Ukrainian investigation into Biden and his son Hunter. (Back in May, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said there was no evidence that Biden or his son broke the law.)After the CNN host noted that Giuliani was obviously doing this for political purposes to serve his client—Democratic lawmakers are currently probing Giuliani’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden—Giuliani flip-flopped on his position within 30 seconds.“You’re saying that’s what Biden said to the Ukraine,” Cuomo responded to Giuliani’s claim that then-Vice President Biden bribed the Ukrainian president to squash an investigation into Hunter. “Did you ask the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?”“No, actually I didn’t,” Giuliani answered. “I asked Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton.”“You never asked anything about Hunter Biden, you never asked anything about Joe Biden to the prosecutor?” Cuomo asked, prompting Giuliani to assert that he had only asked why the case into Hunter’s company was dismissed.“So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden,” Cuomo shot back.“Of course I did,” Giuliani exclaimed, causing a befuddled Cuomo to shout: “You just said you didn’t!”The rest of the 30-minute marathon went pretty much down this road. Giuliani, performing for an audience of one, used much of his time to take pointed personal shots at Cuomo, calling him a “sellout” while constantly evading the anchor’s questions.Despite repeatedly telling Giuliani they were getting nowhere in the segment and expressing his frustration over the former mayor’s tactics, Cuomo allowed the interview to go on and on and on. Even when they were supposedly wrapping it up, the two continued to go at each other for what seemed an eternity.“You are not fair and impartial,” Giuliani seethed after telling Cuomo he’d never give him documents that prove his allegations against Biden because the CNN host is “the enemy.”“You are totally biased and your network is a creature of a Democratic National Committee,” Giuliani added.“I’m embarrassed,” Cuomo responded. “I’m embarrassed for you. Have a good night.”Shortly after his battle with Cuomo and another (much friendlier) interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham, Giuliani took to Twitter to essentially admit that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden.“A President telling a Pres-elect of a well known corrupt country he better investigate corruption that affects US is doing his job,” he tweeted. “Maybe if Obama did that the Biden Family wouldn’t have bilked millions from Ukraine and billions from China; being covered up by a Corrupt Media.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


    Giuliani Admits He Asked Ukraine About Biden Seconds After Denying He Did in Insane CNN InterviewShortly after numerous outlets reported on Thursday night that the intelligence community’s whistleblower complaint about President Donald Trump involves Ukraine, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani showed up on CNN for a largely incomprehensible interview that featured the former New York City mayor repeatedly contradicting himself while he tossed out personal insults at anchor Chris Cuomo.Giuliani, who has long been lobbying Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 elections, immediately began arguing with Cuomo over the merits of a Ukrainian investigation into Biden and his son Hunter. (Back in May, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said there was no evidence that Biden or his son broke the law.)After the CNN host noted that Giuliani was obviously doing this for political purposes to serve his client—Democratic lawmakers are currently probing Giuliani’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden—Giuliani flip-flopped on his position within 30 seconds.“You’re saying that’s what Biden said to the Ukraine,” Cuomo responded to Giuliani’s claim that then-Vice President Biden bribed the Ukrainian president to squash an investigation into Hunter. “Did you ask the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?”“No, actually I didn’t,” Giuliani answered. “I asked Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton.”“You never asked anything about Hunter Biden, you never asked anything about Joe Biden to the prosecutor?” Cuomo asked, prompting Giuliani to assert that he had only asked why the case into Hunter’s company was dismissed.“So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden,” Cuomo shot back.“Of course I did,” Giuliani exclaimed, causing a befuddled Cuomo to shout: “You just said you didn’t!”The rest of the 30-minute marathon went pretty much down this road. Giuliani, performing for an audience of one, used much of his time to take pointed personal shots at Cuomo, calling him a “sellout” while constantly evading the anchor’s questions.Despite repeatedly telling Giuliani they were getting nowhere in the segment and expressing his frustration over the former mayor’s tactics, Cuomo allowed the interview to go on and on and on. Even when they were supposedly wrapping it up, the two continued to go at each other for what seemed an eternity.“You are not fair and impartial,” Giuliani seethed after telling Cuomo he’d never give him documents that prove his allegations against Biden because the CNN host is “the enemy.”“You are totally biased and your network is a creature of a Democratic National Committee,” Giuliani added.“I’m embarrassed,” Cuomo responded. “I’m embarrassed for you. Have a good night.”Shortly after his battle with Cuomo and another (much friendlier) interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham, Giuliani took to Twitter to essentially admit that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden.“A President telling a Pres-elect of a well known corrupt country he better investigate corruption that affects US is doing his job,” he tweeted. “Maybe if Obama did that the Biden Family wouldn’t have bilked millions from Ukraine and billions from China; being covered up by a Corrupt Media.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


     

  • The Best Pocket Knives to Keep on You Every Day      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:35:00 -0400

    The Best Pocket Knives to Keep on You Every Day


    The Best Pocket Knives to Keep on You Every Day


     

  • Parachutists jump over Dutch heath to mark WWII operation      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 09:16:43 -0400

    Parachutists jump over Dutch heath to mark WWII operationParachutes glowing gold and white against clear blue skies, hundreds of paratroopers floated to the ground in the eastern Netherlands on Saturday to mark the 75th anniversary of a daring but ultimately unsuccessful mission that Allied commanders hoped would bring a swift end to World War II. Operation Market Garden dropped nearly 35,000 paratroopers deep behind enemy lines in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. After landing, the troops were to capture and secure key roads and bridges so Allied forces massed in Belgium could pour into Germany's industrial heartland.


    Parachutists jump over Dutch heath to mark WWII operationParachutes glowing gold and white against clear blue skies, hundreds of paratroopers floated to the ground in the eastern Netherlands on Saturday to mark the 75th anniversary of a daring but ultimately unsuccessful mission that Allied commanders hoped would bring a swift end to World War II. Operation Market Garden dropped nearly 35,000 paratroopers deep behind enemy lines in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. After landing, the troops were to capture and secure key roads and bridges so Allied forces massed in Belgium could pour into Germany's industrial heartland.


     

  • India Has Reason To Fear China's Submarines In The Indian Ocean      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 03:30:00 -0400

    India Has Reason To Fear China's Submarines In The Indian OceanWhat could happen?


    India Has Reason To Fear China's Submarines In The Indian OceanWhat could happen?


     

  • Hong Kong diners offered protest-inspired 'eyeball' mocktails and 'tear gas' eggs      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 04:03:18 -0400

    Hong Kong diners offered protest-inspired 'eyeball' mocktails and 'tear gas' eggsPro-democracy protests that have roiled Hong Kong for more than three months are providing culinary inspiration for a restaurant that offers a themed menu with spicy wasabi-spiked "tear gas" eggs and a drink shaped like a bloodied eyeball. The drink, which refers to a gruesome injury suffered by a medic, is on offer along with an "Eye for an Eye" mocktail, featuring a round rubbery longan fruit punctured by strawberry syrup, at the Chinese-ruled city's Spicy Andong restaurant. Owner Roy Ma said he was spurred to create the menu, which also offers "beating raw pork", a take-off on accusations of police brutality against protesters, after violent clashes at the end of August.


    Hong Kong diners offered protest-inspired 'eyeball' mocktails and 'tear gas' eggsPro-democracy protests that have roiled Hong Kong for more than three months are providing culinary inspiration for a restaurant that offers a themed menu with spicy wasabi-spiked "tear gas" eggs and a drink shaped like a bloodied eyeball. The drink, which refers to a gruesome injury suffered by a medic, is on offer along with an "Eye for an Eye" mocktail, featuring a round rubbery longan fruit punctured by strawberry syrup, at the Chinese-ruled city's Spicy Andong restaurant. Owner Roy Ma said he was spurred to create the menu, which also offers "beating raw pork", a take-off on accusations of police brutality against protesters, after violent clashes at the end of August.


     

  • Youth leaders at UN demand bold climate change action      Sat, 21 Sep 2019 13:23:23 -0400

    Youth leaders at UN demand bold climate change actionFresh off the climate strike that took hundreds of thousands of young people out of classrooms and into the streets globally, youth leaders gathered at the United Nations Saturday to demand radical moves to fight climate change. "We showed that we are united and that we, young people, are unstoppable," Swedish 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, who started the climate strike movement with her lone protest in front of her country's parliament about a year and a half ago. More than 700 mostly young activists attended the first of its kind Youth Climate Summit, according to Luis Alfonso de Alba, the U.N. special climate summit envoy.


    Youth leaders at UN demand bold climate change actionFresh off the climate strike that took hundreds of thousands of young people out of classrooms and into the streets globally, youth leaders gathered at the United Nations Saturday to demand radical moves to fight climate change. "We showed that we are united and that we, young people, are unstoppable," Swedish 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, who started the climate strike movement with her lone protest in front of her country's parliament about a year and a half ago. More than 700 mostly young activists attended the first of its kind Youth Climate Summit, according to Luis Alfonso de Alba, the U.N. special climate summit envoy.


     

  • Meghan Markle's stylish Stuart Weitzman boots are almost 70 percent off -- and they're perfect for fall!      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:19:22 -0400

    Meghan Markle's stylish Stuart Weitzman boots are almost 70 percent off -- and they're perfect for fall!The duchess is known for a few signature looks when it comes to her royal style: a messy bun, a sleek pantsuit and her affinity for Stuart Weitzman heels. 


    Meghan Markle's stylish Stuart Weitzman boots are almost 70 percent off -- and they're perfect for fall!The duchess is known for a few signature looks when it comes to her royal style: a messy bun, a sleek pantsuit and her affinity for Stuart Weitzman heels. 


     

  • India police arrest former minister after rape claim      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 07:31:13 -0400

    India police arrest former minister after rape claimIndian police Friday arrested a former minister from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman. Swami Chinmayanand, 73, a former internal affairs minister, is the second senior member of the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party to face sex charges in recent months. Chinmayanand runs several educational and welfare institutions in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and the victim was a student at one of his colleges, according to media reports.


    India police arrest former minister after rape claimIndian police Friday arrested a former minister from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman. Swami Chinmayanand, 73, a former internal affairs minister, is the second senior member of the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party to face sex charges in recent months. Chinmayanand runs several educational and welfare institutions in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and the victim was a student at one of his colleges, according to media reports.


     

  • After Iran bombs Saudi oil infrastructure, should the United States retaliate?      Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:16:19 -0400

    After Iran bombs Saudi oil infrastructure, should the United States retaliate?Iran's attack reveals weakness. Trump can do nothing and wait for sanctions to continue crushing the mullahs' regime.


    After Iran bombs Saudi oil infrastructure, should the United States retaliate?Iran's attack reveals weakness. Trump can do nothing and wait for sanctions to continue crushing the mullahs' regime.


     



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