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  • Ocasio-Cortez throws her support to Bernie Sanders

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    At a rally Saturday in Queens, N.Y., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made her endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders for president official.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:57:07 -0400
  • Bulletproof memorial to Mississippi civil rights icon Emmett Till replaces vandalized sign

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    A new, 500-pound reinforced steel memorial honoring slain civil rights icon Emmett Till was dedicated in Mississippi. Past signs were vandalized.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 12:44:54 -0400
  • Rudy Giuliani reportedly tried to get a visa for a former Ukrainian prosecutor ousted with the help of Joe Biden

    President Trump's personal lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani reportedly attempted to secure a visa for former Ukraine prosecutor Viktor Shokin, CNN reported Friday.George Kent, the deputy assistant of state for European and Eurasian affairs, reportedly told congressional investigators that Giuliani asked both the State Department and the White House for a visa, two people familiar with his closed-door deposition earlier this week said. The State Department reportedly objected to the request and refused to grant the visa, which led Giuliani to seek help from the White House. It's unclear what the response was there, but Shokin never did receive a visa. CNN notes that the revelation appears to reveal that Giuliani's attempts to gather information about Democrats went further than previously understood.Shokin was pushed out of his position in 2016 when several world leaders, including former Vice President Joe Biden, voiced concerns that Shokin was not pursuing corruption cases in Ukraine. Giuliani has previously said he wanted to interview Shokin because he promised to reveal information about Democrats' actions in Ukraine. Giuliani has alleged that Biden was trying to stop investigations to protect his son, Hunter, who was sitting on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at the time, though there is no evidence of wrongdoing on either of the Bidens' part. Read more at CNN and NBC News.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 11:09:39 -0400
  • 70,000 California wildfire victims may miss out on payments

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    As many as 100,000 Californians are eligible to receive payments for the damages they suffered from a series of devastating wildfires over the last several years. Concerned that as many as 70,000 victims may miss out on payments, attorneys filed court papers Friday to alert the bankruptcy judge that wildfire survivors — many still traumatized and struggling to get back on their feet — aren't aware of their rights to file a claim. "People really are overwhelmed and don't understand what they need to do," said Cecily Dumas, an attorney for the Official Committee of Tort Claimants, a group appointed by the court to represent all wildfire victims in the bankruptcy.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 13:09:01 -0400
  • Trump calls Mexico's president to express 'solidarity'

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    Mexico's president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said on Saturday that President Trump called him to express his "solidarity" following an attempt to arrest a drug kingpin's son that prompted a wave of violence in the city of Culiacan.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 16:42:58 -0400
  • US troops leave northern Syria for Iraq despite Trump's claims they are returning 'home'

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    US forces began withdrawing from their largest base in northern Syria on Sunday after the Pentagon chief confirmed that nearly 1,000 troops would be relocated to “help defend Iraq” against Isil’s re-emergence. As President Donald Trump claimed that he was "bringing soldiers home", he was contradicted by his defence secretary, Mark Esper, who said the troops were instead headed for Syria's neighbour to join an existing US force of 5,000.  “The current game plan is for those forces to re-position into western Iraq,” Mr Esper said late on Saturday, not ruling out that they would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. The timeframe for the transfer to be completed was "weeks, not days,” he added.  By Sunday afternoon, the relocation had begun, with a first convoy of more than 70 US armoured vehicles escorted by helicopters rumbling out of the Sarrin base in northern Syria and past the town of Tal Tamr. The withdrawal brings to a close America’s military presence in northern Syria and effectively abandons its ally, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, to Turkish firepower. Ankara began its cross-border attack on October 9 with the goal of pushing back Kurdish YPG fighters from its border and establishing a Turkish-controlled zone to which it could eventually return Syrian refugees. The operation unleashed chaos across a part of Syria that has long been relatively stable. As the SDF came under pressure from the Turkish offensive, non-combat duties such as the policing of Isil detainees were set aside, enabling large-scale escapes of Isil members and families.  Running out of allies, the Kurds made a previously unthinkable deal with Damascus last week, allowing Syrian troops into areas under their control in exchange for protection from the Turkish attack. A five-day US-brokered ceasefire, announced on Thursday and only unevenly implemented, aimed to allow Kurdish forces to withdraw from a 120-km (70-mile) strip of land that runs along the Turkish border. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to restart the offensive if Kurdish fighters fail to pull out. A sticking point has been the besieged border town of Ras al-Ain, held by the Kurds but located in the middle of a future Turkish-controlled border zone. On Sunday, however, the Turkish defence ministry said that the SDF forces there had withdrawn, a move also confirmed by the Kurdish group.  In other parts of northern Syria, fighting continued as Turkish warplanes and a motley crew of Turkish-backed troops worked to oust Kurds from long-held positions along the Turkey-Syria border. Both sides have accused the other of violating the ceasefire, and yesterday Turkey's defence ministry alleged that one of its soldiers had been killed by Kurdish forces in the Tal Abyad border area. The dynamics of the conflict’s latest permutation are complex, with the US brokering a ceasefire between its NATO ally and former proxy even as it rolled out of the battlefield to continue the same fight from another front. The Turkish defence ministry asserted on Sunday that "there are absolutely no impediments to the withdrawal" of Kurdish forces and that "the activities of exiting and evacuation from the region are firmly coordinated with the US counterparts". But Mr Trump’s focus appears to be less on the ceasefire and more on the withdrawal of US troops from Syria and the limiting of America’s role there. After saying last week it was "time to bring our soldiers back home", he continued to claim they were returning to the United States despite being contradicted by Mr Esper.  On Sunday, Mr Trump referred to his defence secretary on Twitter as "Mark Esperanto” and added that “USA soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the Oil. Bringing soldiers home!" The president’s bizarre comment followed a high-level visit to Jordan led by Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic US House speaker, for discussions on the "deepening crisis" in Syria.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 15:08:50 -0400
  • Let jihadists return home, French anti-terror magistrate urges

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    The refusal of the French government to take back Islamic State fighters from Syria could fuel a new jihadist recruitment drive in France, threatening public safety, a leading anti-terrorism investigator has told AFP. David De Pas, coordinator of France's 12 anti-terrorism examining magistrates, said that it would be "better to know that these people are in the care of the judiciary" in France "than let them roam free". Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militia in northeast Syria has sparked fears that some of the 12,000 jihadists, including thousands of foreigners, being held in Syrian Kurdish prisons could escape.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 07:39:02 -0400
  • Hong Kong police and protesters exchange tear gas and petrol bombs

    Hong Kong police fired tear gas at protesters throwing petrol bombs on Sunday as thousands staged an illegal march through the Kowloon district that will test the strength of the pro-democracy campaign after four months of unrest. Police inside the Tsim Sha Tsui police station fired volleys of tear gas and used a loudspeaker to called on protesters in the street below to disperse. Hardcore black-clad protesters threw petrol bombs at the station's iron gate and inside the compound.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 04:07:58 -0400
  • Malaysia Fears Becoming Sanctions Target in Trade War Crossfire

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    (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia may become a target of sanctions as the export-reliant economy is caught in the crossfire of the U.S.-China trade war, according to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.Mahathir said trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies could evolve into another Cold war, although he didn’t specify who could impose the curbs.“Economically we are linked to both markets, and physically we are also caught in between for geographical reasons,” Mahathir said in Kuala Lumpur. “There are even suggestions that we ourselves would be a target for sanctions.”He said Malaysia will prepare for the worst by cooperating with regional neighbors, but didn’t elaborate.Neighboring Vietnam has already drawn the U.S. government’s ire, with President Donald Trump describing the Southeast Asian nation as “almost the single worst abuser of everybody” when asked if he wanted to impose tariffs on the nation.Malaysia was placed on the U.S. Treasury watch list for currency manipulation in May for its bilateral trade and current-account surplus. The central bank has denied the nation manipulates its currency and said it supports free and fair trade.To contact the reporter on this story: Anisah Shukry in Kuala Lumpur at ashukry2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Yudith Ho at yho35@bloomberg.net, Liau Y-SingFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 22:39:29 -0400
  • Why Did 3 U.S. Navy Submarines Surface In The Pacific In 2010? China.

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    Submarines are useful for signaling intent.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 06:00:00 -0400
  • At a School for Suicide Bombers' Children, Dancing, Drawing and Deradicalization

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    MEDAN, Indonesia -- Ais likes to dance. She knows the words to "I'm a Little Teapot." Her dimples are disarming.Her parents didn't want their daughter to dance. They didn't want her to sing. They wanted her to die with them for their cause.Last year, when she was 7, Ais squeezed onto a motorcycle with her mother and brother. They carried a packet that Ais refers to as coconut rice wrapped in banana leaves. Her father and other brother climbed onto a different bike with another parcel. They sped toward a police station in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, a place of mixed faith.The parcels were bombs, and they were set off at the gate to the police station. Catapulted off the motorcycle by the force of the explosion, Ais rose from the pavement like a ghost, her pale head-to-toe garment fluttering in the chaos. Every other member of her family died. No bystanders were killed. The Islamic State militant group, halfway across the world, claimed responsibility for the attack.Ais, who is being identified by her nickname (pronounced ah-iss) to protect her privacy, is now part of a deradicalization program for children run by the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs. In a leafy compound in the capital, Jakarta, she bops to Taylor Swift, reads the Quran and plays games of trust.Her schoolmates include children of other suicide bombers, and of people who were intent on joining the Islamic State in Syria.Efforts by Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population, to purge its society of religiously inspired extremism are being watched keenly by the international counterterrorism community. While the vast majority of Indonesians embrace a moderate form of Islam, a series of suicide attacks have struck the nation, including, in 2016, the first in the region claimed by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.Now, with hundreds of Islamic State families trying to escape detention camps in Syria amid Turkish incursions into Kurdish-held territory, the effort has taken on more urgency. The fear is that the Islamic State's violent ideology will not only renew itself in the Middle East, but may also metastasize thousands of miles away in Indonesia.There are signs that it is already happening.Last week, a man whom the police linked to ISIS wounded the Indonesian security minister, Wiranto, in a stabbing. Since then, at least 36 suspected militants who were plotting bombings and other attacks have been arrested in a counterterrorism crackdown, the police said this week.Hundreds of Indonesians went to Syria to fight for ISIS. In May, the police arrested seven men who had returned from the country and who, the police say, were part of a plot to use Wi-Fi to detonate explosive devices.The risks, however, are not limited to those who have come back. Indonesians who never left the region are being influenced by the Islamic State from afar.In January, an Indonesian couple who had tried but failed to reach Syria blew themselves up at a Roman Catholic cathedral in the southern Philippines. More than 20 were killed in the attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State.In Indonesia, there are thousands of vulnerable children who have been indoctrinated by their extremist parents, according to Khairul Ghazali, who served nearly five years in prison for terrorism-related crimes. He said he came to renounce violence in jail and now runs an Islamic school in the city of Medan, on the island of Sumatra, that draws on his own experience as a former extremist to deradicalize militants' children."We teach them that Islam is a peaceful religion and that jihad is about building not destroying," Khairul said. "I am a model for the children because I understand where they come from. I know what it is like to suffer. Because I was deradicalized, I know it can be done."Despite the scale of the country's problem, only about 100 children have attended formal deradicalization programs in Indonesia, Khairul said. His madrassa, the only one in Indonesia to receive significant government support for deradicalization work, can teach just 25 militant-linked children at a time, and only through middle school.Government follow-up is minimal. "The children are not tracked and monitored when they leave," said Alto Labetubun, an Indonesian terrorism analyst.The risks of extremist ideology being passed from one generation to the next are well-documented, and a number of Indonesians linked to the Islamic State are the offspring of militants.The son of Imam Samudra, one of the masterminds of the 2002 bombing on the island of Bali that killed 202 people, was 12 when his father was executed in 2008. He joined the Islamic State and died in Syria at 19.Khairul, whose father and uncles were members of a militant organization, said he understood the pull of family obligation. He was sent to prison in 2011 for armed robbery and for planning an attack on a police station. Before his conviction, Khairul taught four of his 10 children to fire weapons."Deradicalizing my own children was very difficult," he said. "My wife and my children looked at me very strangely when I got out of prison because I had changed."Some of the children under Khairul's care were taught to assemble bombs by family members. The parents of about half the students were killed in armed conflict with the Indonesian counterterrorism police."It's natural for the children to want revenge for their parents' deaths," he said. "They were taught to hate the Indonesian state because it is against the caliphate."When Indonesia achieved independence in 1945, religious diversity was enshrined in the constitution. About 87% of Indonesia's 270 million people are Muslims, 10% are Christian, and there are adherents of many other faiths in the country.A tiny fraction of the Muslim majority has agitated violently for a caliphate that would arc across Muslim-dominated parts of Southeast Asia. The latest incarnation of such militant groups is Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, considered the Indonesian affiliate of the Islamic State.The parents of Ais, who is now 8, were members of a Jamaah Ansharut Daulah cell. Each week, they would pray with other families who had rejected Surabaya's spiritual diversity.The day before Ais and her family rode up to the police station in May 2018, another family -- mother, father, two sons and two daughters -- made their way to three churches in Surabaya and detonated their explosives. Fifteen bystanders were killed. The militant family was extinguished entirely, including the two girls, who went to school with Ais.Hours later, members of two other families in the prayer group also died, either from shootouts with the police or when explosives hidden in their apartment detonated. The six children who survived the carnage are now in the Jakarta program with Ais.When they first arrived from Surabaya, the children shrank from music and refrained from drawing images of living things because they believed it conflicted with Islam, social workers said. They were horrified by dancing and by a Christian social worker who didn't wear a head scarf.In Surabaya, the children had been forced to watch hours of militant videos every day. One of the boys, now 11, knew how to make a bomb."Jihad, martyrdom, war, suicide, those were their goals," said Sri Wahyuni, one of the social workers taking care of the Surabaya children.On a recent weekday, however, the children shimmied their way through team-building exercises. During Arabic class, they squirmed. They drew the human figure they had once considered taboo.But their religious practice remains important. Although it is not required, all seven still fast two days a week to demonstrate commitment to their faith."We don't want to challenge their religion by stopping them," said Ahmad Zainal Mutaqin, a social worker who also teaches religion classes. "Indonesians respect their elders, and we don't want them to think their parents were evil."Some day soon, these children of suicide bombers will have to leave the government program in which they have been enrolled for 15 months. It's not clear where they will go, although the ministry is searching for a suitable Islamic boarding school for them.The children of those who tried to reach Syria to fight get even less time at the deradicalization center -- only a month or two. Some then end up in the juvenile detention system, where they re-encounter extremist ideology, counterterrorism experts said."We spend all this time working with them, but if they go back to where they came from, radicalism can enter their hearts very quickly," said Sri Musfiah, a senior social worker. "It makes me worried."Irfan Idris, the director of deradicalization for Indonesia's National Agency for Combating Terrorism, acknowledged that threat, saying there "is not a guarantee" that the minors who have been funneled through government care pose no threat.Most children of the 1,000 or so people who have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in Indonesia don't even have the chance to go through this effort at education and moderation. The government runs the one program in Jakarta and provides support for Khairul's madrassa."The solution is a very expensive, long-term mentoring program such as takes place with some of the white power youths in Europe, involving schools, social psychologists and attention to families," said Sidney Jones, the director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta and an authority on Islamic militancy in Southeast Asia.But the political commitment to such an extensive effort is lacking in Indonesia.Alto, the terrorism analyst, said that even the nascent efforts underway in Indonesia might only be camouflaging the problem."Although it seems that they are obedient, it's a survival mechanism," he said of the students undergoing deradicalization. "If you were taken prisoner, you will do and follow what the captor told you to do so that you will get food, water, cigarettes, phone calls."But, he added, "you know that one day you will come out."At the madrassa in Medan, which preaches the dangers of radicalism within a conservative approach to Islam, a row of boys sat on the veranda of a mosque and expounded on their worldview. Dan, 12, agreed with classmates that Indonesia should be an Islamic state.What of the churches interspersed with the mosques in Medan? Dan, who is also being identified by a nickname to protect his privacy, giggled.His hands mimicked the shock of an explosion, and he formed a word."Bomb," he said. His laughter stopped.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 10:41:06 -0400
  • How Buttigieg's 'beta city' approach as mayor highlights his differences with Biden, Warren and Sanders

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    Pete Buttigieg says the "beta city" approach he took in South Bend shows why he'd take a different approach to the White House compared with the top contenders.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 08:54:04 -0400
  • South Korean prosecutors seek arrest of ex-minister's wife

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    Prosecutors said Monday they are seeking to arrest the wife of South Korea's former justice minister, who resigned last week amid allegations of financial crimes and academic fraud surrounding his family that sparked huge protests and dented the popularity of President Moon Jae-in. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said it requested an arrest warrant for Chung Kyung-shim over her suspected involvement in dubious private equity investments, attempts to destroy evidence, and creating fake credentials to help her daughter get into medical school.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 23:37:29 -0400
  • Atomwaffen Division’s Washington State Cell Leader Stripped of Arsenal in U.S., Banned from Canada

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    Police HandoutKaleb James Cole, the 24-year-old leader of Atomwaffen Division's Washington State Cell stripped of his firearms by a “red-flag law” late last month, was deported and banned for life from Canada earlier this year, according to court records, which also showed that he had been previously interrogated by American border agents about his extremist views.Cole, a National Socialist black metal enthusiast who goes by the alias “Khimaere,” was first identified as a member of Atomwaffen Division in a 2018 ProPublica investigation. He played a key role in organizing “hate camp” trainings for the group's members at an abandoned building known as “Devil's Tower” in Skagit, Washington, and in Nevada's Death Valley. Cole also helped craft the group’s eye-catching propaganda.Atomwaffen Division is an underground neo-Nazi guerrilla organization which had 23 chapters throughout the United States as of mid-2018. Since its inception in 2015, Atomwaffen members have been implicated in five homicides and several bomb plots, and are the subject of an intensifying national investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It makes common cause with other militant fascist groups like the Base and Sonnenkrieg Division in the United Kingdom, where authorities have charged a number of members with terrorism-related offenses.As The Daily Beast reported, the Seattle Police Department obtained an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” against Cole on September 26 to confiscate his concealed carry firearms permit and any firearms he owned for at least a year. That same day, SPD seized five rifles, a shotgun, three semiautomatic handguns and four lower receivers (the firing mechanism of a rifle that can be used to craft untraceable ‘ghost guns’) from Cole's father's house outside Arlington, in Washington State's Snohomish County.According to court records, none of the guns or the lower receivers seized from Cole were registered in Washington State's licensed firearms database.“Law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about the respondent's access to firearms and his involvement in the Atomwaffen Division, a known terrorist group,” Seattle Police Sergeant Dorothy Kim wrote in a petition for an Extreme Risk Protection Order. As further evidence, Sgt. Kim cited Atomwaffen Division propaganda calling for “Race War Now,” and the group's adherence to “acceleration theory,” which urges actions that undermine the existing social order to “exacerbate the feeling of alienation among white supremacists and a greater impulse to engage in violence or destructive behavior.”Cole's “words, actions and behavior suggest he has taken additional steps towards a plan with his ideologically motivated violence. Specifically, the coordinated camps with firearms training, overseas travel with Atomwaffen paraphernalia-flags/skull masks, threats to kill (gas the Kikes) and the possession of firearms, suggest an imminent risk to public safety if Cole is permitted to continue to purchase or possess firearms,” Sergeant Kim wrote.The request to seize Cole's guns was reportedly made to Seattle Police by the FBI, which did not have enough information to file criminal charges but believed Cole posed a serious threat to public safety.Multiple law enforcement sources told The Daily Beast that Cole had been the target of an FBI investigation following his February 2018 identification by ProPublica. However, law enforcement made no contact with him until December 28, 2018, when Cole landed in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on a flight from London. Customs and Border Protection pulled Cole aside for secondary screening. Records of that interview were included by the Seattle Police Department in their emergency risk petition last month.During the interview, Cole told CBP agents he had traveled to the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine with two friends from Washington State, Aidan Bruce-Umbaugh and Edie Allison Moore. The trip, Cole said, was to “see the historic architecture and museums in Eastern European countries.” The three also attended a heavy metal festival while in Kyiv. The 2018 edition of Asgardsrei, a festival several National Socialist black metal bands have played in the past, was held in Kyiv from December 15-16 last year. Photographs from the concert posted to social media show an Atomwaffen Division flag brandished by individuals in the crowd. According to information obtained by The Daily Beast, Aidan Bruce-Umbaugh is a member of the Washington State cell of Atomwaffen Division, and goes by the moniker “Nythra.” The drummer for Kaleb Cole's old metal band, Operblut, is listed as “Nythra” on music websites. In the CBP interview, Cole told federal agents he and Bruce-Umbaugh had been friends since grade school.Border agents searched Cole's luggage, and found a skull mask balaclava and an Atomwaffen Division flag inside his bag. When questioned about press reports tying him to Atomwaffen Division, Cole admitted to his involvement with the group and stated that he “shares a Fascist ideology, 'strong dominate the weak'.” He also admitted he owned an AK-47 and multiple handguns “for his own protection.”Cole's phone was also searched by border agents, who downloaded several images from the device. Amongst them are a photograph of Cole and another man wearing skull mask balaclavas in front of the gates of Auschwitz, the death camp where the Nazis murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews. Images of him posing with other Atomwaffen members, firearms, and the group's flag were also recovered from Cole's phone.According to multiple sources close to law enforcement, Cole previously attracted the interest of Canadian authorities by frequently driving across the border to British Columbia, sometimes several times a week. In late May, Cole was detained by the Canadian Border Service Agency because of press reports linking him to Atomwaffen Division, as well as “his overseas travel to Ukraine,” where several right-wing extremists have traveled to fight with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion against Russia-backed separatists.According to court records, he was held by Canadian authorities and placed into deportation proceedings due to his involvement in “an organization that may engage in terrorism,” per Section 34 [1][F] of the Canadian Immigration Code. According to records prepared by the Seattle Police Department, Cole was deported in July and “barred from Canada for life.”The Canadian Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police both declined to comment on Cole's deportation, the Atomwaffen Division or its affiliated organizations in Canada, citing the restrictions of Canada’s Privacy Act. Earlier this year, Patrik Mathews, a master corporal in the Canadian Military Reserve went AWOL after being identified as a recruiter for the Base. Mathews—who reportedly came to the attention of multiple Canadian security agencies because racist material was previously found by the Canadian Border Services Agency in his car while crossing the border with the United States—is still at large.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.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:13:50 -0400
  • Hillary Clinton claims Tulsi Gabbard is being 'groomed' by Russia

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    Hillary Clinton has claimed a Democrat presidential candidate is being "groomed" by the Kremlin to run as an independent in 2020. In an astonishing attack on Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, Mrs Clinton suggested Russia would use her to damage the Democrats' chances of taking the White House. Ms Gabbard, 38, responded by calling Mrs Clinton the "queen of warmongers" and the cause of "rot" in the Democrat party. The bitter row began when Mrs Clinton was being interviewed about the prospect of Russian interference in the upcoming election. She said: "I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary, and they’re grooming her to be the third-party candidate. "She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far." Tulsi Gabbard called Hillary Clinton the "queen of warmongers" Credit: AFP Mrs Clinton did not mention Ms Gabbard by name, but a spokesman later confirmed she had been referring to Ms Gabbard. The spokesman said: "This is not some outlandish claim, this is reality." Ms Gabbard is a military veteran who served in Iraq. She caused controversy after revealing that she had met with Bashar al-Assad on a fact-finding trip to Syria. Responding to Mrs Clinton's allegations she said: "Thank you Hillary Clinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain." She accused Mrs Clinton of being behind a concerted campaign to derail her candidacy. Ms Gabbard added: "It was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose." The congresswoman urged Mrs Clinton to run again in 2020. She said: "Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly." During the latest televised Democrat debate in Ohio this week Ms Gabbard condemned suggestions of Russian support for her. She said: "This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia. Completely despicable." Mrs Clinton also accused Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential nominee in 2016, of being a "Russian asset". In 2016 Ms Stein received about one per cent of the vote but some Democrats claim that helped Donald Trump win several key states. Ms Stein denied Mrs Clinton's accusations and accused her of "peddling conspiracy theories to justify her failure, instead of reflecting on real reasons the Democrats lost in 2016."

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 13:26:59 -0400
  • Thousands protest against Haiti's president

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    "Jovenel is incapable and incompetent, he must pack his bags because Haiti must live," said one of the protesters, Jean Ronald. Anger mounted in late August due to a national fuel shortage, and protests turned violent.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 20:44:32 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Bangladesh to move Rohingya to flood-prone island next month

    Bangladesh will start relocating Rohingya Muslims to a flood-prone island off its coast next month as several thousand refugees have agreed to move, a government official said on Sunday. Dhaka wants to move 100,000 refugees to Bhasan Char – a Bay of Bengal island hours by boat from the mainland – to ease overcrowding in its camps at Cox’s Bazar, home to more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims who have fled neighbouring Myanmar. "We want to start relocation by early next month," Mahbub Alam Talukder, the Relief and Repatriation Commission chief based in Cox’s Bazar, told Reuters, adding that "the refugees will be shifted in phases".

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 09:08:33 -0400
  • 7 Things To Do With Your Old Smartphone

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    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:00:00 -0400
  • The U.S. Army And Marines Have a Plan To Take On China and Russia's Navies

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    Dispersed attacks from land and sea.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 09:00:00 -0400
  • Boeing Pilot Complained of 'Egregious' Issue With 737 Max in 2016

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    For months, Boeing has said it had no idea that a new automated system in the 737 Max jet, which played a role in two fatal crashes, was unsafe.But on Friday, the company gave lawmakers a transcript revealing that a top pilot working on the plane had raised concerns about the system in messages to a colleague in 2016, more than two years before the Max was grounded because of the accidents, which left 346 people dead.In the messages, the pilot, Mark Forkner, who played a central role in the development of the plane, complained that the system, known as MCAS, was acting unpredictably in a flight simulator: "It's running rampant."The messages are from November 2016, months before the Max was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. "Granted, I suck at flying, but even this was egregious," he said sardonically to a colleague, according to a transcript of the exchange reviewed Friday by The New York Times.The Max crisis has consumed Boeing, and the revelation of the messages from Forkner come at a particularly sensitive time. The company's chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, is scheduled to testify before two congressional committees, on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, the first time a Boeing executive has appeared at a hearing related to the crashes. Boeing's stock lost 7% of its value Friday, adding to the financial fallout.The existence of the messages strike at Boeing's defense that it had done nothing wrong regarding the Max because regulators had cleared the plane to fly, and potentially increases the company's legal exposure as it faces civil and criminal investigations and multiple lawsuits related to both crashes. Facing competition from Airbus, Boeing worked to produce the Max as quickly as possible, striving to minimize costly training for pilots. Last week, a task force of 10 international regulators released a report that found that Boeing had not fully explained MCAS to the FAA."This is more evidence that Boeing misled pilots, government regulators and other aviation experts about the safety of the 737 Max," Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said in a statement Friday.Boeing has maintained that the Max was certified in accordance with all appropriate regulations, suggesting that there was no sign that MCAS was unsafe.That contention was central to the company's rationale in not grounding the Max after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 last October, and in waiting days to recommend grounding the plane after the second crash, of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March.It was only after data suggested that MCAS played a role in the second crash that Boeing and the FAA decided to ground the Max.Forkner was the chief technical pilot for the Max and was in charge of communicating with the FAA group that determined how pilots would be trained before flying it. He helped Boeing convince international regulators that the Max was safe to fly.In the messages, he said that during tests in 2016, the simulator showed the plane making unexpected movements through a process called trimming."The plane is trimming itself like craxy," he wrote to Patrik Gustavsson, a fellow 737 technical pilot at Boeing. "I'm like WHAT?"Forkner went on to say that he had lied to the FAA."I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)," Forkner says in the messages, although it was not clear what he was specifically referring to.Lawmakers, regulators and pilots responded with swift condemnation Friday."This is the smoking gun," Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said in an interview. "This is no longer just a regulatory failure and a culture failure. It's starting to look like criminal misconduct."Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he expected answers from Boeing's chief executive and board of directors."They must be held accountable if Boeing was deceptive or misleading in failing to report safety concerns," Blumenthal said in an interview. "What these reports indicate is that Boeing's own employees lied and concealed the truth."The FAA administrator, Stephen Dickson, sent Muilenburg a letter Friday morning demanding that the company account for why it had not provided the messages to the agency earlier."I expect your explanation immediately regarding the content of this document and Boeing's delay in disclosing the document to its safety regulator," Dickson wrote.A Boeing spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, said the company was "voluntarily cooperating" with the congressional investigation and provided the messages to lawmakers as part of that process. He noted that the company gave the messages to the Department of Justice, which is conducting a criminal investigation into Boeing, earlier this year.A Boeing spokesman said the company did not give the messages to the FAA earlier because of the ongoing criminal investigation.The Max has been grounded for more than seven months, and airlines do not expect to fly it again this year. The FAA and Boeing have repeatedly pushed back the expected date of the plane's return to service as regulators and the company uncover new problems with the plane.The crisis has already cost Boeing more than $8 billion. It has disrupted expansion plans for airlines around the world, which have had to cancel thousands of flights and lost hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.The Times, which was the first to disclose Forkner's involvement in the plane, previously reported that he had failed to tell the FAA that the original version of MCAS was being overhauled, leaving regulators with the impression that the system was relatively benign and would be used only in rare cases.Eight months before the messages were exchanged, Forkner had asked the FAA if it would be OK to remove mention of MCAS from the pilot's manual. The FAA, which at the time believed the system would activate only in rare cases and wasn't dangerous, approved Forkner's request.Another exchange, in a batch of emails among Forkner, Boeing colleagues and FAA officials, was also reviewed by The Times on Friday. In one email from November 2016, Forkner wrote that he was "jedi-mind tricking regulators into accepting the training that I got accepted by FAA."A lawyer for Forkner downplayed the importance of the messages, suggesting Forkner was talking about issues with the simulator."If you read the whole chat, it is obvious that there was no 'lie' and the simulator program was not operating properly," the lawyer, David Gerger, said in a statement. "Based on what he was told, Mark thought the plane was safe, and the simulator would be fixed."Flight simulators replicate real cockpits and are used to test planes during development. They can sometimes behave unpredictably, depending on their configuration.Forkner, who is now a pilot for Southwest Airlines, and Gustavsson did not respond to requests for comment.Boeing provided the transcript to lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Friday morning, in advance of the hearings this month at which Muilenburg will testify about the crashes for the first time. Reuters was first to report on the existence of the transcript.DeFazio, who as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is overseeing the investigation into the crashes, said he had reviewed other internal Boeing documents and emails that suggested employees were under pressure to produce planes as fast as possible and avoid additional pilot training."Boeing cannot say this is about one person," DeFazio said. "This is about a cultural failure at Boeing under pressure from Wall Street to just get this thing out there and make sure that you don't open the door to further pilot training."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 04:30:14 -0400
  • William Barr's speech on religious freedom alarms liberal Catholics

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    Prominent liberal Catholics have warned that the U.S. attorney general’s devout Catholic faith threatens the separation of church and state, after William Barr delivered a speech on religious freedom in which he warned that “militant secularists” were behind a “campaign to destroy the traditional moral order.”

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 11:05:32 -0400
  • Pelosi in Jordan for 'vital discussions' amid Syria crisis

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    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a group of American lawmakers on a surprise visit to Jordan to discuss "the deepening crisis" in Syria amid a shaky U.S.-brokered cease-fire. The visit came after bipartisan criticism in Washington has slammed President Donald Trump for his decision to withdraw the bulk of U.S. troops from northern Syria — clearing the way for Turkey's wide-ranging offensive against the Kurdish groups, who had been key U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. Turkey agreed on Thursday to suspend its offensive for five days, demanding the Kurdish forces withdraw from a designated strip of the border about 30 kilometers deep (19 miles).

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 10:21:30 -0400
  • 8 tornadoes later, Nestor's rains are helping more than hurting parched Southeast, East

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    Nestor, a once feared and fierce tropical storm, was helping more than hurting as it nudged north while spreading rain over a wide swath of the East.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 14:56:00 -0400
  • Burmese fishermen 'faint' after mistaking $20 million of floating crystal meth for natural deodorant

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    Sacks of crystal meth scooped from the sea by Burmese fishermen who mistook it for a deodorant substance had a street value of $20 million (£15.4m), an official said on Sunday, in a country believed to be the world's largest methamphetamine producer. The accidental drug haul off Burma's coastal Ayeyarwady region occurred when fishermen spotted a total of 23 sacks floating in the Andaman Sea on Wednesday. Each one contained plastic-wrapped bags labelled as Chinese green tea - packaging commonly used by Southeast Asian crime gangs to smuggle crystal meth to far-flung destinations including Japan, South Korea and Australia. Locals were mystified by the crystallised substance in the sacks, Zaw Win, a local official of the National League for Democracy party who assisted the fishermen and police, told AFP. At first, they assumed it was a natural deodorant chemical known as potassium alum, which is widely used in Burma. "So they burned it, and some of them almost fainted," he said. They informed the police, who on Thursday combed a beach and found an additional two sacks of the same substance - bringing the total to 691 kilogrammes (1,500 pounds) which would be worth about $20.2 million (£15.6m), Zaw Win said. "In my entire life and my parents' lifetime, we have never seen drugs floating in the ocean before," he said. The massive haul was sent on Sunday to Pyapon district police, who declined to comment on it. Burma's multi-billion-dollar drug industry is centred in eastern Shan state, whose poppy-covered hills are ideal cover for illicit production labs. Made-in-Burma crystal meth - better known as ice - is smuggled out of the country to more lucrative markets using routes carved out by narco gangs through Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. A study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says that Southeast Asia's crime groups are netting more than $60 billion a year - a conservative estimate, according to experts - thanks to a sophisticated smuggling and money-laundering operation. In March, Burma authorities seized more than 1,700 kilogrammes of crystal meth worth nearly $29 million, which police said at the time was their biggest drug haul this year.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 10:57:48 -0400
  • Tear gas and water cannon as Hong Kong crowds defy rally ban

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    Hong Kong police fired water cannon and tear gas Sunday as crowds held an illegal march, with hardcore protesters throwing petrol bombs and trashing businesses to cap a week of anger after recent attacks on pro-democracy demonstrators. Authorities had forbidden the rally in Tsim Sha Tsui, a densely-packed shopping district filled with luxury boutiques and hotels, citing public safety and previous violence from hardcore protesters.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 15:40:54 -0400
  • Egypt unveils biggest ancient coffin find in over a century

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    Egypt on Saturday unveiled the details of 30 ancient wooden coffins with mummies inside discovered in the southern city of Luxor in the biggest find of its kind in more than a century. A team of Egyptian archaeologists discovered a "distinctive group of 30 colored wooden coffins for men, women and children" in a cache at Al-Asasif cemetery on Luxor's west bank, the Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement on Saturday. "It is the first large human coffin cache ever discovered since the end of the 19th century," the Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany was quoted as saying during a ceremony in Luxor.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 09:08:56 -0400
  • The Latest: Mayor expects ruined hotel will be demolished

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    The mayor of New Orleans mayor says she expects a partially collapsed hotel in her city will ultimately be demolished. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a news conference Sunday that officials successfully detonated and toppled two dangerous cranes that had leaned for days over the ruins of the Hard Rock Hotel, which collapsed Oct. 12 while under construction. Three workers died in the partial hotel collapse but only one body was removed.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 20:28:24 -0400
  • Russia's Stealth Su-57 Is a Beast, But Can Russia Afford It?

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    It's pretty expensive for Russia's flagging economy.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 04:00:00 -0400
  • Kenya, Somalia Say Aid Will Keep Flowing Despite Border Dispute

    (Bloomberg) -- The finance ministers of Kenya and Somalia insist that a maritime-border dispute between the two nations won’t stop the cross-border flow of humanitarian aid and trade.The dispute about ownership of a 150,000 square-kilometer (58,000 square-mile) area off their Indian Ocean coastline has not caused any hostility between the two nations, Somalia Finance Minister Abdirahman Duale Beileh and Kenya’s acting Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani told reporters. They spoke on Saturday at a press conference during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington D.C. The maritime area in question is said to be rich in oil, gas and tuna fish. In 2014, Somalia went to court to challenge a 2009 agreement that set its maritime border along latitudinal lines extending 450 nautical miles into the sea. The United Nations International Court of Justice this week granted Kenya’s request for a postponement and the case is now scheduled for June.While Kenya has called for a negotiated settlement for the dispute, Beileh and Yatani both said their governments would abide by the ruling of court.As East Africa’s biggest economy Kenya has been a base for many organizations providing aid to Somalia, one of the world’s poorest countries, as it recovers from the aftermath of two decades of civil war. More than 250,000 Somali refugees and asylum-seekers are staying in Kenya, according to data from the UN Refugee Agency.Kenya has been giving support “in terms of managing the humanitarian crisis,” Yatani said. “We have a duty of care as a brother.”To contact the reporter on this story: Rene Vollgraaff in Johannesburg at rvollgraaff@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Benjamin Harvey at bharvey11@bloomberg.net, Sarah McGregorFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:48:50 -0400
  • The coming end of Christian America

    America is still a "Christian nation," if the term simply means a majority of the population will claim the label when a pollster calls. But, as a new Pew Research report unsparingly explains, the decline of Christianity in the United States "continues at a rapid pace." A bare 65 percent of Americans now say they're Christians, down from 78 percent as recently as 2007. The deconverted are mostly moving away from religion altogether, and the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated -- the "nones" -- have swelled from 16 to 26 percent over the same period. If this rate of change continues, the U.S. will be majority non-Christian by about 2035, with the nones representing well over one third of the population.Smaller details from the study are equally striking. Protestantism lost its narrow claim to an outright majority of Americans' souls around 2012. While older generations remain at least two-thirds Christian, millennials have an even 49-49 split of Christians vs. nones (40 percent) and those of other faiths (9 percent). Religious service attendance rates haven't dramatically declined in the last decade, but they will soon if generational trends hold.As even the strictest practitioners of laicite must concede, major religious shifts like this will have equally major political effects -- but we are in somewhat uncharted territory as to what those effects may be. In broad strokes, this decline keeps the U.S. trailing Western Europe's religious and political evolution: the end of Christianity as a default faith and a move toward left/right politics that can be roughly characterized as socialism against nationalist populism. Yet Europe can hardly provide a clear window to our future, not least because many European states have both multi-party parliamentary systems and state churches.So what, then, should we expect of an increasingly post-Christian American politics? I have a few ideas.For ChristiansIn what remains of the American church, reactions to this decline will vary. Some will see it as a positive apocalypse, which is to say a revealing of what was always true. America was never really a Christian nation. Our government and society have long made choices and embraced values that are difficult, if not impossible, to square with Christianity, so an end of any association between the two is welcome. Likewise, the proportion of Americans who actually practiced Christian faith in any meaningful, life-altering sense was always substantially lower than the proportion who would identify as Christian in a poll. What we're seeing is less mass deconversion than a belated honesty which may be an opportunity for new faithfulness, repentance, or even revival.Other Christians, especially on the political right, will respond to this shift with sadness, alarm, or outright fear. And this is not mere selfishness, mere worry over loss of political or cultural power -- though certainly that is a factor for some. But if you believe, as people of faith generally do, that your religion communicates a necessary truth about God, the universe, humanity, the purpose of life and how we should live it -- well, then a precipitous decline in that religion is an inherently horrible thing with eternal implications for millions.Still other Christians (and I count myself among them) will land somewhere in between these two views. Yet all across this spectrum of responses, I suspect, we'll see an increasing concern for religious liberty as an ever-smaller portion of the broader public has a personal stake in its preservation as a special right distinct from freedoms of speech, association, and so on.Dumping fuel on this fire are proposals from the post-religious left -- Pew's data shows religion is especially on decline among white Democrats -- like Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke's plan to revoke tax exemptions for religious institutions that don't affirm gay marriage. As O'Rourke's fellow candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg commented, "I'm not sure he understood the implications of what he was saying." That includes the panic the idea induces among traditionally religious people who are already feeling isolated, caricatured, misunderstood by their country's cultural mainstream. (For more on that panic, see this helpful explainer from Vox's Jane Coaston.)For nonesFor religiously unaffiliated Americans, the political consequences of declining Christianity feel more difficult to predict, because this group is legitimately a new phenomenon. That is not to say there has never been a mass movement away from religion in a relatively modern, Western, democratic context -- see revolutionary France, for example, or, again, most of Western Europe. But there has never been anything like this in America, and you don't have to take a big swig of the American exceptionalism Kool-Aid to concede our country is in many ways unique. Moreover, there is a substantial difference between the humdrum religious apathy or vague spirituality of a none as compared to the murderous anti-Catholicism of a French revolutionary. In fact, that lack of specific opposition is key here: Many nones aren't consciously deconverting out of atheistic fervor. They're not rebelling against Christendom but growing up entirely in its aftermath. That is what makes this situation unprecedented.This caveat aside, I'd suggest the lack of a state church (which persists in nations as irreligious as Iceland, Sweden, Scotland, and the like) in America means religious efforts to obtain or keep political power will strike the unaffiliated rather differently here. No established religion means religious political action feels less like a tiresome anachronism -- outdated and unnecessary, but nice for Grandma -- and more like a threat of theocracy. In Europe, the state church already has a certain territory staked out as part of an ancient status quo. Here, every bit of territory is up for grabs, so the fight is always on.Yet as contradictory as it may seem, I'll also suggest left-wing nones may come to find they miss the religious right when grappling with its successor. The New York Times' Ross Douthat has argued the post-religious right of which President Trump has given us a glimpse will be an ugly beast indeed. Polling shows the "churchgoers who ultimately voted for Trump over Clinton still tend to hold different views than his more secular supporters," he wrote last year, including being "less authoritarian and tribal on race and identity. ...The trend was consistent: The more often a Trump voter attended church, the less white-identitarian they appeared, the more they expressed favorable views of racial minorities, and the less they agreed with populist arguments on trade and immigration." In other words, on the right, the decline of Christianity looks to mean the rise of racism, as the communal life of active faith is replaced by darker impulses.For allFinally, for Americans of any religious affiliation or none at all, the decline of Christianity will make political communication more difficult. For centuries the Christian faith has indelibly shaped the English vocabulary -- it is no exaggeration to say the King James Bible specifically is unparalleled in its cultural influence. That's especially so with politics, which beside religion is the most common context in which we discuss the world as it is and as it should be.The ways of thinking and turns of phrase that Christendom once made normative in America will become newly strange as Christianity declines. Those of us who remain religious will have to thoroughly rethink our assumptions about other Americans' frames of reference. I am regularly reminded of this by revealing expressions of religious ignorance by my fellow journalists, the archetypal example of which is an Associated Press headline which announced, after the famous cathedral burned, that "Tourist mecca Notre Dame [is] also revered as [a] place of worship." (For the AP writers, if no one else, "mecca" is a metaphor from Islam, and Notre Dame was a place of worship for centuries before the concept of tourism emerged. I read this headline to religious friends to peals of rueful laughter.)Perhaps, whether you are among the nones or not, you think moving toward a more secular shared vocabulary is a good thing. But even if you're right, the transition will be no less challenging. In an era of social fracture, loss of common language patterns can only exacerbate our disintegration. We have always talked against each other in politics; now we are talking past each other, too. As the decline of Christianity in the United States "continues at a rapid pace," it will influence every level of our fractious project of self-governance, down to our very words.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 06:35:01 -0400
  • Mitt Romney said everyone in the Senate is 'really nice' except for Bernie Sanders, who 'just kind of scowls'

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    Romney has emerged as one of the few Republican senators willing to take a stand against Trump, but he says most people are really nice.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 20:53:18 -0400
  • Boris Johnson Furious as Parliament Refuses to Be Bounced Into Brexit Deal

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    REUTERSLONDON—Boris Johnson was left raging on Saturday as lawmakers forced the prime minister to seek yet another Brexit delay from the European Union. The extremely rare parliamentary vote taken on a Saturday did not reject Johnson’s compromise deal with the EU outright, it merely demanded more time for the deal to be examined and inserted an additional failsafe to stop Britain from slipping out of the EU without an agreed deal on Halloween.No. 10 was furious because Johnson has repeatedly promised to leave the EU by October 31, and that will now become more difficult. Brexit campaign insiders lamented the destruction of Johnson’s “head of steam,” and an end to the momentum created by his unlikely success in securing a deal from Europe. After another vote that went against Johnson last month, the prime minister is now legally mandated to write to the EU asking for an extension to January 31. The government formally asked for the extension Saturday night, but also sent a letter from Johnson arguing against the delay.EU Council President Donald Tusk said in a tweet that he had received the request. “I will now start consulting EU leaders on how to react,” he said.Johnson is expected to bring the withdrawal legislation to the floor of the House of Commons early next week, so he may only have to wait a few days to secure victory but Labour opponents—and nervous No. 10 insiders—believe that potential support for the deal may ebb away once lawmakers get the chance to fully examine the fineprint.Just two days after Johnson was back-slapping European counterparts and clasping hands with fellow leaders, his precarious grip on power was underlined once again in a vote that went against him by 322 to 306.In response, Johnson stood up and said he would refuse to “negotiate” a further extension with the EU. He stopped short of saying he would refuse to comply with the law and send the extension letter, although he reiterated his hopes that the EU would not immediately grant an extension. “I don't think they'll be attracted by delay,” he said.As lawmakers continued to debate the result, Johnson sat slumped on the frontbench shaking his head. It was a sharp contrast to his mood two days earlier. Tickled pink with the deal he had unexpectedly secured from the EU, Johnson had sought to rush back to Westminster and bounce parliament into agreeing. One of his own long-term colleagues, Sir Oliver Letwin, had other ideas. Letwin is a veteran Conservative right-winger who has been in the heart of Conservative thinking for decades. He was a member of Margaret Thatcher’s Downing Street policy unit in the 1980s and entrusted by David Cameron to write the Tory manifesto in 2010.He was kicked out of the party last month by Johnson after voting to ensure there wouldn’t be a No Deal Brexit. He exacted his revenge on Saturday by wrecking Johnson’s chance for a victorious homecoming. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 10:07:52 -0400
  • The Chicago teachers' strike shows how to go on offense against neoliberalism

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    Chicago teachers led the battle against destructive reforms seven years ago – now they’re showing all working people left behind by cuts how to fight‘Together, the coordinated strikes have put more than 30,000 workers on the picket lines – more than 1% of the city’s population.’ Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft MediaIn 2012, when Chicago teachers walked off the job in their first strike in 25 years, the cards were stacked against them, nationally and locally. Today, they’re on strike again – and on the offense against austerity.Seven years ago, Rahm Emanuel had just been elected mayor and was looking to deal the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), who he saw as a barrier to privatizing the city’s education system, a crushing defeat. That agenda was shared by both Republicans and Democrats across the country, with a barrage of attacks on teachers’ unions, devastating budget cuts to schools and charter school networks – intended to undercut public schools and do an end run around their unions – rapidly multiplying.Yet after electing a new militant leadership in 2010 that pledged to fight not just for bread-and-butter issues like higher pay but a broad agenda of “educational justice” and opposition to austerity, Chicago teachers won that strike, inspiring educators and workers of all kinds across the country – and planting the seeds of future unrest in schools across West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Oakland, Denver and elsewhere, in the teachers’ strike wave that kicked off last year.Chicago teachers are again on strike, now against the recently elected mayor, Lori Lightfoot. As in 2012, their demands are focused on burning issues in their schools and the city as a whole rather than simply wages and benefits (a strategy that has been called “bargaining for the common good”). And they’re waging that fight alongside another striking union, SEIU Local 73, which represents bus aides, janitors, classroom assistants and other school staff – many of whom earn below-poverty wages.CTU’s staffing demands are straightforward: a nurse, counselor, librarian and social worker in every school. The current ratio of students to counselors, nurses and social workers in Chicago public schools (CPS) far exceeds professional association recommendations. The National Association of School Psychologists recommends one psychologist for every 700 students; last year, each CPS psychologist served 1,760. For nurses, the ratio is four times what is recommended; for social workers, nearly five times. The union is also demanding enforceable caps so that classes aren’t overcrowded, which CTU says is the case in nearly a quarter of all Chicago classrooms.The union is also connecting its bargaining to the city’s affordable housing crisis, demanding housing assistance for both its members and its students, nearly 16,000 of whom experience homelessness. The op-ed pages of the city’s newspapers have upbraided this proposal, but CTU argues that “to fully support our public schools, we must address the lack of sustainable, affordable housing in our city” – a problem faced by cities throughout the country.CTU is breaking new ground, both in the kinds of broad working-class demands it is putting forward and by striking alongside SEIU Local 73. Together, the coordinated strikes have put more than 30,000 workers on the picket lines – more than 1% of the city’s population. Yesterday, a sea of CTU red and SEIU purple swarmed the city’s downtown in the afternoon, with thousands on the streets for a mass march after morning school pickets.The union is up against Lightfoot, a political newcomer who won office earlier this year by campaigning as a progressive and running on an education agenda that borrowed heavily from CTU’s: an elected school board rather than one appointed by the mayor, a freeze on charter expansion and major investments in public schools. But Lightfoot’s progressive posturing is now running up against tens of thousands striking Chicago teachers and staff who want more than progressive rhetoric – they want hard commitments, put in writing and legally enforceable through their contract.If she continues to balk at union demands at the bargaining table, Lightfoot will probably see the goodwill she has maintained from average Chicagoans since taking office disappear. The signs don’t look good for her: a Chicago Sun-Times poll conducted just before the strike shows that the public is backing the CTU over the mayor and school board. The same was true for Rahm Emanuel in 2012.Critics on the school board and in mainstream media have responded with the common refrain that Chicago is broke and can’t afford such demands. But Chicago is awash in wealth – enough for Lightfoot to approve the giveaway of $1.3bn in public money to luxury real estate firm Sterling Bay for the mega-development project Lincoln Yards. CTU has long argued that the way to pay for their demands is clear: end these corporate giveaways and tax the rich.The nationwide neoliberal education reform movement was on the march when CTU struck in 2012. But after numerous corruption scandals, growing charter school unionization and strikes, and teacher walk-offs in states throughout the country, that movement is on its heels. Just as the Democratic party has been forced to at least feint left on issues like Medicare for All and free public college tuition because of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns, the party has been forced to back off of its most fervent support for corporate education reform.Chicago teachers led the way in the fight against these destructive reforms seven years ago. Today, they’re showing educators around the country how to fight not only for themselves, but for all working people who have been left behind by budget cuts and the dismantling of the public sector.The education policy scholar Pauline Lipman once described Chicago as “the incubator, test case and model for the neoliberal urban education agenda”. This week, teachers are working to make sure Chicago is where that agenda ends. * Miles Kampf-Lassin is an editor at In These Times. * Micah Uetricht is the managing editor of Jacobin and host of its podcast The Vast Majority. He is the author of Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity and coauthor of the forthcoming Bigger Than Bernie: How We Go From the Sanders Campaign to Political Revolution in Our Lifetimes

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 06:00:22 -0400
  • Ousted Communist leader Zhao Ziyang is buried: family

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    A former Chinese Communist Party leader ousted after he opposed the use of force to quell 1989 democracy protests was buried over a decade after he died, his family said, in a service ignored by state media. Zhao Ziyang, who is a revered figure among Chinese human rights defenders, is still a sensitive topic in the country, where commemorations of his death are held under tight surveillance or prevented altogether. There was no mention of his burial ceremony Friday on state media, and searching for his name on social media returned no results.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:00:13 -0400
  • Lebanon's Hezbollah says does not want government to resign

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    Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Saturday that the group was not demanding the government's resignation amid widespread national protests. Nasrallah said in a televised speech that he supported the government, but called for a new agenda and "new spirit," adding that ongoing protests showed the way forward was not new taxes. Any tax imposed on the poor would push him to call supporters to go take to the streets, Nasrallah added.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:17:00 -0400
  • Researchers find second warship from WWII Battle of Midway

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    A crew of deep-sea explorers and historians looking for lost World War II warships have found a second Japanese aircraft carrier that went down in the historic Battle of Midway. Vulcan Inc.'s director of undersea operations Rob Kraft and Naval History and Heritage Command historian Frank Thompson reviewed high frequency sonar images of the warship Sunday and say that it's dimensions and location mean it has to be the carrier Akagi.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 00:39:22 -0400
  • India's Nuclear Weapons Arsenal Keeps Getting Bigger and Bigger

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    A large arsenal in a dangerous part of the world.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:30:00 -0400
  • Deadly protests in Guinea as Russia calls for change of rules to keep despot in power

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    When police shot dead nine pro-democracy protesters in Guinea this week, Western embassies quietly shared their misgivings with the country’s president, Alpha Conde. International human rights groups were more unequivocal. François Patuel of Amnesty International denounced “a shameful attempt by Guinean authorities to stifle dissent by any means necessary”. But one major power seemed unperturbed. Mr Conde’s ruthless response to protests against his apparent efforts to cling to power not only suited Russia, it seems probable that they were tacitly endorsed by the Kremlin. On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, will host leaders from 35 African states at a summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi as he seeks to consolidate Moscow’s growing influence in the world’s poorest continent. Russia may lack the heft of its rivals, able neither to match the West in aid nor China in terms of infrastructure financing, but it does have other resources with which to woo African leaders, particularly those of a more authoritarian bent. Vladimir Putin is looking to expand Russian influence Not only has Russia sold arms to 18 African states over the past decade, its mercenaries have fanned out across the continent to offer protection and other services to receptive governments.  “Political technologists” have also allegedly mounted disinformation campaigns in several recent African elections. In return, Russia has won concessions to mine minerals and secured backing from African delegates at the United Nations. Russia’s blossoming relationship with Mr Conde is an example of just how successful its muscular Africa policy can be. Guineans are meant to elect a new president next year. Having served two five-year terms, Mr Conde is constitutionally barred from standing again, but has made it increasingly clear that he is not yet ready to surrender the presidency. At least four people have been killed in Guinea's capital after police fired tear gas and bullets Monday to disperse thousands of opposition supporters Credit: AP To do so, Guinea will need an entirely new constitution, plans for which have already been advanced by Mr Conde’s ruling party.  The opposition has accused the president of seeking to ease its path by stacking the constitutional court, taming the electoral commission and delaying parliamentary elections by more than a year to protect his narrow legislative majority. Russia has openly given its cover to Mr Conde’s efforts. In an extraordinary intervention, brazen even by the Kremlin’s standards, Russia’s ambassador, made a televised address on New Year’s Eve backing a constitutional change. Alexander Bregadze told Guineans they would be mad to allow the "legendary" Mr Conde to step down, saying: “Do you know many countries in Africa that do better? Do you know many presidents in Africa who do better?” “It’s constitutions that adapt to reality, not reality that adapts to constitutions.” Such naked campaigning from a diplomat is unusual. But Russia has a vital relationship to nurture.  Guinea holds the world’s largest reserves of bauxite, the ore that is refined and smelted to produce aluminium. The Russian firm Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer outside Russia, sources more than a quarter of its bauxite from Guinea. Guinea’s importance to Russia grew immeasurably last year after the United States imposed sanctions on Rusal and its co-owner, the oligarch and close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska. Sanctions have since been lifted on Rusal but not on Mr Deripaska. Young people block the road as they protest against a possible third term of President Alpha Conde on October 16, 2019, in Conakry Credit: AFP The significance of the relationship was underscored when Mr Bregadze stepped down as ambassador in May to head Rusal’s operations in Guinea. Other Russian firms also have mineral interests in Guinea. Tellingly, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a shadowy Kremlin associate linked to mercenary and mining outfits in Africa, is understood to have set up operations in Guinea. Mr Putin has wooed President Conde, too, twice inviting him to Moscow for talks. Guinea’s opposition has denounced what it says is Russian interference. Protesters last week made their feelings clear by blockading a Rusal-owned railway line used to transport bauxite. Their anger is likely to achieve little. Emboldened by Russian backing, Mr Conde has only cracked down harder. Last week, nine senior opposition figures were charged with insurrection. They face five years in prison. Given everything it has invested in Mr Conde, Russia cannot risk the opposition coming to power. When Mr Putin meets his guest in Sochi, he is likely to encourage him to persist with repression.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 10:54:27 -0400
  • Detroit-area men who sent millions to Yemen spared prison

    Golocal247.com news

    A group of Detroit-area men opened bank accounts to move millions of dollars to Yemen, their war-torn native country. One by one, U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn declined to send them to prison, despite guidelines that call for a few years or more behind bars. The Detroit area is believed to have the highest U.S. population of Yemenis, a demographic that has risen amid war in Yemen that has killed tens of thousands of people and left millions more with food and health care shortages.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 11:22:54 -0400
  • Trump accidentally refers to Defense Secretary Esper as 'Mark Esperanto' in tweet defending Syria withdrawal

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    President Trump quoted "Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense" on Sunday. But the man in charge of the Pentagon is named Mark Esper, not Esperanto.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 16:45:34 -0400
  • Vietnam Targets GDP Growth of 6.8% in 2020, Prime Minister Says

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    (Bloomberg) -- Vietnam seeks to sustain economic growth next year at about 6.8% amid a projected 7% rise in exports, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.Inflation should stay below 4% in 2020, Phuc told legislators in a speech in Hanoi aired live on television. Overseas sales are set to gain 7.9% this year while inflation will likely average 2.7%-3% in 2019, he said.Growth in the Southeast Asian economy accelerated to 7.31% in the third quarter from a year ago, surpassing expectations to reach the fastest pace since the start of 2018. Vietnam is benefiting from rising foreign investment in manufacturing as businesses shift production from China to bypass higher tariffs.Vietnam Becomes a Victim of Its Own Success in Trade WarThe prime minister also reiterated his nation’s stance on the South China Sea, saying that Vietnam will continue to defend its sovereignty and pursue different ways of doing that, including using international laws.He also urged the government to accelerate the privatization of state companies and deal strictly with projects that are inefficient or losing money\--With assistance from Nguyen Kieu Giang.To contact the reporter on this story: Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen in Hanoi at uyen1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: John Boudreau at jboudreau3@bloomberg.net, ;Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net, Clarissa BatinoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 23:36:32 -0400
  • FACT: Cuba Hosted Russian Spy Planes to Use Against America

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    A forgotten tale of the cold war.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:00:00 -0400
  • China talks up tech prowess in face of US rivalry

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    China on Sunday said it aims to become a "great power" in the online world and took a swipe at Washington on trade, kicking off its annual conference promoting the Communist Party's controlled and censored version of the internet. US-China rivalry is increasingly playing out in the digital sphere, as Beijing pursues dominance in next-generation technology while Washington takes measures to cripple Chinese tech firms like Huawei. China heavily monitors and censors its internet, with US titans Facebook, Twitter and Google all hidden behind a so-called "Great Firewall" that also blocks politically sensitive content.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 03:39:53 -0400
  • Bernie Sanders draws thousands to rally in New York in comeback from heart attack

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    U.S. presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders returned to the campaign trail in New York City on Saturday, three weeks after suffering a heart attack, and pledged to resume at full throttle his battle against the business and political establishment, including members of his own Democratic Party. Sanders, one of 19 Democrats fighting to take on Republican President Donald Trump at the polls in November 2020 was introduced by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the leaders of the party's progressives and a frequent target of Trump's attacks.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 19:22:49 -0400
  • Milan seeks US apology for WWII bomb that killed children

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    Milan's mayor appealed Sunday to U.S. authorities to apologize for a World War II bombing raid that killed 184 elementary school children. Mayor Giuseppe Sala made the request following a Mass marking the 75th anniversary of the Gorla massacre, named for the quarter in the city that was struck, the news agency ANSA reported. "I think it's necessary that the American government apologizes, knowing that we are here to forgive," Sala said, adding that he would formalize the request with the U.S. consul in Milan this week.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 11:40:44 -0400
  • WKD: Ukraine Is Facing a Tough Path Towards Peace with Russia

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    Can Kyiv pull it off?

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 04:37:00 -0400
  • School apologizes after photo showing students with cardboard boxes over their heads during exam goes viral

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    An school in India has issued an apology after a bizarre image of students wearing cardboard boxes on their heads went viral. The images were taken during a chemistry exam at Bhagat Pre-University College in the town of Haveri.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 12:41:03 -0400
  • Four killed as police fire on Bangladesh protesters

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    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday called for calm after at least four people were killed when police fired on thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims protesting Facebook messages that allegedly defamed the Prophet Mohammed. Mob attacks over online posts perceived to be blasphemous have emerged as a major headache for security forces in Bangladesh, where Muslims make up some 90 percent of the country's 168 million people. Some 20,000 Muslims demonstrated at a prayer ground in Borhanuddin town on the country's largest island of Bhola to call for the execution of a young Hindu man charged with inciting religious tension through online messages.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 11:55:04 -0400
  • Buttigieg blasts Trump on Syria, says he’d make ‘better' deals

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    Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg on Sunday dismissed President Donald Trump’s move to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, saying he’d make “better” foreign policy deals if he won the White House. Trump has ordered the vast majority of U.S. troops in Syria to withdraw, a move that critics argue abandons Kurdish allies who have fought the Islamic State alongside U.S. forces. “Right now, what is happening is the future [in Syria] is being decided by everybody but the United States ... and we are nowhere because American leadership has been withdrawn,” said Buttigieg, who was a U.S. Navy intelligence officer deployed to Afghanistan in 2014.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 12:38:17 -0400
  • Lost hiker rescued in Oregon snowstorm: 'I wouldn’t have survived another night'

    Golocal247.com news

    Lost in a fierce snowstorm on the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon, hiker Robb Campbell made a desperate call for help.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 21:27:44 -0400
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