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  • 'This is the ACA fight': Democrats' victory on Obamacare in 2018 could be key to Supreme Court battle news

    Democrats see the prospect of some 23 million Americans losing their health coverage as their most potent argument against Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination. It is an argument made all the more powerful, they insist, by the continuing ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:16:42 -0400
  • Lindsey Graham Hints There is ‘More Damning’ Information about the Russia Investigation to be Released news

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on Sunday said to “stay tuned” for more “damning” information after he released records showing the main source for the Steele dossier had previously been the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation for his connections with Russian intelligence."There’s a day of reckoning coming just stay tuned, and there’s more coming, there’s something else coming, more damning than this believe it or not," said the chairman of the Judiciary Committee in an appearance on Fox News.As part of the Senate panel’s probe into the Russia investigation, Graham released declassified documents that showed the FBI had investigated Igor Danchenko, British former intelligence officer Christopher Steele's main source for his dossier, as a possible “threat to national security” a decade ago as a result of his connections with Russian intelligence.The declassified information was revealed to Graham in a letter last week sent by attorney general William Barr, in which the AG referenced what Graham may be hinting at. “I have also alerted the Director of National Intelligence to certain classified information in the possession of the intelligence community, also brought to my attention by [U.S. Attorney John] Durham, which bear upon the FBI’s knowledge concerning the reliability of the dossier,” Barr said in his letter. “Mr. Durham confirms that the disclosure of that information would not interfere with his investigation, and the Department otherwise defers to the DNI concerning the handling of this information.”Durham is leading an investigation into the Russia investigation on behalf of the Justice Department.On Sunday Graham spoke about alleged wrongdoing in the Russia investigation saying there was “three buckets,” including whether there was “any legitimate reason” for special counsel Robert Mueller to be investigating Trump’s campaign for a crime involving Russia."In 2017, there was no evidence that anybody on the Trump campaign was working with the Russians," Graham said.The other two areas of concern are how the FBI may have misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to obtain warrants to wiretap a member of President Trump’s team and the case against Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 09:10:34 -0400
  • Lawyer says officer thought Blake was trying to kidnap child news

    The Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times last month told investigators he thought Blake was trying to abduct one of his own children and that he opened fire because Blake started turning toward the officer while holding a knife, the officer’s lawyer contends. Sheskey saw Blake put a child in the SUV as he arrived, but he didn’t know that two other children were also in the back seat, Matthews said.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 13:11:59 -0400
  • Pelosi expresses hope that deal can be made with White House on COVID-19 relief news

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that she thinks an agreement can be reached with the White House on a coronavirus relief package and that talks were continuing.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 16:30:20 -0400
  • Sir David Attenborough warns world leaders over extinction crisis news

    The naturalist uses a UN event to call on world leaders to do more to protect nature.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 11:11:57 -0400
  • Coronavirus: More than 1,000 New Yorkers test positive in a day for first time since June news

    Neighbourhoods in Brooklyn, Queens see an alarming rise in Covid-19 cases

    Sat, 26 Sep 2020 15:32:28 -0400
  • Arrests in Portland protest follow fairly calm rally news

    Several people in Portland, Oregon, were arrested in anti-police brutality protests that continued into early Sunday, hours after demonstrations ended with few reports of violence. The protests that began Saturday night were declared an unlawful assembly and police began forcing demonstrators out after objects were thrown at officers, including full drink cans, firecrackers and rocks, police said. Hundreds of people had gathered at demonstrations in the downtown area of Oregon’s largest city when the unlawful assembly was announced just before midnight.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 00:41:34 -0400
  • The coronavirus may have 'one big trick.' Scientists are learning how to stop it. news

    The coronavirus appears to have "one big trick," Shane Crotty, a professor in the Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, told Bloomberg.That trick — avoiding the human body's "initial innate immune response for a significant period of time," and, particularly, the response of a substance called interferon that typically helps orchestrate the defense against viral pathogens — is linked to more severe cases. Indeed, new studies published last week in Science found that an insufficient amount of interferon, the production of which may sometimes be inhibited in people with previously "silent" gene mutations, could signal a more dangerous infection because the lack of interferon can overstimulate the rest of the immune system.The good news is that, because scientists are catching on to the virus' strategy, they have a better idea of how to prevent it from causing severe infections. Writes Bloomberg, the work highlights the potential for interferon-based therapies, which are typically used in in the early stages of a viral infection when it's easier to avoid life-threatening respiratory failure. Now, dozens of studies focusing on interferon treatments are recruiting COVID-19 patients. Read more at Bloomberg.More stories from Trump literally can't afford to lose the election Most of Trump's charitable tax write-offs are reportedly for not developing property he owns 5 outrageously funny cartoons about Trump's election scheming

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:16:00 -0400
  • Texas man charged with capital murder in deaths of Houston friends missing since 2016 news

    Harvey Lester Cyphers, 53, of Austin, Texas, was arrested and charged with capital murder in the 2016 deaths of friends Sidney Taylor and Krislyn Gibson, both 35, who were visiting Houston for the 2016 Urban Music Festival. They were last seen alive on April 2, 2016. Cyphers was taken to the Travis County Jail where his bond was set at $1.5 million. The U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force and the Austin Police Department are investigating.

    Sat, 26 Sep 2020 14:50:00 -0400
  • Amy Coney Barrett: 5 things to know about the Supreme Court nominee news

    President Trump announced Saturday that he is nominating Amy Coney Barrett, a respected jurist and conservative darling, to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

    Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:33:49 -0400
  • Trump’s 2016 Campaign Listed Millions of Black Voters It Wanted to Stop From Voting, Leak Reveals news

    LONDON—Over three million Black voters in key states were identified by President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign as people they had to persuade to stay at home on Election Day to help him reach the White House.The revelation comes from an enormous data leak obtained by the British news network Channel 4. It shows that, four years ago, the Trump campaign prepared files on almost 200 million American voters and separated some out into eight different categories. One such category, assigned to 3.5 million Black voters, was titled: “Deterrence.”The leaked database was reportedly used by Trump’s digital campaign team, which was critical to Trump’s narrow victory. Channel 4 News has a track record of exposing the unethical practices of Cambridge Analytica—the now-defunct British digital black-ops firm that harvested the Facebook data of tens of millions of voters for the use of Team Trump.The leaked files show that Black Americans were disproportionately marked ‘Deterrence’ by the 2016 campaign, making up far more of the category when compared to general population stats. For example, in Georgia, Black people make up around a third of the population, but 61 percent of the Trump campaign’s ‘Deterrence’ category there. The same pattern can be seen in data for North Carolina and Wisconsin.Cambridge Analytica’s Real Role in Trump’s Dark Facebook CampaignOverall, people of colour—labelled by the campaign as Black, Hispanic, Asian and ‘Other’ groups—made up 54 percent of the people in the ‘Deterrence’ category, according to Channel 4 News. In contrast, the lists of voters that the campaign wanted to encourage to head out to vote were mostly white. It’s impossible to say how effective the tactics were, but research shows that, in 2016, Black turnout fell by eight points.The data does not offer a complete picture of exactly how the ‘Deterrence’ list was exploited, though it’s likely that it was used to help the campaign micro-target people on Facebook in the months leading up to Election Day in 2016. The Daily Beast revealed two years ago that Team Trump used audience lists created by Cambridge Analytica to target “dark ads” on Facebook in the final months of the 2016 campaign.There’s no public record of those “dark ads,” which disappeared when the campaign stopped paying for them, and there’s no public information on the lists that were used to target voters. However, Channel 4 does report that it found some evidence that Team Trump pushed ads at Black voters designed to damage opinions of Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.One video ad showed Clinton talking about “super-predators” in 1996—a comment she apologized for in 2016 after the clip spread online. Channel 4 reports that Cambridge Analytica privately admitted that the campaign did target “AA,” or African Americans, with what it called the “Predators video,” though it’s not known if the ‘Deterrence’ list was used.Trump Data Guru Officially Disqualified Over ‘Shady’ Campaign TacticsPresented with Channel 4’s findings, Jamal Watkins, Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said: “We use data... but it’s to motivate, persuade and encourage folks to participate. We don't use the data to say who can we deter and keep at home. That just seems, fundamentally, it’s a shift from the notion of democracy.”Watkins added: “It's not ‘may the best candidate win’ at that point it’s ‘may the best well-funded machine suppress voters and keep them at home thereby rigging the election so that someone can win’.”An unnamed Facebook spokesperson said: “Since 2016, elections have changed and so has Facebook—what happened with Cambridge Analytica couldn’t happen today.” The company cited its new rules prohibiting voter suppression, and its searchable political ads library which means that ads don’t just disappear from the network as they did in 2016.The Trump campaign didn’t provide any comment.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.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:00:05 -0400
  • New aftermath footage of police raid that killed Breonna Taylor shows Louisville officers violating investigation policies news

    The footage shows officers involved in the raid on Taylor's apartment walking throughout the scene unescorted, a violation of their police department rules.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 12:24:30 -0400
  • California governor signs law requiring trans inmates to be housed by gender identity news

    The law requires inmates to be asked how they identify, then they must be housed accordingly. Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law on Saturday that will require California prisons to house transgender inmates according to their gender identity. The law requires officers to privately ask inmates if they identify as transgender, nonbinary or intersex.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:53:34 -0400
  • Australia begins disposal of over 350 dead whales after mass stranding news

    Officials were able to rescue 108 whales from the nation's largest-ever mass beaching.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 07:00:00 -0400
  • British Museum 'won't remove controversial objects' from display news

    Cultural institutions received a letter from the government warning them not to remove artefacts.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 08:10:02 -0400
  • Egypt returns bodies of 2 Gaza fishermen shot by its navy

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

    Sat, 26 Sep 2020 14:01:33 -0400
  • 'Music is not a crime': U.N. experts urge Nigeria to lift singer's death sentence

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

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 07:20:14 -0400
  • Going it alone on Covid-19 brings 'greater disaster': China foreign minister news

    The coronavirus is a wake-up call for the world, and trading blame "will only bring greater disaster", China's foreign minister said Monday.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:22:10 -0400
  • Trump and McConnell are reportedly already discussing Amy Coney Barrett's 7th Circuit replacement news

    Amy Coney Barrett has a reasonably clear path to the Supreme Court, and top Republicans reportedly know it.President Trump formally nominated the 7th Circuit Court judge to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday. And with Republicans firmly in the Senate majority, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are "so confident" in Barrett's confirmation that they're already dreaming up her appeals court replacement, Axios reports.Republican senators nearly universally said they'd like to vote on Trump's Ginsburg replacement even before he announced it would be Barrett. Just Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) definitively said they would rather not consider a nominee, citing the 2016 precedent in which Republicans refused to consider former President Barack Obama's election year nominee. But two senators won't be enough to keep Barrett off the bench before Election Day.If Barrett is quickly confirmed after her mid-October hearings, it's possible Republicans could quickly shove her 7th Circuit replacement through the Senate as well. That would be "the cherry on top" of conservatives' Supreme Court victory, and "one that McConnell won't pass up," a GOP Senate aide told Axios. McConnell and Republicans are reportedly considering nominating Kate Todd, a White House lawyer who was also on Trump's Supreme Court shortlist, to fill Barrett's slot. Todd is "a favorite of White House counsel Pat Cipollone," Axios writes, though an administration official said no one is formally in consideration for the appeals court yet.More stories from Trump literally can't afford to lose the election Most of Trump's charitable tax write-offs are reportedly for not developing property he owns 5 outrageously funny cartoons about Trump's election scheming

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:07:00 -0400
  • Federal judge blocks Texas’ elimination of straight-ticket voting news

    Democrats sued the state in March to overturn the Texas Legislature’s removal of straight-ticket voting.

    Sat, 26 Sep 2020 14:59:01 -0400
  • FBI opens civil rights investigation into fatal 2018 police shooting of Kansas teenager news

    Police shot and killed John Albers, 17, in January 2018 after the teen's friends called 911 to report he was making suicidal comments.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:34:42 -0400
  • Greece hunts for culprits behind daubing of flag with red paint on flashpoint island news

    Greek police are searching for whoever was responsible for daubing red paint on a giant Greek flag on Kastellorizo, the tiny Aegean island that is at the centre of the crisis between Athens and Ankara. The paint – the colour of the Turkish flag – was splashed all over the blue and white flag, which is etched into a hillside on the island, facing the Turkish coast. A drone that was launched around the same time as the attack took aerial photos of the desecrated flag and there were reports that it played the Turkish national anthem through a loudspeaker. Athens has demanded that Turkey also investigate the incident, saying it was an insult to Greek national honour. “The police and the army are investigating and we are waiting for them to tell us what they have found out,” Michael Amygdalos, the deputy mayor of Kastellorizo, told The Telegraph on Monday. There were earlier reports that the paint had been dropped by the drone, but that was incorrect, he said.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 06:43:28 -0400
  • 100 Arrested During Unauthorized and 'Unruly' Car Rally in Maryland news

    People at the event shared videos of confrontations that erupted between police officers and rally attendees

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 15:43:53 -0400
  • Sen. Johnson: Hunter Biden and his businesses raked in $4.2M news

    Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson joins ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 10:59:41 -0400
  • South China Sea Watch: China holds drills amid new tensions news

    A look at developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple territorial disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. China is holding new military exercises in the South China Sea amid an uptick in tensions between the Asian giant and its Southeast Asian neighbors and the U.S. The Maritime Safety Administration issued a pair of announcements blocking off seas around the area of the exercises running Sunday through Monday but gave no additional details.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 23:42:55 -0400
  • UK wants students to be able to go home for Christmas despite COVID news

    The British government wants university students to be able to return home for Christmas, culture minister Oliver Dowden said on Sunday, amid concerns that restrictions on movement may be needed to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases. Outbreaks have forced some institutions to ask students - many of whom are far from home and paying thousands of pounds for accommodation and teaching - to self-isolate in their rooms and follow lectures online. Health minister Matt Hancock had said on Thursday he could not rule out asking students to stay on campus over Christmas to prevent the virus from spreading.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 04:53:31 -0400
  • Carrie Lam: The controversial leader of Hong Kong news

    A leader handpicked by Beijing has been a divisive figure in a city rocked by political unrest.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 03:34:36 -0400
  • Report: Trump's tax write-offs range from Trump Jr.'s Russia-related legal fees to Apprentice haircuts news

    President Trump's tax filings show that since 2015, business has been booming at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, thanks to an influx in new members and an initiation fee increase that went into effect when Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, The New York Times reports, citing Trump tax records covering more than two decades.The Times found that when Trump announced he was running for president in 2015, Mar-a-Lago became inundated with new members. In 2014, the club earned $664,000 in initiation fees, and that number went up to just under $6 million in 2016; in January 2017, Trump doubled the cost of initiation.The Internal Revenue Service says that for a business expense to be deducted, it must be "ordinary and necessary." Business expenses at Mar-a-Lago for 2017 included $109,433 for linens and silver, $197,829 for landscaping, and $210,000 for event photography. The tax returns also show Trump has written off expenses related to travel from his different homes and properties, including meals and aircraft fuel, as well as grooming costs — he wrote off the more than $70,000 he spent on his hair while working on his reality show The Apprentice, the Times reports.The IRS says legal fees can be deducted when they are "directly related to operating your business," but this does not include "legal fees paid to defend charges that arise from participation in a political campaign." Nevertheless, Trump's tax records show the Trump Corporation wrote off business expenses paid to Alan Futerfas, a criminal defense lawyer who was hired to represent Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., during the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the Times reports.This was in relation to investigators looking into Trump Jr.'s role in setting up a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower where Russians promised to provide damaging information on Hillary Clinton, and when Trump Jr. testified before Congress in 2017, Futerfas was with him. Futerfas, who additionally represented Trump's now-shuttered charitable foundation, received at least $1.9 million in 2017 and 2018 from the Trump Corporation, the Times reports, and the business also wrote off the $259,684 it paid Williams & Jensen, a second law firm hired to represent Trump Jr. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from Trump literally can't afford to lose the election Most of Trump's charitable tax write-offs are reportedly for not developing property he owns 5 outrageously funny cartoons about Trump's election scheming

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 00:11:00 -0400
  • Exit polls see Romania's Social Democrats lose control of Bucharest news

    Romania's deeply-entrenched Social Democrats lost control of capital Bucharest in local elections Sunday, exit polls showed, as mask-clad voters chose mayors and local councillors nationwide in the first electoral test after years of political turbulence.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 14:57:55 -0400
  • The Kid Who Masterminded El Chapo’s Secret Phone Network news

    It came in off the street one day—a tip, a lead, a rumor—whatever you cared to call it, it was one of the strangest things they had heard in their careers. Chapo Guzmán, the world-famous drug lord, had hired a young IT guy and the kid had built him a sophisticated system of high-end cell phones and secret servers, all of it ingeniously encrypted.The unconfirmed report—perhaps that was the best way to describe it—had arrived that Friday in June 2009 when a tipster walked into the lobby of the FBI’s field division office in New York. After his story had been vetted downstairs, it made its way up seven flights of stairs and landed with a curious thud among the crowded cubicles of C-23, the Latin American drug squad. For more than thirty years, the elite team of agents and their bosses had hunted some of the drug trade’s biggest criminals, and while tall tales of their antics circulated constantly through its squad room near the courts in Lower Manhattan, no one in the unit knew what to make of this one. The tipster’s account seemed credible enough, but it was sorely lacking details: The only facts he had offered on the young technician were a first name—Christian—and that he was from Medellín, Colombia. All sorts of kooks spouting all sorts of nonsense showed up all the time at FBI facilities, claiming they had inside information on the Kennedy killing or knew someone who knew someone who knew where Jimmy Hoffa was. In what were still the early days of internet telephony, it seemed a bit far-fetched that a twentysomething hacker had reached a deal with the world’s most wanted fugitive and furnished him in hiding with a private form of Skype. As alluring as it sounded, it was just the sort of thing that would probably turn out to be a myth.Inside Colombia’s ‘Air Chapo’ Cocaine Shipping ScandalIn the middle of a drug war, chasing myths was not enough to send C-23 into the field: reality was keeping the unit busy on its own. Three years after Mexico had launched a crusade against its brutal cartel kingpins, the country had erupted into incomparable violence, and much of the chaos had rolled downhill into American investigative files. Just that winter, a psychopath who called himself the Stewmaker had been caught near Tijuana after having boiled three hundred bodies down to renderings in caustic vats of acid. Two weeks later, a retired Mexican general was murdered in Cancún, his kneecaps shattered, and his corpse propped up behind the steering wheel of a pickup truck abandoned on a highway. Since late 2006, the country’s seven drug clans had all been at war with one another or the government—or sometimes both at once—and ten thousand people had already lost their lives.C-23 and other U.S .law enforcement agencies pitched in when they could, opening cases and offering intelligence to their counterparts in Mexico. But in the past several months, conditions at the border had only gotten worse and had metastasized from an ordinary security emergency into something that resembled a full-scale insurrection. From the American point of view, the Sisyphean struggle to end the bloodshed—and to stem the flow of drugs heading north—seemed increasingly impossible despite the  constant seizures, the federal indictments and the helicopter gunships sent as foreign aid.In this target-rich environment, Chapo Guzmán was an interest- ing case. While he was neither the wealthiest nor the most sadistic trafficker in Mexico, he was by a matter of degree the most illustrious. His famous alias, “El Chapo”—often rendered “Shorty” but more accurately a reference to his squat, stocky frame—was globally familiar, with a recognition level that rivaled that of movie stars and presidents. Not since Pablo Escobar had ruled over Colombia had la pista secreta—the secret path of the narcotics business—seen a figure who was both a major criminal and a mass celebrity. For nearly twenty years, Guzmán had been at the center of the drug trade, involved in some of its best-known capers and disasters. In 1993, in his earliest brush with fame, he was sent to jail in Mexico for the murder of a Roman Catholic cardinal, Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo*, whose daylight killing at the Guadalajara airport introduced the world to the threat presented by Mexican cartels. Eight years later, in a move that earned him full folkloric status, Guzmán had escaped from prison, slipping out in a laundry cart after paying off his jailers.Ever since, he had been on the run, moving back and forth among a half-dozen hideouts deep in the Sierra Madre mountains, in the Mexi- can state of Sinaloa. Though he lived like an outlaw, he was treated like a king—loved by some, feared by many and inarguably one of the most powerful men in Mexico. A single word from him from one of his mountain dens could set in motion tractor-trailers in Nogales, planes in Cartagena, and merchant freighters in Colón. At fifty-two—an improbable age in an industry that did not promote longevity—Guzmán had reached the height of his career, running his business freely and warring against his rivals, all while playing cat and mouse with those among the Mexican authorities who weren’t on his payroll. While the American government was after him as well, a contrarian consensus had emerged in parts of Washington that at least he was contained in the Sierras, where he was spending exorbitant sums on his security and could not engage in the same bloody havoc that emergent mafias, like the Zetas or La Familia Michoacán, had recently been wreaking in the lowlands. It was also the case that no one—not the FBI, the DEA, nor their cousins in the intelligence community—had ever mounted a successful capture operation in the rugged region he had fled to. In the past two years alone, a panoply of American agencies had helped arrest Otto Herrera, Guzmán’s connection to Colombia’s cartels; Juan Carlos Ramírez, one of his top suppliers; and Jesus “El Rey” Zambada, the brother of “El Mayo” Zambada, his most important partner. The heir to Guzmán’s throne—Mayo’s son, Vicente—was in jail in Mexico City, and Pedro and Margarito Flores, the twin brothers who had handled much of his American distribution, were about to start recording him for U.S. drug officials. By mid-2009, Guzmán himself was already under indictment in San Diego and Tucson and would soon face further charges in Brooklyn and Chicago. But after all of this—countless hours of investigative and prosecutorial effort—he had never spent a single day in an American court of law.That was why C-23’s new lead couldn’t be discounted, as crazy as it sounded. The possibilities it promised were simply too enticing. It stood to reason that a man in Guzmán’s position—on the lam, with far-flung operatives around the globe—would at least want a means of sending and receiving secret messages. Imagine the windfall if the drug squad in New York could hack into the system.That is, if it actually existed.While many of his coworkers shrugged at the story of the mythic cell-phone system, treating it like a piece of science fiction, Special Agent Robert Potash raised his hand and volunteered to run the rumor down. As the rookie in the unit, he had little else to do. Potash had joined C-23 only the year before and while he was as eager as anyone to succeed, he was still finding his feet among his older, more seasoned peers.One of those anomalies who came to law enforcement late in life, Potash had attended the FBI’s academy in Quantico just before his thirty-seventh birthday, the outside age for new recruits. For a federal agent, his background was unusual. Trained as a mechanical engineer, Potash had spent fifteen years of well-paid boredom in the private sector, designing robots and lasers before he realized that what he really wanted to do was put together criminal cases, not expensive widgets. The son of a toolmaker from Connecticut, he had always been something of a tinkerer. Even approaching forty, he often still thought about himself as the handy little kid who built the neighborhood treehouse every summer and spent all winter working on a soapbox car in his garage.Potash had never handled a cartel case before, but knowing of his technical bent, his bosses at C-23 had invited him to sit in on the interview with the tantalizing tipster. He left the conversation convinced there was something there and did not get much resistance from the squad when he stepped forward to investigate it further. Many of the unit’s top agents didn’t want the job, which, by the looks of it, was going to require studying encryption and reading up on arcane subjects like Voice over Internet Protocol. It was, to say the least, not the typical drug cop stuff of busting bad guys or grabbing kilos off the street. When you got down to it, it was more or less nerd work. But that was Potash’s lane.Joining him in his new assignment was his partner, Stephen Marston. Marston was eight times as experienced as Potash and nearly twice as tall. An agent cut from the classic mold—big, broad- shouldered, stolid, methodical—Marston, a New Yorker, had been at C-23 for much of the decade. In his own time in the unit, he had mostly focused on Colombians, among them the remnants of the cocaine cowboys from Medellín and Cali who had since the 1980s supplied cocaine to Mexican smugglers like Guzmán who worked along the border. While Marston didn’t know much about technology—his computer degree from 1993 was obsolete—he did know quite a bit about investigating drug cartels. And something in the tipster’s report had caught his eye.Under questioning, the tipster had explained that shortly before the young technician Christian had gone to work for Guzmán, he had built a beta version of his system for another trafficking group, the Cifuentes family, one of Colombia’s stealthiest and most successful smuggling organizations. Known as the “invisible clan” for their ability to work beneath the radar, the Cifuenteses were, like Christian, based in Medellín. The family had a long and tangled history with Guzmán and had for years been shipping him their product in everything from King Commander turboprops to long-range shark and tuna boats. Marston knew that the tipster’s story might have had a few implausible details, but he recognized its basic inner logic. If some of the Cifuenteses had acquired a new technology, it would certainly be reasonable to think that they had passed it on, through the man who had developed it, to their longtime friend and ally.Meticulous as always, Marston was not about to raise an alarm—or his boss’s expectations—without first thoroughly confirming the account. In the FBI, if you were smart, you always promised less than you delivered. As he and Potash started on the case, Marston decided that he needed proof of concept: some hard evidence that the secret system was more than just a pipe dream.What he really needed, when he thought about it further, was one of the damned phones.They started with their colleagues in Colombia.After squeezing the tipster for all that he was worth, Marston and Potash decided to run his story past the experts on the ground: the FBI’s legal attaché team and their DEA equivalents in Bogotá. They arranged a call with the embassy and to their surprise, when they mentioned Christian’s name, everyone seemed to know who they were talking about. A young technician—Christian Rodriguez, they were told—ran a small business in Medellín repairing computers and setting up communications networks. Rodriguez was also known to dabble from time to time in the city’s black-hat hacking scene. Though there wasn’t much in the way of solid proof, the agents in Bogotá were confident it had to be their man.Signing off, Marston and Potash dwelled on their discovery: The young kid that Chapo Guzmán had brought in as his infotech consultant appeared to have a day job as Medellín’s Geek Squad guy.*The murder of Cardinal Ocampo, on May 24, 1993, was a seminal moment in Mexico, awakening the public to the rising power and violence of the country’s drug mafias. It was also a seminal moment for Guzmán. He has always denied involvement  in the killing; indeed, the evidence suggests that he may have been its target, not its perpetrator. Ocampo was likely killed in accidental crossfire when hit men from the Tijuana cartel tried to murder Guzmán. Guzmán never forgot that the cartel’s leaders, the Arellano-Félix brothers, attempted to assassinate him or that they let him take the blame for Ocampo’s death. The rancor spawned a bloody war between Guzmán and the brothers that raged intermittently from the early 1990s well into the first decade of the 2000s.EXCERPTED FROM EL JEFE: THE STALKING OF CHAPO GUZMÁN. COPYRIGHT © 2020 BY ALAN FEUER. EXCERPTED BY PERMISSION OF FLATIRON BOOKS, A DIVISION OF MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS. NO PART OF THIS EXCERPT MAY BE REPRODUCED OR REPRINTED WITHOUT PERMISSION IN WRITING FROM THE PUBLISHER.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.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 04:48:10 -0400
  • Frenchman says tattoos cost him kindergarten teaching job news

    A schoolteacher whose body, face and tongue are covered in tattoos and who has had the whites of his eyes surgically turned black said he was prevented from teaching at a French kindergarten after a parent complained he scared their child. But the teacher, Sylvain Helaine, 35, still teaches children from the age of six up, and said that, after an initial shock when they see him for the first time, his pupils see past his appearance. "All of my students and their parents were always cool with me because basically they knew me," said Mr Helaine, who estimated he has spent around 460 hours under the tattooists' needle. "It's only when people see me from far away that they can assume the worst." He said last year he was teaching kindergarten at the Docteur Morere Elementary School in Palaiseau, a suburb of Paris, when the parents of a three-year-old child complained to educational authorities. They said their son, who was not taught by Mr Helaine, had nightmares after seeing him.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 06:19:21 -0400
  • Coronavirus updates: Woman held against her will in quarantine, judge finds; 9% of American adults exposed to COVID-19 news

    Texas A&M;'s Midnight Yell was a little "eerie" with no fans. Florida is easing more restrictions. California is seeing more cases. Latest COVID news.

    Sat, 26 Sep 2020 20:56:53 -0400
  • Tucker Carlson says 'every story' about Jacob Blake and George Floyd is a lie, the same day a federal judge wrote that viewers don't take Carlson's statements seriously news

    Carlson's allegations of dishonesty came after Fox News argued in court that he's prone to hyperbole, exaggeration, and "loose, figurative" language.

    Sat, 26 Sep 2020 23:05:33 -0400
  • Mexico official: definitive COVID-19 toll will take 2 years news

    Mexico’s top coronavirus official said Sunday that definitive data on the country's death toll from COVID-19 won’t be available for “a couple of years.” The statement by Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell is likely to revive debate about Mexico’s death toll, currently at 76,430, the fourth-highest in the world. Mexico does very little testing, and many people die without a test.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 21:54:31 -0400
  • China's Xi says 'happiness' in Xinjiang on the rise, will keep teaching 'correct' outlook news

    Chinese President Xi Jinping said levels of happiness among all ethnic groups in the western region of Xinjiang are rising and that China plans to keep teaching its residents a "correct" outlook on China, Xinhua news agency reported late on Saturday. China has come under scrutiny over its treatment of Uighur Muslims and claims of alleged forced-labour abuses in Xinjiang, where the United Nations cites credible reports as saying one million Muslims held in camps have been put to work.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 08:56:11 -0400
  • Firefighters battling a Brooklyn blaze discovered up to $1 million cash when bundles started falling on their heads news

    According to local news, firefighters had to cut through a ceiling to extinguish the fire when cash started falling out.

    Sat, 26 Sep 2020 21:46:17 -0400
  • White House staff discussed what may happen if Trump loses election and refuses to leave, ex-aide says news

    'The president, when he's joking … he's telling you a half-truth and in there is something fairly frightening and scary’

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 10:25:43 -0400
  • Angry about Breonna Taylor? Do what Barack Obama said in 2016: 'Don't boo. Vote' news

    There's only one thing to do now that the we know the outcome of the Breonna Taylor case: 'Don't boo. Vote.'

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 06:00:58 -0400
  • Clashes erupt between Armenia and Azerbaijan news

    Armenia has declared martial law and a total military mobilization following clashes with neighboring Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The incident has prompted calls from several world powers for an end to hostilities amid fears of instability in the South Caucasus - which serves as a corridor for pipelines transporting oil and gas to world markets. [Armenian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Anna Naghdalyan, saying:] "Early in the morning, around 7 a.m. the Azerbaijani forces launched a large-scale aggression, including missile attacks..." On Sunday (September 27) Armenia said Azerbaijan had carried out an air and artillery attack on Nagorno-Karabakh, but Azerbaijan said it had simply responded to Armenian shelling. There were reports of civilian casualties on both sides. Nagorno Karabakh is a mainly ethnic Armenian region that is internationally recognized as a part of Azerbaijan. It declared independence in 1991, during the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the two countries have been at loggerheads ever since. Authorities inside Nagorno Karabakh also declared martial law on Sunday, and mobilized the male population. The two sides regularly accuse each of attacks and 200 people were killed when the conflict flared in 2016. On Sunday, Turkey said majority Christian Armenia should immediately cease hostilities against mainly Muslim Azerbaijan while Russia's foreign ministry - a mediator in decades of conflict between the two sides - call for a cease fire and talks. France said it was "extremely concerned" and said both sides should end hostilities.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 08:11:09 -0400
  • Man convicted of collecting urine from boys now faces child porn charges, Ohio cops say news

    Officials say the man liked to drink the urine he collected.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 12:59:32 -0400
  • Beijing passes law to protect medical whistleblowers news

    Beijing's city government will protect "non-malicious" medical whistleblowers under a new law, passed months after a Chinese doctor was punished for sounding the alarm at the very beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 02:53:30 -0400
  • Oil washes up along five-mile stretch of Florida beach in wake of Hurricane Sally news

    It's unclear at this point if the submerged oil is from the 2010 oil spill that was stirred up from Hurricane Sally or if it is from another source.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:55:30 -0400
  • Pakistan's top court accepts appeal by Daniel Pearl's family news

    Pakistan's Supreme Court on Monday accepted an appeal by the family of slain American journalist Daniel Pearl seeking to keep a British-born Pakistani man on death row over the beheading of the Wall Street Journal reporter. The court delayed until next week hearing the appeal over the lower-court acquittal of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had been on death row since his conviction in 2002 over Pearl's killing. The Supreme Court ordered Sheikh to remain in custody but Faisal Siddiqi, the lawyer for Pearl's family, told The Associated Press on Monday the court will decide next week whether Sheikh will remain imprisoned during the course of the appeal, which could be years.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 00:18:30 -0400
  • Merkel says German coronavirus infections could hit 19,200 a day: source news

    Chancellor Angela Merkel told leaders of her Christian Democrats (CDU) on Monday that coronavirus infection rate could hit 19,200 per day in Germany if the current trend continues but stressed that the economy must be kept running, a party source said. Infections have been rising in Germany for weeks. Data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose by 1,192 on Monday.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 05:54:57 -0400
  • Meng Wanzhou: The PowerPoint that sparked an international row news

    The top Huawei executive's closely watched extradition case returns to court on Monday.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 03:36:03 -0400
  • Biden and Trump in tight race in a changing North Carolina news

    With more than 1.3 million new registered voters since 2016, a key swing state is up for grabs – and filling a Supreme Court seat is a motivator to likely voters

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 11:03:00 -0400
  • Salt Lake City airport just opened a massive new terminal with canyon-themed art as Delta relies on the hub as a gateway to the west – see inside news

    The brand-new terminal comes at a $4.1 billion cost and uses immersive artwork to welcome passengers to Salt Lake City and the Mountain West.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 08:43:00 -0400
  • Cardinal Pell reportedly returning to Vatican amid economic scandal news

    Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' former finance minister, will soon return to the Vatican during an extraordinary economic scandal for the first time since he was cleared of child abuse allegations in Australia five months ago, a newspaper reported Monday. Pell will fly back to Rome on Tuesday, Herald-Sun newspaper columnist Andrew Bolt wrote. The report by a vocal champion of the cardinal did not cite a source for the cardinal's plans. The Associated Press attempted to contact Pell where he lives in a Sydney seminary for confirmation and was told by a woman who answered the phone: "We have no comment." The Sydney Archdiocese did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Pell's travel plans. Pell's reported return follows Francis last week firing one of the cardinal's most powerful opponents, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, over a financial scandal. Pell was regarded as the third highest-ranking Vatican official and was attempting to wrestle the Holy See's opaque finances into order when he returned to his native Australia in 2017 to clear himself of decades-old allegations of child sex abuse. Instead, Pell became the most senior Catholic to be convicted of child sex abuse crimes. He served 13 months in prison before Australia's High Court acquitted him in April of molesting two choir boys in the late 1990s when he was archbishop of Melbourne. In his first television interview after his release, conducted by Bolt in April, Pell linked his fight against Vatican corruption with his prosecution in Australia. Pell said he did not have evidence of a link. But he suspected that a man who swore he had been sexually abused by Pell as a 13-year-old choirboy had been "used." Pell again seemed to hint at a link in a statement last week in which he "thanked and congratulated" Francis for firing Becciu. "I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria," Pell said, referring to his home state of Victoria where he was convicted. Pell, 79, said in April he planned to return to Rome when the coronavirus pandemic allowed him to pack up his apartment. But he intended to make Sydney his home. Becciu said he was fired after Francis told him that documents from the Italian financial police alleged the 72-year-old cardinal had embezzled 100,000 euros ($116,200). Becciu, the former No. 2 in the Vatican's secretariat of state, denied any wrongdoing. Becciu's name had previously been caught up in a whirlwind financial scandal involving the Holy See's investment in a London real estate venture. But Becciu said that investment wasn't raised in his conversation on Thursday with Francis.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 22:42:03 -0400
  • Missouri man faces prison for assault after police officer broke hand punching him news

    Officer injured in fight to arrest suspect after speeding stop

    Sat, 26 Sep 2020 21:36:17 -0400
  • A Miami-Dade teacher gave her $425K life savings to a pilot. Here’s where he is today news

    A Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher spent a career building a $425,447 retirement nest egg. Licensed pilot Michael Atkins spent three years convincing her to loan it to him.

    Sun, 27 Sep 2020 10:38:46 -0400
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