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  • Ocasio-Cortez throws her support to Bernie Sanders

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Turkey wants Syrian forces to leave border areas, aide says

    Golocal247.com news

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Syrian government forces to move out of areas near the Turkish border so he can resettle up to 2 million refugees there, his spokesman told The Associated Press on Saturday. The request will top Erdogan's talks next week with Syria's ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Arrangements along the Syrian-Turkish border were thrown into disarray after the U.S. pulled its troops out of the area, opening the door to Turkey's invasion aiming to drive out Kurdish-led fighters it considers terrorists.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 21:40:07 -0400
  • 'She stole their lives': Woman convicted of passing school bus, killing 3 kids in crash

    Golocal247.com news

    Alyssa Shepherd was found guilty of three felony counts of reckless homicide for the Oct. 2018 crash that killed three siblings.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:08:50 -0400
  • Kurdish fighters withdraw from besieged Syria town

    Golocal247.com news

    Ras al-Ain (Syria) (AFP) - The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces fully withdrew from a Turkish-encircled town in northern Syria on Sunday, in what appeared to be the start of a wider pullout under a ceasefire deal. Ankara launched a cross-border attack against Syria's Kurds on October 9 after the United States announced a military pullout from the war-torn country's north. A US-brokered ceasefire was announced late Thursday, giving Kurdish forces until Tuesday evening to withdraw from a buffer area Ankara wants to create on Syrian territory along its southern frontier.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 15:59:29 -0400
  • Andrew Yang’s ‘Freedom Dividend’ Echoes a 1930s Basic Income Proposal that Reshaped Social Security

    Golocal247.com news

    Andrew Yang wants to give Americans $1,000 a month.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 17:00:00 -0400
  • EU will delay Brexit until February if Johnson fails to ratify deal this week - The Sunday Times

    The Sunday Times has reported http://bit.ly/2p1UfbJ that the European Union will delay Brexit until February 2020 if Prime Minister Boris Johnson is unable to get his deal past parliament this week. The delay would be "fungible", meaning that Britain could leave earlier, on Nov. 1 or 15, December or January, if his deal is ratified before the extension ends, the newspaper said, citing diplomatic sources.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 13:30:42 -0400
  • Burmese fishermen 'faint' after mistaking $20 million of floating crystal meth for natural deodorant

    Golocal247.com news

    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 10:18:41 -0400
  • Nestor heads into Georgia after tornados damage Florida

    Golocal247.com news

    Nestor raced across Georgia as a post-tropical cyclone late Saturday, hours after the former tropical storm spawned a tornado that damaged homes and a school in central Florida while sparing areas of the Florida Panhandle devastated one year earlier by Hurricane Michael. The storm made landfall Saturday on St. Vincent Island, a nature preserve off Florida's northern Gulf Coast in a lightly populated area of the state, the National Hurricane Center said. Nestor was expected to bring 1 to 3 inches of rain to drought-stricken inland areas on its march across a swath of the U.S. Southeast.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 21:21:44 -0400
  • Atomwaffen Division’s Washington State Cell Leader Stripped of Arsenal in U.S., Banned from Canada

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Bob Menendez says Pompeo ‘in a parallel alternate universe’

    Sen. Bob Menendez said Sunday there are “no guarantees” that U.S. interests in the Middle East are still being served following the White House decision to pull troops out of northern Syria. The New Jersey Democrat also scoffed at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertions that the region has become more stable since the U.S. announced its withdrawal and that the Islamic State is being effectively countered. President Donald Trump’s abruptly announced pullout allowed Turkey to invade the region and attack Kurdish forces that were allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 11:28:12 -0400
  • 70,000 California wildfire victims may miss out on payments

    Golocal247.com news

    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'

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 7 Things To Do With Your Old Smartphone

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

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:00:00 -0400
  • It’s Warren, Sanders or Biden vs Trump – all the other Democrats are irrelevant

    Golocal247.com news

    We need to hear how the frontrunners for the nomination would win a dirty election and we need focused debates – nowBernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren before the debate in Ohio. Photograph: Brian Cahn/ZUMA Wire/REX/ShutterstockThe Democratic nominee in 2020 will be Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders. Everyone else is irrelevant.Don’t get me wrong. The entire field is impressive. Every candidate in last week’s debate would make a far better president than the current inhabitant of the Oval Office.But let’s get real. Biden, Warren, and Sanders each continue to garner around 20% in the polls while all others are in the single-digit doldrums. The frontrunners also have the money and the organization.Yet eight Democrats have already qualified for the 20 November debate in the Atlanta area, including the senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the entrepreneur Andrew Yang and the billionaire Tom Steyer.By 13 November, the last date for meeting the Democratic National Committee criteria, I wouldn’t be surprised if the former representative Beto O’Rourke, Senator Amy Klobuchar, the former housing secretary Juliían Castro and Representative Tulsi Gabbard were also on board.> Trump has never stopped campaigning. His incendiary lies continue to reverberateThis is nuts. What’s the point of another three-hour marathon? With so many candidates, all we get are soundbites, gotchas and one-liners.Perhaps someone in the second tier will be picked for vice-president or will end up in the next president’s cabinet, or their exposure will help win a seat in the House or Senate, or a governorship. But this is not enough reason to continue this overly extended beauty contest.Support must consolidate soon. Time is wasting. Take out the holidays and by 20 November the caucuses and primaries will be only weeks away. The Iowa caucuses are on 3 February.If we were going into a normal general election, the huge field of wannabes wouldn’t be a problem. But this won’t be a normal election. These are not normal times. If you hadn’t noticed, Donald Trump is not a normal president.Impeachment is sucking huge amounts of oxygen from the political air, and will continue to do so for months.Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign is in full gear. His fundraising machinery – the Republican National Committee, Super Pacs, his official campaign – has raised more than $736m. That’s more than any presidential candidate at this point in a campaign.Trump has never stopped campaigning. His incendiary lies continue to reverberate through Fox News, rightwing radio and social media.The larger the Democratic field, the harder it is for any single candidate or message to break through the cacophony.At the same time, second-tier candidates are under growing pressure to take pot shots at the front runners – planting negative stories, poking holes in their plans, building themselves up at their expense. This may be rational for them but it’s irrational for the Democrats as a whole.The old saw that a nominee benefits from having to respond to many other candidates doesn’t apply to this election.> If you thought the 'swift boating' of John Kerry in 2004 was outrageous, wait until Trump launches his aircraft carriersTrump will not be debating subtle differences between Medicare for All and Medicare for Those Who Want It. He will accuse the Democrat of being a communist, and worse.It’s time to for Democrats to hunker down. The debaters on 20 November should be Biden, Warren and Sanders.Warren and Sanders should be given a chance to fully explain how their ideas differ. Biden needs to explain why he believes America should return to the politics we had before Trump, when that politics led to Trump.All three should have ample time to describe how they’d win over working-class Americans who have been shafted for 40 years.They also need room to discuss how they’ll create a multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition to take power back for the bottom 90%, and how they’ll get big money out of politics and restore our democracy.And they need to address how they’ll take on Trump’s malicious lies and anything-goes tactics. If you thought George W Bush’s “swift boating” of John Kerry in 2004 was outrageous, wait until Trump launches his aircraft carriers.Americans deserve a full opportunity to assess these three candidates and decide which should take on Trump. It’s not too late for the DNC to tighten the rules for who gets to debate next.The stakes could not be higher. This will be the most important election in modern American history. We – not just Democrats but all Americans – cannot afford to blow it. * Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. He is also a columnist for Guardian US

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 01:00:45 -0400
  • Four killed as police fire on Bangladesh protesters

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • Boeing 737 MAX test pilot grappled with simulator flaws, too

    Golocal247.com news

    Such calibration problems may have contributed in some way to then-chief technical pilot Mark Forkner's observations and conclusions about MCAS' behavior, the former pilot, and a second former Boeing engineering employee, Rick Ludtke, said. The messages, first reported by Reuters, appear to be the first publicly known observations that MCAS behaved erratically during testing before the aircraft entered service.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 19:59:32 -0400
  • Hondurans call for president to step down after drug verdict

    Golocal247.com news

    Opposition groups called Saturday for more protests to demand that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández be removed from office after his younger brother was convicted of drug trafficking in a New York court. President Hernández insisted via Twitter that the verdict is not against the state of Honduras, saying his government has fought drug trafficking. On Saturday he attended a parade to honor the country's armed forces and posted pictures of himself on Twitter smiling alongside the U.S. chargé d'affaires to Honduras, Colleen Hoey.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 21:04:52 -0400
  • Pervasive Violence in 20th Week of Protests: Hong Kong Update

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    (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong protesters set off fires and vandalized subway stations, banks and stores as another weekend of demonstrations descended into destruction and violence.Organizers estimated at least 350,000 people took part in an unauthorized march that failed to get approval. Police used tear gas and water cannons to clear demonstrators who lingered to cause damage after the rally ended, and said it accidentally sprayed dyed water at the entrance of a mosque while trying to disperse protesters.Protesters are seeking to keep the pressure on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam after more than four months of demonstrations. Lam was twice shouted down in the city’s legislature last week by opposition lawmakers as she discussed her annual policy address.The protests began in opposition to Lam’s since-scrapped bill allowing extraditions to mainland China and have expanded to include calls for greater democracy and an independent inquiry. The unrest has turned increasingly violent, with frequent clashes between protesters and police.Here’s the latest (all times local):Xiaomi store fire (9 p.m.)A store of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. was set on fire, while the South China Morning Post reported a blaze at a branch of medicine shop Tong Ren Tang, which belongs to a mainland group. Firefighters were also seen putting out fires at an outlet of snack shop Best Mart 360, the paper said.Kowloon Mosque (8:30 p.m.)Police said it was “most unfortunate” that its dispersal operation of protesters caused an “unintended impact” of colored water being sprayed into the compound of Kowloon Mosque. Police contacted the mosque’s religious leader and other Muslim community chiefs to clarify the incident, according to a statement.Taiwan murder suspect (8:20 p.m.)Hong Kong’s government said Chan Tong-kai, a Hong Kong man who’s been accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend during a 2018 Valentine’s Day trip to Taiwan, made the decision to surrender himself to Taipei “out of his own free will.” Chan is currently imprisoned in Hong Kong for money laundering, and is about to be released, according to a statement.“We have conveyed to Taiwan clearly that we will be pleased to provide the necessary and legally feasible assistance to Taiwan,” according to the statement. “Should Taiwan raise any request for evidence in processing Chan’s surrender case, we will positively assist in accordance with our law.”Lam to visit Japan (5 p.m.)Lam will leave for Tokyo on Monday to attend the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito, according to a statement from her office. She will return Tuesday evening.Two arrested (4:15 p.m.)Police arrested two men in Tai Po for alleged possession of offensive weapons. The suspects are aged 31 and 34, the police said in a briefing. Officers found 42 petrol bombs, materials for explosives and masks, among other things, they said.Water cannon deployed (4 p.m.)A police water cannon sprayed blue-dyed liquid at protesters as it drove down Nathan Road, the main thoroughfare through districts of Kowloon. Fire fighters were seen putting out blazing barricades in streets and fires in subway stations and banks.Protesters continued to try block off roads and hurled petrol bombs as police approached. Mobs vandalized stores in the area. They broke into one in Yau Ma Tei and dumped its merchandise on the floor. At least seven MTR stations were shut in Kowloon.Subway fires (3:15 p.m.)Protesters set fires in at least two subway-station entrances in Kowloon after the march reached its destination. Activists also barricaded roads and occupied carriageways. Police fired numerous rounds of tear gas to clear the crowds of demonstrators.MTR Corp., the city’s rail operator, closed three stations -- Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei and East Tsim Sha Tsui -- after attacks on the facilities.March kicks off (1:30 p.m.)Thousands of people poured into the streets of the busy Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district in a march to West Kowloon’s high-speed rail station to mainland China, about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) away.Some marchers also defied a law prohibiting face masks as they made their way peacefully through the streets. Shopkeepers and business owners stood outside the iconic Chungking Mansions handing out bottled water to protesters.Police called on the public to leave the area immediately. Protesters are blocking carriageways and are taking part in an unauthorized assembly, police said in a statement.MTR canceled 16 high-speed trains to and from the mainland on Sunday because of signal failure, RTHK reported.The march followed a relatively peaceful day Saturday where the main event was a prayer gathering in Central that drew a couple of thousand people.Man arrested after stabbing (Sunday 6 a.m.)Police said they arrested a 22-year-old man for allegedly stabbing a teenager near a subway station in Tai Po on Saturday.The 19-year-old victim was slashed across the neck and stabbed in the abdomen by a so-called Lennon Tunnel while he was handing out leaflets, Radio Television Hong Kong reported.There was no dispute between the two, Lee, the victim’s friend said, according to RTHK. The attacker said to the victim: it’s you “guys turning Hong Kong into a mess,” RTHK quoted Lee as saying.“The police strongly condemn any acts of violence. Regardless of the motives or background, we will take every case seriously and carry out investigation actively,” the police said in the statement.March ban upheld (2:30 p.m.)Hong Kong protesters lost an appeal against the police ban of their planned march on Sunday through Tsim Sha Tsui on concern about violence, RTHK reported.On Friday night protesters formed human chains citywide, with everyone covering their faces in some way in defiance of the mask ban. People masqueraded as Disney characters, animals and super heroes, but the most popular mask was one of China President Xi Jinping. In Tsim Sha Tsui a long line of protesters linked hands, all wearing a facade of Xi’s smiling face.Lam may reshuffle ExCo (1 p.m.)Lam said she would consider reorganizing the city’s Executive Council, its de facto Cabinet, but would wait until protests had ended.The beleaguered leader of Hong Kong said on an RTHK radio program that she doesn’t “blindly” support the actions of each officer but fully supports the force in enforcing the law. She urged people to wait for a report from Independent Police Complaints Council into the recent clashes, RTHK said. Lam again rejected calls for an independent inquiry into police brutality, the latest coming from Chinese University’s vice-chancellor, Rocky Tuan.Taiwan gets letter (10:45 a.m.)Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau confirmed it had received a letter from the Hong Kong police offering assistance in the case of Chan Tong-kai, Central News Agency reported.There is no precedent for the cooperation and the Taiwan bureau will follow up with relevant departments for discussion, CNA reported.Homicide suspect to surrender himself to Taiwan (11:28 p.m.)Hong Kong’s Chief Executive received a letter Friday from Chan Tong-kai, saying that he’d decided to surrender himself to Taiwan, according to a statement on the website of Hong Kong’s government.Chan “requested the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to assist him in making the relevant arrangement,” according to the statement.Hong Kong newspaper Sing Tao Daily reported earlier on Friday, citing a person it didn’t identify, that Chan made the decision after consulting with a pastor.\--With assistance from Dominic Lau.To contact the reporters on this story: Aaron Mc Nicholas in Hong Kong at amcnicholas2@bloomberg.net;Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Venus Feng in Hong Kong at vfeng7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Stanley James, Shamim AdamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 10:57:00 -0400
  • Lebanon rocked by vast protests demanding resignation of Hariri government

    Golocal247.com news

    Lebanon was shaken on Sunday by its largest protests in years as young and old turned out en masse to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his coalition government. It marked the fourth day of protests following a proposal for new taxes, which ignited widespread anger over austerity measures and corruption in a deeply unequal society.  The plan - to tax WhatsApp calls and other third-party applications that have long afforded cash-strapped Lebanese a chance to chat for free - was quickly dropped. But the protests have morphed into demands for an overhaul of the entire political system in the crisis-ravaged country. After on Friday laying out a 72-hour deadline for parties to agree to a framework for economic reforms, Mr Hariri held round-the-clock meetings with Lebanon’s various political blocs to discuss proposals for the 2020 budget.  Late on Sunday Mr Hariri appeared to have bought himself some time with the announcement of a package of reforms including a 50 percent reduction in the salaries of current and former officials.  The reforms also include $3.3 billion in contributions from banks to reduce the deficit in the heavily indebted country, and plans to overhaul the crippled electricity sector. But they will not be confirmed until approved by the cabinet on Monday, and it is unclear whether they will go far enough. On Saturday night, the resignation of four ministers from the Christian Lebanese Forces, a party allied with Mr Hariri, underscored the chaos in government.  By Sunday evening, with just 24 hours to go before Mr Hariri’s deadline, the country’s streets were awash in flags and furious Lebanese taking aim at all corners. “Neither Saudi nor Iran will be able to take this protest down,” chanted demonstrators in downtown Beirut Sunday night, referencing the regional arch-rivals that have long jostled for control of the tiny Mediterranean country. In the predominantly Shia city of Tyre, in the country’s south, there were chants accusing parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, himself Shia, of corruption. There has also been vocal opposition to Hizbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah. “All of them means all of them. Nasrallah is one of them,” was heard throughout the protests.  While demonstrators called for the government’s departure, its actual collapse would likely herald even greater instability and economic disaster – something MPs seem anxious to avoid. Mr Hariri has hinted at resignation if his demands are not met. But there are few obvious alternatives to the current PM. Not only is the post limited to Sunnis by the country’s power-sharing system, but it is also unclear who would be willing to take over in such a disastrous economic situation. Mr Hariri formed the current government of national unity in February after nine months of wrangling. He is currently in his third term as leader.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 14:57:07 -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
  • 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
  • Republican congressman announces retirement after saying he is open to Trump impeachment

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    * Francis Rooney said he wanted ‘do right thing’ with his vote * A day later, he says he will step downFrancis Rooney, right, is sworn in in January. Photograph: Susan Walsh/APA day after telling reporters he would consider voting to impeach Donald Trump, the Florida Republican Francis Rooney told Fox News he had decided to retire from Congress.On Friday, Rooney was asked about the political consequences of impeachment, a process the House will probably vote to advance after an inquiry steered by Democratic-controlled committees.He said he wanted “to get the facts and do the right thing because I’ll be looking at my children a lot longer than I’m looking to anybody in this building”.No House Republicans have yet said they will vote to impeach the president and send the matter to the Senate for trial.Senate Republicans are not expected to defect in numbers great enough to convict Trump and ensure his removal. But it has been reported that majority leader Mitch McConnell is preparing his caucus.In the same Friday conversation, Rooney said: “Whether I run again is a totally different can of worms, OK?”On Saturday he confirmed to Fox News that he would not.Asked if other Republicans felt as he did about impeachment, he said “there are people that talk, that have concerns about a lot of things that have happened – Syria and Mulvaney’s comments just the other day are probably going to drive some people to rethink this a little more. I have, I was shocked at those.”The president’s abrupt decision to withdraw US troops from Syria remains hugely controversial.The acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, suggested to reporters on Thursday that there had been a quid pro quo in Trump’s treatment of Ukraine, from which he sought political gain, and that the media should “get over it”. He later tried to walk the comments back.Rooney told Fox News he “hoped” other Republicans were becoming more likely to think as he did on impeachment.Announcing his retirement, he said: “I’ve done what I came to do. I want to be the model for term limits.”He added: “I thought the idea was you came and did your public service and left, you accomplish what you want to accomplish and you left. And that’s what I want to be an example to do.“And I’m also tired of the intense partisanship that stops us from solving the big questions that America needs solved.”An investor, Republican donor and former US ambassador to the Holy See under George W Bush, Rooney was elected to Congress in 2016.Republican retirement announcements have stacked up since the Democrats took the House in the 2018 midterms. Trump’s tempestuous presidency has added to the party’s challenges at the polls.According to ballotpedia.org, 14 Republican representatives have said they will bow out in 2020. Many are from districts where Democrats are expected to challenge.Rooney is not. Asked if Republicans were worried about Florida’s 19th district, in the south-west of the state, the National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Chris Pack simply told the Washington Post: “R+13.”

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 17:15:36 -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
  • 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
  • Detroit-area men who sent millions to Yemen spared prison

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    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
  • 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
  • U.S. Proposed to Help North Korea Build Tourist Area: Report

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. officials proposed a long-term plan to help North Korea construct a tourist area in return for denuclearization during recent working-level talks in Stockholm, Hankook Ilbo newspaper reported.U.S. negotiators prepared plans on the development of the Kalma tourist area, the paper said, citing an unidentified senior South Korean diplomat familiar with the talks in Stockholm. The paper didn’t say how North Korea reacted to the proposal.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been pushing to complete a resort construction in the Wonsan-Kalma coastal area. In August, Pak Pong Ju, a key member of the ruling party’s politburo, visited the region to encourage workers to make the area “a scenic spot” on the east coast.The talks in Stockholm earlier in October were the first in about eight months between the U.S. and North Korea, but ended with little agreement about what was even on the table. North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Myong Gil said the U.S. arrived “empty-handed” to the meeting, a point disputed by State Department officials.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Jasmine NgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:17:06 -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
  • 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
  • Could France and Germany Jointly Build an EU Aircraft Carrier?

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    All in all, a European carrier will only come about in a world where Germany is willing and able to commit far more resources to defense than it currently does; and can arrive at a joint vision with France on how to use such an expensive vessel to project force abroad. That’s not the world we live in yet.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 23:00:00 -0400
  • As Inquiry Widens, McConnell Sees Impeachment Trial as Inevitable

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    WASHINGTON -- It was only a few weeks ago that the top Senate Republican was hinting that his chamber would make short work of impeachment.But this week, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, sat his colleagues down over lunch in the Capitol and warned them to prepare for an extended impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.According to people who were there, he came equipped with a PowerPoint presentation, complete with quotes from the Constitution, as he schooled fellow senators on the intricacies of a process he portrayed as all but inevitable.Few Republicans are inclined to convict Trump on charges that he abused his power to enlist Ukraine in an effort to smear his political rivals. Instead, McConnell, R-Ky., sees the proceedings as necessary to protect a half-dozen moderates in states like Maine, Colorado and North Carolina who face reelection next year and must show voters they are giving the House impeachment charges a serious review.It's people like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who will be under immense political pressure as they decide the president's fate."To overturn an election, to decide whether or not to convict a president is about as serious as it gets," Collins said.McConnell is walking a careful line of his own in managing the fast-moving impeachment process. On Friday, the senator wrote a scathing op-ed criticizing the president's decision to pull back troops from northern Syria, calling it a "grave strategic mistake," without naming Trump. But McConnell, who is known for his ruthless partisan maneuvering, also views it as his role to protect a president of his own party from impeachment, and in a recent fundraising video, he vowed to stop it.The mood among Republicans on Capitol Hill has shifted from indignant to anxious as a parade of administration witnesses has submitted to closed-door questioning by impeachment investigators and corroborated central elements of the whistleblower complaint that sparked the inquiry.They grew more worried still Thursday, after Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, undercut the president's defense by saying that Trump had indeed withheld security aid from Ukraine in order to spur an investigation of his political rivals. Mulvaney later backtracked, but the damage was done."I couldn't believe it -- I was very surprised that he said that," said Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., who mocked Mulvaney's attempts to take back comments, that had been broadcast live from the White House briefing room."It's not an Etch-A-Sketch," Rooney said, miming the tipping movement that erases the toy drawing board. "There were a lot of Republicans looking at that headline yesterday when it came up, I certainly was."Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who is seen as potentially open to removing Trump from office -- told reporters that a president should never engage in the kinds of actions that Mulvaney appeared to acknowledge."You don't hold up foreign aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative," she said. "Period."Still, Republicans said they did not detect a significant shift that would pose a serious threat to the president in the Senate. It would require 20 Republicans to side with Democrats in convicting Trump, and few observers believe that will happen.McConnell, his allies said, regards the impeachment fight in much the same way as he did the struggle last year to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, in which he was primarily concerned with protecting his Senate majority by insulating vulnerable incumbents. Then, as now, they said, McConnell is focused on keeping Republicans as united as possible, while allowing those with reservations about Trump's conduct and their own political considerations to justify their decision to their constituents."I think he will play it straight," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a close McConnell ally, who noted his party's narrow voting margin. "I don't think he has any alternative. When you are operating with 53 you have thin margins and you can't jam anybody or you end up with undesirable consequences."McConnell has told colleagues he expects the House to impeach Trump quickly, possibly by Thanksgiving, an educated hunch based on the pace of the inquiry so far and Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to keep the inquiry narrowly focused on Trump's dealings with Ukraine. He plans to move swiftly too, he told colleagues, using the approach of Christmas to force the Senate to complete its work before the beginning of 2020.Yet an impeachment trial is a spectacle that is by its nature unpredictable, and most of the senators who will act as jurors were not around for the last one, of Bill Clinton in 1999. McConnell reminded senators that Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over the trial, and would have wide latitude in handling motions that might be made, including any motion to dismiss the charges that Republicans might try to put forward to short circuit the process.McConnell's declaration that the Senate would move forward was in part designed to show he had no choice, an effort to deflect criticism from conservatives outraged that the Senate would even consider impeachment.On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pushed for Senate Republicans to write a letter to Pelosi declaring that they would not remove the president. But some senators raised objections, worrying that some of their colleagues would not want to sign on, a result that would expose disunity among Republicans. Graham's colleagues said they believe they staved off the letter, which they viewed as a mistake.McConnell has made it clear that he plans to sit down with Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, to see if they can find a mutually acceptable way to move forward as Democrats and Republicans did in 1999 when they unanimously agreed on the framework for the impeachment trial. The Senate is much more polarized now, though Schumer this week held out hope."We have to do this trial in a fair and bipartisan way and I hope that Leader McConnell would obey those strictures," Schumer said. In the battle for Senate control, Democrats have their own political risks to consider since impeachment could prompt a backlash against some of their candidates if enough voters conclude that the president was pursued unfairly.Just 15 senators remain in office from the time Clinton was put on trial. McConnell warned them of the weight of the trial, where they can be required to be on the floor all afternoon six days a week without speaking -- a major challenge for senators who relish their chances to be heard."It will mean day after day sitting in chamber, listening to the two sides, writing questions for them to answer that go through the chief justice," said Collins, one of the Republicans who voted to acquit Clinton 20 years ago. "Members who have not been through this before will find it is a great deal of work."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 17:57:28 -0400
  • One year on, migrant caravan leaves unexpected legacy

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    A year ago, thousands of Central American men, women and children chasing the American dream arrived in Mexico in a massive caravan that has left a lasting legacy -- just not the one people generally thought it would. Fleeing chronic poverty and brutal gang violence at home, they banded together in hopes of finding safety in numbers against the dangers of the journey, including criminal gangs that regularly extort, kidnap and kill migrants. The images made an impact around the world: carrying their meager belongings on their backs, many migrants pressed small children to their chests or held them by the hand.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 21:25:40 -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
  • Italian experts defuse WWII bomb in northern city

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    Italian authorities evacuated 4,000 people from the center of the northern city of Bolzano on Sunday to defuse a World War II bomb found during construction. An alarm signaled the all-clear to reopen the city center just before noon, as well as a nearby north-south highway and rail line both connecting Italy with Austria and Germany. The online news site Neue Suedtiroler Tageszeitung said after being defused, the bomb was brought to a secure site nearby for a controlled explosion.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 10:45:14 -0400
  • China Calls for Tech Collaboration While Criticizing U.S. Action

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    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. A senior Chinese official called for governments around the world to work more closely together to regulate emerging technologies, while taking a veiled swipe at the U.S. for undermining collaboration.“The foundation for an open and shared-by-all internet is unstable,” Huang Kunming, a member of the Politburo, which is comprised of China’s 25 most-senior officials, said at a technology forum on Sunday. “Some countries restrain and suppress companies from other countries using cyber security as an excuse. Such moves cast uncertainty and even antagonism over cyberspace,” he said, without naming the U.S.Technology has come increasingly to the fore of a confrontation between the U.S. and China that began with trade and has since spread to 5G mobile networks and artificial intelligence. Washington has lobbied countries to not use gear from Huawei Technologies Co. in their 5G plans, arguing it could facilitate spying by Beijing, and the U.S. blacklisted some of China’s leading AI companies, citing their links to the detention of ethnic minorities.“We need to respect each country’s approach to Internet development, governance, policy making and their rights to participate in international governance based on mutual trust,” said Huang, who’s also head of the Communist Party’s publicity department. “We need to pay attention to each others’ interests and concerns, effectively deal with disagreements and avoid strategic misjudgment. “Huang spoke at the World Internet Conference held in the small town of Wuzhen in eastern China’s Zhejiang province. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chief Executive Daniel Zhang, Baidu Inc. Chief Executive Robin Li and Western Digital Corp. Chief Executive Steve Milligan were among executives in attendance.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: John Liu in Beijing at jliu42@bloomberg.net;Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, John LiuFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 01:17:51 -0400
  • Clinton email probe finds no deliberate mishandling of classified information

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    A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees. The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 20:09:56 -0400
  • U.K. serial killers had affair in prison, lawyer claims

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    Notorious U.K. serial killers Rose West and Myra Hindley were lovers in prison, according to one of their former lawyers. West’s ex-attorney Leo Goatley claimed his client fell for the Moors murderer in 1995 after they were both jailed in the hospital wing of Durham prison.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 10:47:09 -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
  • 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 17:30:04 -0400
  • China talks up tech prowess in face of US rivalry

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • High-profile cases turn spotlight on domestic violence in Russia

    Golocal247.com news

    Natalia Tunikova's partner pushed her towards the open balcony in their high-rise Moscow flat, before punching her to the floor. A Moscow court later ruled that her use of force in self-defence was not justified. Cases like Tunikova's are ever more widely reported in Russia, leading to a public outcry in a country that has no specific law on domestic violence and where feminist movements like #MeToo had little impact.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:34:40 -0400
  • Asylum-seeking Mexicans are more prominent at US border

    Lizbeth Garcia tended to her 3-year-old son outside a tent pitched on a sidewalk, their temporary home while they wait for their number to be called to claim asylum in the United States. The 33-year-old fled Mexico's western state of Michoacan a few weeks ago with her husband and five children — ages 3 to 12 — when her husband, a truck driver, couldn't pay fees that criminal gangs demanded for each trailer load. "I'd like to say it's unusual, but it's very common," Garcia said Thursday in Juarez, where asylum seekers gather to wait their turn to seek protection at a U.S. border crossing in El Paso, Texas.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 20:46:20 -0400
  • WKD: Ukraine Is Facing a Tough Path Towards Peace with Russia

    Golocal247.com news

    Can Kyiv pull it off?

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 04:37:00 -0400
  • Thousands take to Lebanon's streets in third day of anti-government protests

    Golocal247.com news

    Tens of thousands took to the streets of Lebanon on Saturday for a third day of anti-government protests, directing growing rage at a political elite they blame for entrenched cronyism and driving the country to the economic brink. In central Beirut, the mood was fiery and festive, with protesters of all ages waving flags and chanting for revolution outside upmarket retailers and banks that had their store fronts smashed in by rioters the night before. From the south to the east and north of Lebanon, protesters marched and blocked roads to keep the momentum going despite gunmen loyal to the Shi'ite Muslim Amal movement appearing with firearms to scare them away.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 07:28:47 -0400
  • Kuwait Sees Neutral Zone Oil Pact With Saudis Within 45 Days

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Kuwait expects to sign an agreement with Saudi Arabia to restart oil production from the neutral zone along their border within 30 to 45 days, according to a person familiar with the matter.The pact, reached after months of intensive negotiations, won’t be final until it’s signed, the person said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. Khafji, one of two fields in the zone, can start production immediately, while the Wafra field will need three to six months, the person said.The neutral zone, which has been shuttered for at least four years, can produce as much as 500,000 barrels a day. Negotiations continue with the Kuwaiti authorities, but even if production resumes, the area would not add oil to global markets because both countries adhere to output limits that OPEC has extended into early 2020, according to a person familiar with Saudi thinking.Talks with Saudi Arabia continue and are “very positive,” Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid al-Jarallah was cited as saying by the Kuwait News Agency late Saturday. When an agreement is reached, the countries will start talks on resuming production, he said. Officials from Kuwait Petroleum Corp. couldn’t be reached for comment.The neutral zone hasn’t produced anything since the fields were shut after spats between the two countries in 2014 and 2015. The barren strip of desert straddling the Saudi-Kuwaiti border -- a relic of the time when European powers drew implausible ruler-straight borders across the Middle East -- can pump about as much as OPEC member Ecuador.The disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait started over the Wafra field, which is operated by Chevron Corp. Saudi Arabia extended the original 60-year-old concession of the field, giving the U.S. company rights over Wafra until 2039. Kuwait was furious over the announcement and claims Riyadh never consulted it about the extension.(Adds comments from person familiar with Saudi thinking in third paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Fiona MacDonald in Kuwait at fmacdonald4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nayla Razzouk at nrazzouk2@bloomberg.net, Bruce StanleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 02:55:51 -0400
  • India's Nuclear Weapons Arsenal Keeps Getting Bigger and Bigger

    Golocal247.com news

    A large arsenal in a dangerous part of the world.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:30:00 -0400
  • Mick Mulvaney Melts Down Under Brutal Grilling By Fox’s Chris Wallace

    Golocal247.com news

    Days after his disastrous White House press briefing in which he admitted President Donald Trump was seeking out a quid pro quo with Ukraine before saying never mind, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney struggled to walk back his comments under the intense and relentless grilling of Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.Almost immediately during the Sunday morning broadcast, Wallace pressed Mulvaney on his remarks, asking why he said during the press conference that military aid to Ukraine depended on investigating the actions of Democrats during the 2016 election, prompting Mulvaney to assert that he never actually said that.“Again, that’s not what I said, that's what people said I said,” he replied before saying there were “two reasons” why the United States would have held up aid: corruption and whether other European nations were helping with aid.Mick Mulvaney Has Conservatives Asking: WTF Are You Doing?Wallace, meanwhile, didn’t let Mulvaney’s spin go unchecked, telling the chief of staff that anyone listening to the briefing could “come to only one conclusion” before playing clips Mulvaney confirming that Trump withheld aid unless the Ukrainians investigated the Democrats.Mulvaney continued to insist that he had been misinterpreted and that aid was only contingent on corruption and additional European assistance, causing the Fox News anchor to fire back.“I hate to go through this but you said what you said,” Wallace stated. “And the fact is, after that exchange with [ABC News correspondent] Jonathan Karl, you were asked another time why the aid was held up. What was the condition for the aid? And you didn’t mention two conditions, you mentioned three conditions.”Wallace, once again, threw Mulvaney’s own remarks back in his face, playing yet another clip from the press briefing of Mulvaney claiming military aid to Ukraine was contingent upon them cooperating with the Trump administration and investigating the Democrats.The Trump aide, however, attempted to brush off his previous remarks by saying he didn’t actually use the words “quid pro quo,” prompting Wallace to point out that when Karl pressed him on whether or not there was a quid pro quo, Mulvaney said that “happens all the time.”Fox News Host Ed Henry: Not ‘Media’s Fault’ Mick Mulvaney Admitted Quid Pro QuoThe two would go back and forth over this issue for a few more minutes, with Wallace repeatedly cornering Mulvaney over his previous comments and the chief of staff flailing away and struggling to present even a laughable defense.At one point, Wallace asked Mulvaney whether he had offered his resignation to Trump in the wake of the blowback and criticism he received over the press briefing. Mulvaney said the topic was “absolutely not” discussed with the president, adding that he is “very happy working there.”CNN, meanwhile, reported Sunday that prior to the impeachment crisis that Trump finds himself currently embroiled in, there were internal efforts to push Mulvaney out as acting chief of staff. Those efforts subsided, however, when the push for impeachment heated up in the wake of the Ukraine scandal late last month.Besides the issues surrounding the Ukraine scandal and impeachment, Wallace also grilled Mulvaney on the president’s sudden reversal on next year’s G7 summit, which Mulvaney announced last week would be held at Trump’s personal property. Asked by Wallace why the president “caved” to the bipartisan backlash, Mulvaney said Trump was “honestly surprised at the level of pushback,” adding that the president “still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”Wallace seized on the “hospitality business” comment and pressed Mulvaney if the president understood why it “looked lousy.” The acting chief of staff's retort: “I think he thinks people think it looks lousy.”Sean Hannity Goes Off on Mick Mulvaney: ‘I Just Think He’s Dumb’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.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 12:58:47 -0400
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