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  • For 76-year-old Joe Biden, age a factor as he mulls 2020 run news

    As he considers running for president, Joe Biden is talking with friends and longtime supporters about whether, at 76, he's too old to seek the White House, according to several sources who have spoken with the former Democratic vice president.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 07:33:40 -0500
  • Fierce clashes in Hodeidah lead to delay of ceasefire news

    Fierce clashes broke out in Yemen’s crucial port city of Hodeidah on Sunday, leading UN and Yemeni officials to delay the "official" start of the hard-fought ceasefire agreed last week. Residents reported skirmishes on the outskirts of town with missiles and automatic gunfire heard near the city's eastern 7th July suburb.  Unconfirmed television reports said that the Saudi-led coalition had launched two airstrikes on Ras Isa, a port north of Hodeidah. On Thursday, the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels agreed to a UN-brokered truce in Hodeidah with the Saudi-led coalition that backs the official government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.  UN officials said it was necessary to delay the implementation of the ceasefire until December 18th to convey orders to troops on the ground.  On Sunday afternoon, UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths issued a plea to both to “respect their obligations as per the text and the spirit of the Stockholm Agreement” and “engage in the immediate representation of its provisions.” "Without peace, we will be facing in 2019 a much worse situation than today" as a result of food shortages, warned UN chief Antonio Guterres on Sunday. Hodeidah is almost completely controlled by the Houthis, and their withdrawal from key positions like the port is one of the central components of the UN-brokered deal reached last week in Sweden. By moving units away from the Red Sea port, international officials hope to get desperately needed food and aid into the country to ease Yemen’s festering humanitarian crisis. Under the deal, which could create the breathing space for meaningful peace talks, international monitors are to be deployed in Hodeidah to observe as all armed forces pull back completely within 21 days of the start of the ceasefire. Skirmishes and clashes like those seen in Hodeidah over the past two days are not in themselves a sign that the ceasefire is doomed, said independent Yemen analyst Hisham Al-Omeisy. “Even in previous ceasefires, there was a huge de-escalation infighting, but still sporadic fighting here and there, like we’ve seen over the past few days,” he told the Telegraph. He cited recent conversations with Houthi contacts where the atmosphere in Hodeidah was cited as “toxic” and characterised by a deep mistrust of the Saudi-led coalition. A rise in looting by Houthi forces, he said, showed "bad faith" ahead of the agreed withdrawal. 

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 12:19:04 -0500
  • Top Democrat Schiff Adds Call for Probe of Trump, Deutsche Bank Links news

    Representative Adam Schiff of California said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that any type of compromise needs to be investigated. Schiff’s comments came three days after Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and fellow Senate Democrat Chris Van Hollen called for a Banking Committee investigation of Deutsche Bank’s compliance with U.S. money-laundering regulations.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 15:25:20 -0500
  • Australia "recognition" move criticized in Israel news

    Israel indicates displeasure at an Australian decision to recognize West Jerusalem as the Israeli capital - with a confidant of Benjamin Netanyahu suggesting the announcement does not go far enough. Pascale davies reports.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 10:40:02 -0500
  • Snow, rain and wind in late-week storm to impact holiday travel news

    As students embark on winter break, last-minute shoppers head to the stores and holiday travel ramps up across the country later this week, a major storm could lead to widespread travel headaches in the eastern U.S.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 11:32:11 -0500
  • Any decision on Brexit deal will happen in New Year - British trade minister

    British trade minister Liam Fox said on Sunday talks with the European Union to secure "assurances" for parliament on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal will take time, with a decision expected in the New Year. "The prime minister is giving an update tomorrow, she will be talking to the cabinet on Tuesday, it is very clear that the EU understand what the problem is.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 11:20:25 -0500
  • Iraq lays cornerstone to rebuild iconic Mosul mosque news

    Iraqis on Sunday laid the cornerstone in rebuilding Mosul's Al-Nuri mosque and leaning minaret, national emblems destroyed last year in the ferocious battle against the Islamic State group. The famed 12th century mosque and minaret, dubbed Al-Hadba or "the hunchback," hosted Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's only public appearance as IS chief, when he declared a self-styled "caliphate" after the jihadists swept into Mosul in 2014. The structures were ravaged three years later in the final, most brutal stages of the months-long fight to rid Iraq's second city of IS.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 09:09:04 -0500
  • Shop deals on luggage, packing accessories to travel smarter in the new year news

    Forget fruitcake and distant relatives' awkward questions about your relationship status — the worst part of the holidays is traveling, hands down. Unfortunately, we can't do anything about that pungent log of dried cherries and nuts on the dessert table, nor can we prevent your Aunt Ruby from asking why you're still single. (Why are you still single, anyway?) We can, however, offer you some sweet deals on items that'll make your trip home far more bearable. Below, we've rounded up the deets on seven travel and packing tools that just went on sale in the Mashable Shop — and don't forget to enter the code MERRY15 at checkout to score an extra 15% off your purchase.  1. SuitFaces Custom Luggage Covers Don't waste another minute of your life trying to determine which nondescript black suitcase on the baggage carousel is yours. SuitFaces' durable covers make your luggage easy to find with all sorts of awesome designs featuring your favorite movie characters, colorful patterns, NBA jerseys, and more. Want an even more distinctive look? You can also opt to have SuitFaces make a custom design using a picture of your face, logo, pet, or initials. For a limited time, Mashable readers can snag a $40 credit to the SuitFaces store for just $30 — a savings of 25%. Image: SuitFaces SuitFaces Custom Luggage Covers — $25.50 with promo code MERRY15 See Details 2. Joyus Exclusive Luggage Shelf Stay organized on the go with the Joyus Exclusive Luggage Shelf, which serves as your personal, portable closet throughout your trip. Simply pack your clothing and accessories into each of its separate compartments and collapse it into your carry-on bag. Once you've arrived at your destination, you just need to lift it out of your luggage and hang it up unfurled for easy access to your outfits.  A $79 value, we normally offer the Joyus Luggage Shelf for $65. Act quickly, though, and you can score one today for just $32.99 — a savings of 58%. Image: Joyus Joyus Exclusive Luggage Shelf — $28.05 with promo code MERRY15 See Details 3. Joyus Exclusive Packing Cubes in Black (set of three) Trying to pack extra light? You don't need to pare down your packing list if you've got the lightweight Joyus Exclusive Packing Cubes, which organize your clothes in a carry-on just as effectively as its luggage shelf, minus the hanging design.  A $68 value, we usually offer the set for $58. If you act now, however, you can pick one up for only $24.99 — a savings of 63%. Image: Joyus Joyus Exclusive Packing Cubes in Black: Set of 3 — $25.50 with promo code MERRY15 See Details 4. Vasco 7-Piece Smart Packing Cube Set Save up to 60% more space (and avoid fees for overweight baggage) with the Vasco Smart Packing Cube Set, a collection of seven compressible, waterproof cubes that keep your items separated and tidy during travel. Capable of fitting in virtually any piece of luggage, from carry-ons to totes, the set is crafted from durable nylon and includes an RFID-blocking travel wallet. Valued at $159.99, you can save 38% by purchasing a set from the Mashable Shop, where they're on sale for only $99. Image: Vasco Bags Vasco 7-Piece Smart Packing Cube Set — $84.15 with promo code MERRY15 See Details 5. Mia Toro Illeso Hardside Spinner (three-piece set) Featuring a lightweight Armor-Flex composite that wouldn't look out of place in a designer boutique, the Mia Toro Illeso hardside spinner set is the ideal marriage of strength and style. Its highlights include an expandable frame that allows for 25% more packing space and Glide-Tech 360-degree dual wheels for steady movement.  An $840 value, you can purchase this three-piece set with a micro diamond finish in your choice of four colors —  black, silver, blue, and burgundy — for just $249.99. Image: Mia Toro Mia Toro Illeso Hardside Spinner: 3-Piece Set — $212.50 with promo code MERRY15 See Details 6. Mia Toro 3-Piece Nuovo Hardside Spinner Luggage Set Also from Mia Toro comes the Nuovo hardside spinner set, which features the same expandable design, Glide-Tech 360-degree wheels, and durable Armor-Flex craftsmanship as the Illeso model. It's available in the same four colors as its companion model but in a modern polished brush finish. An $840 value, this three-piece set is yours for just $249.99 — a savings of 70%. Image: Mia Toro Mia Toro 3-Piece Nuovo Hardside Spinner Luggage Set — $212.50 with promo code MERRY15 See Details 7. Dr. Save Vacuum Travel Kit Capable of shrinking your clothes and other soft goods by up to 70%, the Dr. Save is the remedy to all your packing woes. This kit includes an air pump that removes moisture, mildew, and odors while sealing up your belongings, as well as four reusable bags that are great for long-term storage. Normally $69.95, the Dr. Save kit is now on sale for just $39 — a 44% savings. Image: FRESHeTECH Dr. Save Vacuum Travel Kit — $33.15 with promo code MERRY15 See Details

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 05:00:00 -0500
  • Jake Tapper Shuts Down Susan Collins' Attempt To Spin Trump Hush Money Payments news

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) thinks more information is needed before she can

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 16:15:15 -0500
  • Strike, lockdown shut Kashmir amid anger over killings news

    SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A security clampdown and a strike sponsored by separatists fighting against Indian rule shut most of Indian-administered Kashmir on Sunday, a day after chaotic protests and fighting killed seven civilians and four combatants in the disputed region.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 03:30:13 -0500
  • Family complains that Catholic priest used teen's funeral to condemn suicide news

    The parents of a teenage boy who took his own life have condemned a Catholic priest who questioned whether their son would get to heaven while presiding over his funeral. The Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit expressed regret for the comments and said the Rev Don LaCuesta would not preach at funerals "for the foreseeable future". But the parents of Maison Hullibarger said they wanted the priest removed from his post for the heartbreak caused. "We wanted him to celebrate how Maison lived, not how he died," his mother, Linda Hullibarger, told The Detroit Free Press. Jeff Hullibarger added: "It was his time to tell everybody what he thought of suicide, (and) we couldn't believe what he was saying. “He was up there condemning our son, pretty much calling him a sinner. He wondered if he had repented enough to make it to heaven. He said 'suicide' upwards of six times. They said they met the priest ahead of the service at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Temperance, Michigan, on December 8, setting out what they hoped to hear in a loving homily. However, the Catholic Church has traditionally taught that suicide was an unforgiveable sin. It has only been in recent years that the stance has softened to forgive suicide in situations of extreme stress. The Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit apologised and said Mr LaCuesta would be removed from funeral duties and given extra assistance. "We share the family’s grief at such a profound loss. Our hope is always to bring comfort into situations of great pain, through funeral services centered on the love and healing power of Christ," it said in a statement. "Unfortunately, that did not happen in this case. We understand that an unbearable situation was made even more difficult, and we are sorry."

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 21:26:37 -0500
  • Introducing the Army's New Lethal Sniper Rifle news

    Here's all we know.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 04:00:00 -0500
  • Judge gives mom 40 years after 2 kids die in car. People 'take better care of their pets'

    A Texas judge told a mom that people "take better care of their pets" after her daughters died painful deaths from being left overnight in a vehicle.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 17:39:21 -0500
  • Photos: Snow, freezing rain from Storm Deirdre causes disruptions across UK news

    Storm Deirdre caused travel hazards, power outages and disruptions this weekend across the United Kingdom.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 18:32:56 -0500
  • Every Photo from Our Drive of the Audi e-tron GT Concept

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

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 17:50:00 -0500
  • More than 40 injured in explosion in Japan's Sapporo: Kyodo news

    More than 40 people were injured in an explosion on Sunday at a bar in Sapporo in northern Japan, Kyodo news agency reported. Kyodo said one person was in critical condition. Eyewitnesses reported smelling gas in the area following the explosion, which Kyodo said happened at 8.30 p.m. (1130 GMT).

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 10:56:44 -0500
  • South Africa's ANC Postpones Party Election List Conference news

    The conference would be rescheduled to Jan. 4-5 from this weekend to accommodate the North West province, which hadn’t submitted its nominations, ANC acting spokesman Dakota Legeote said by phone. The conference had been delayed because of deep divisions within the party and allegations by some members of manipulation of the lists, City Press reported on Sunday. South Africa is due to hold national and provincial elections in 2019, likely in May. The country has a proportional representation system in which lawmakers are chosen according to where they sit on nomination lists.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 05:44:53 -0500
  • As sentencing looms, Flynn is upbeat, has adoring fans news

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Days away from being sentenced in the Russia probe, former national security adviser Michael Flynn is not exactly hiding his face in shame.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 00:31:20 -0500
  • Yemenis fear collapse of UN-backed ceasefire accord news

    Residents of Yemen's flashpoint port of Hodeida and other cities fear a UN-brokered ceasefire could collapse at any moment, saying that after four years of conflict any accord is deeply fragile. The Red Sea port of Hodeida, a main frontline between rebels and loyalist forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition and a key conduit of aid, had woken to calm after weeks of confrontation. Saturday morning saw calm return to Hodeida, but shops and schools remained shuttered as gunmen deployed in the south and east.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 14:58:55 -0500
  • Warren seeks to solidify backing of African Americans news

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren is seeking to solidify her connection with African-American voters as she prepares to launch a potential presidential campaign amid criticism of her approach to race and identity.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 00:44:18 -0500
  • Russia Is Trying to Make Its Very Own Glock Firearms news

    More like Glock-alikes.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 08:12:00 -0500
  • This high school taught 'adulting' for a day: How to cook, do resumes, taxes and more news

    Some millennials are seeking out classes for skills like sewing, cooking and relationship building. One school offered those classes on "adulting" day

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 13:58:28 -0500
  • Snow showers, squalls to accompany fresh wave of cold air in northeastern US Monday news

    Cold air diving into the northeastern United States to start the new week will be accompanied by gusty winds, snow and the threat for slippery travel.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 05:09:25 -0500
  • Find love this Christmas with 15% off eharmony until Dec. 17 news

    You know those wonderful butterflies that invade your body when you meet someone new? Everyone deserves those, especially at Christmas.  Rather than make a potentially ill-judged move on a colleague at the Christmas party or hope for the best by spending time in packed bars this December, you could just sign up with eharmony. eharmony takes the time to properly get to know you to discover what is really important in your life, meaning you should hopefully meet with people that you have a genuine connection with. With over 35 years of experience in dating, eharmony is a safe pair of hands for your heart.  When it comes to finding a match, it's quality, not quantity that's important. When it comes to how much you are paying for a dating service, it's really down to quantity. You can now sign up to eharmony and get 15% off with the code JOIN15. eharmony is saving you money and saving your love life all at once. This offer is only available until Dec. 17 so you need to act fast on this great opportunity for love. Image: Mashable eharmony — 15% off with code JOIN15 See Details

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 02:00:00 -0500
  • China's Xi declares an 'overwhelming victory' over graft: state media news

    Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared an "overwhelming victory" in his fight against graft within the ruling Chinese Communist Party, while still vowing that the campaign to weed out deep-seated corruption will continue, state media reported. Xi has pledged to wage war on graft until corruption of all kinds has been expunged at all levels of the Communist Party, from high-level "tigers" to low-level "flies".

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 02:11:29 -0500
  • Qatar Buys Mexican Oil Stakes From Eni news

    Eni and the government-owned energy company in Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, will produce about 90,000 barrels of oil a day from the Amoca, Mizton and Tecoalli fields in the Gulf of Mexico by the end of 2021, Saad Sherida Al Kaabi, Qatar’s energy minister, said in Doha. The fields hold 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, he said at a press conference with Eni Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 16:00:00 -0500
  • Obamacare to be considered by new-look  US Supreme Court after Texas judge rules it is unconstitutional news

    America's new-look conservative-leaning US Supreme Court looks set to rule next year whether to overturn Barack Obama's flagship Obamacare policy. The highest court in America is expected to consider Mr Obama's signature political legacy after a judge in Texas declared it unconstitutional. Donald Trump, who tipped the balance in the court with controversial appointments, called the Texas ruling "Great news for America!" and said Obamacare was an "unconstitutional disaster". In Texas, Judge Reed O'Connor delivered his 55-page ruling on the eve of the deadline for Americans to sign up for 2019 health insurance coverage under Obamacare. Republicans have long opposed the health care system, officially introduced by the Affordable Care Act in 2010. President Barack Obama at his final press conference in January 2017  Credit: AFP Mr Trump made abolishing the programme one of his main campaign pledges in 2016, but an attempt to repeal it in Congress failed last year. Judge O'Connor said changes to the law introduced by Mr Trump's overhaul of the tax system in 2017 had affected the legality of  Obamacare. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated Obamacare's so-called "individual mandate" under which people who failed to sign up and pay for health insurance were subjected to a fine. Judge O'Connor ruled that the entire Affordable Care Act should now be struck down because the individual mandate had been the "keystone" of the programme. The law will remain in place pending an appeal process which is expected to reach the Supreme Court next year. Obamacare has been considered twice by the court before, in 2012 and 2015, and opponents lost. However, this will be the first time that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the new conservative Supreme Court justice nominated by Mr Trump this year, will have an input. Brett Kavanaugh at his Senate confirmation hearing in September Credit: AP Five judges on the nine-strong court who voted for Obamacare previously are still in place. The case in Texas was brought by the administrations of 20 Republican US states, and opposed by a host of Democrat states. Nancy Pelosi, the incoming Democrat Speaker of the House of Representatives, said the ruling "exposes the monstrous endgame of Republicans' all-out assault" on people seeking affordable healthcare. She said: "This absurd ruling will be immediately appealed. Republicans are fully responsible for this cruel decision."

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 12:10:53 -0500
  • Baylor ties pervade rape case that sparked uproar news

    DALLAS (AP) — The Texas judge who approved a plea deal allowing a former Baylor University student accused of rape to avoid jail time holds three degrees from Baylor. The criminal district attorney overseeing the case holds two. The prosecutor who agreed to the plea agreement graduated from Baylor law school.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 17:32:41 -0500
  • Israel says 4th 'attack tunnel' found from Lebanon news

    Israel's army said Sunday it has uncovered another Hezbollah "attack tunnel" leading from Lebanon into its territory, the fourth since it started a search-and-destroy operation this month. Israel says the Iranian-backed Shiite militant group has dug the infiltration tunnels for use in a future conflict, and the military has been working to eliminate them. The latest tunnel crossing into northern Israel was exposed at the weekend, the army said in a statement.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 03:53:50 -0500
  • Rocco The Cheeky Parrot Keeps Using Amazon's Alexa To Order Snacks news

    A mischievous parrot who was booted from an animal sanctuary for his foul

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 20:31:25 -0500
  • For sale: Restored home of Salem witch trials refugee news

    BOSTON (AP) — A once-run-down historic home that stands where a woman accused of witchcraft during the 1692 Salem witch trials settled after she was spared the noose is on the market after an extensive renovation project.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 11:26:28 -0500
  • Cash deposited in Robinhood's 3% checking and savings isn't insured, SIPC says news

    Cash in Robinhood's new checking and savings products that were rolled out this week is not insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corp.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 16:05:02 -0500
  • Weekly Standard shuts down news

    Conservative magazine often opposed Trump.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 00:02:07 -0500
  • Turkey would consider working with Assad if he won a democratic Syrian election

    Turkey and other world powers would consider working with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he won a democratic election, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a conference in Qatar on Sunday. Turkey supported the opposition to Assad in the Syrian civil war that broke out in 2011 and continues to support rebel fighters who control part of northwest Syria. A year ago Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan described Assad as a terrorist and said it was impossible for Syrian peace efforts to continue with him.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 11:18:13 -0500
  • Inside Polo Storico - where classic Lamborghinis are reborn news

    Polo Storico is Lamborghini's in-house restoration program that can facilitate everything – from vehicle history to complete rebuilds using original parts. We went for a closer look

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 08:02:10 -0500
  • How Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke came undone news

    He arrived on a horse for his first day on the job and was welcomed at the Interior Department by an honor song. Zinke's departure is unlikely to be so ceremonial.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 12:40:19 -0500
  • Father of Strasbourg attacker said his son backed IS group news

    PARIS (AP) — The man described as the father of the 29-year-old suspect in this week's deadly Christmas market attack in Strasbourg says his son subscribed to the beliefs of the Islamic State group.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 21:42:30 -0500
  • Ottawa's envoy in China meets with second detained Canadian: ministry news

    Ottawa's ambassador to Beijing has met with the second Canadian detained in China on suspicion of threatening national security, Canada's foreign ministry said Sunday. The ministry said Ambassador John McCallum had met with Michael Spavor, a business consultant, two days after meeting with another detained Canadian, Michael Kovrig, a think tank employee. "Canadian consular officials continue to provide consular services to him and his family and will continue to seek further access to Mr Spavor," the ministry said.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 15:55:29 -0500
  • Our Plastic Addiction Has Reached A New Crisis Level news

    This is not a good look. Humans are using more oil-based plastic than ever,

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 05:45:12 -0500
  • Trucker saves dogs thrown from vehicle on New York highway news

    NEW YORK (AP) — A pair of beagle mixes are on the mend after authorities say someone threw them out of a moving vehicle on a snowy New York highway. The dogs were rescued by a passing trucker, but one was so badly mangled that a front leg had to be amputated.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 15:47:40 -0500
  • Student Charged After Video Shows Fight That Left Another Student Injured news

    A student was charged with aggravated battery after an attack that left another student seriously injured was caught on video at the Lockport Township High School East Campus.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 13:39:02 -0500
  • The best weekend holiday deals on Amazon

    These deals make great last minute gifts.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 09:51:27 -0500
  • At least 20 Afghan civilians killed in airstrike: officials

    The strike, against local Taliban commander Sharif Mawiya, was the latest in a series targeting senior insurgents, including the shadow governor of the strategic southern province of Helmand, who was killed on Dec. 2. Several Taliban military commanders have been killed this month by Afghan forces, backed by U.S. advisers and air power. The tactic has raised the risk of civilian casualties and Abdul Latif Fazly, a member of the provincial council, said eight women and 12 children were killed and more than 15 others wounded in Friday's airstrike.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 11:51:51 -0500
  • Prada apologizes for 'Pradamalia' toys that evoke racist blackface imagery

    On the heels of Dolce & Gabbana's disastrous Chinese ad campaign, Prada found itself embroiled in its own controversy over monkey toys and keychains accused of evoking racist imagery. The company later apologized on Twitter, promising to recall the offensive figurines from its new "Pradamalia" line of collectibles. "The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 17:49:43 -0500
  • Giuliani Says ‘Over My Dead Body’ Will Trump Meet With Mueller news

    Giuliani, who’d at times floated the possibility of a meeting in interviews over several months, didn’t answer directly when asked about a CNN report on Dec. 14 that Mueller wants to interview Trump in his investigation of Russia influence in the 2016 campaign. In a separate interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Giuliani was less definitive when asked whether it’s possible Trump will talk to Mueller.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 12:53:19 -0500
  • Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra was ordered this week to rebuild it exactly as it was.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 20:09:23 -0500
  • Displaced huddle in a basement as winter grips Syria news

    Al-Bab (Syria) (AFP) - After washing up her family's dishes over a plastic basin, 11-year-old Cedra sits on the floor of the dank basement in Syria to tackle her day's studies. A dark staircase leads from a street in the town of Al-Bab to the gloomy space the young girl, her blind father and some 40 other families have the misfortune of calling home. "There's a single room which we use as a kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom," said Cedra.

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 23:02:08 -0500
  • Inside the threatened Kurdish proto-state that holds the keys to defeating Isil news

    On one end of Qamishli’s main street flies the two-starred Syrian national flag. On the other, that of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party. “One flag represents our past oppression, the other our freedom,” says Mahmoud, who owns a clothing shop which sits between the two.   Before the civil war, it would have been unthinkable for the Kurdish minority to openly pledge allegiance to anything other than the President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian Arab Republic. But seven years into Syria's interminable conflict the Kurds appear to have carved out something of a proto-state in this corner of northeastern Syria, thanks in part to their efforts to flush out Isil. While they have been crushing the Caliphate to a tiny sliver of territory - taking the last town held by the Islamist on Friday morning - their separatist ambitions have largely been overlooked. Until now. Kurdish-held northern Syria The city of Qamishli has become the centre of the Kurds’ ambitious self-administration project. While a few government buildings and statues of President Assad remain, Qamishli and the surrounding areas are now firmly under the control of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Mahmoud is a proud supporter of the PYD, but still he declines to give his full name to the Telegraph for fear of reprisal should the regime one day return. Assad has repeatedly promised to retake every inch of Syria, including the third currently in Kurdish hands. The prospect looked more likely than at any other time in the war this week after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered Turkish troops and Ankara-backed Syrian rebels to ready for an assault on Syria’s Kurds. Turkey views the PYD’s military arm, the Popular Protection Units (YPG), as a terrorist organisation because of its links to an insurgent group inside Turkey, and has watched with growing concern at Kurdish expansionism on the other side of its border. In recent years, Turkish forces have already swept into Syria pushing the YPG out of territory west of the Euphrates river. But past offensives have stopped at its banks, partly to avoid direct confrontation with US troops that back the Kurds. "Turkey has lost enough time in terms of intervening to clean the terror swamp east of the Euphrates. We don't have the patience to wait one more day," Mr Erdogan warned on Friday. Men queue up to buy bread outside a bakery on the outskirts of Qamishli Credit: Sam Tarling The Kurds, who have so far relied on the US for support in their battles against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), have threatened to abandon the fight if they are left to fend for themselves in the face of a Turkish onslaught. But Washington has sent mixed signals on whether it would be behind them in any fight against Nato ally Turkey. “We don’t rely on any government, we just have strategic alliances,” Salih Muslim, a prominent political player in Rojava who until recently co-chaired the PYD, told the Sunday Telegraph. “The Kurds have expected a move from Turkey for a while now and will not easily back down.” Whatever they might say, it is clear is that the Kurds cannot stave off Turkish aggression alone. In the absence of a reliable ally in the US, they may soon be forced to decide whether to risk their chances, or eek out an unfavourable deal with Assad to secure long-term survival. “We have to take Assad at his word,” Khalaf Dahowd, head of the foreign committee of the Democratic Change Movement, told the Sunday Telegraph from his office in Qamishli, refering to the president's pledge to take back all Syria's territory. “If he gets the chance to take Rojava he will,” said Mr Dahowd, using the Kurdish name for the area of self-rule which covers some 15,000 square miles. A convoy of American Special Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces fighters makes a stop during a patrol near the Turkish border in northern Syria Credit:  Sam Tarling “Even when he was at his weakest point, before Russia intervened and it looked like he was going to lose everything, Assad refused to work with the Kurds,” he said. “Now he is winning, and as the saying goes - the winner takes all.” Kurdish officials who were part of the first delegation to Damascus over the summer say the Syrian government was not prepared to make a single concession. Despite this, the Kurds - who are just about the only side in the multi-faceted war not to have had a full-scale military conflict with the regime - still hold out hope for a political solution. The Kurds, who number more than two million in Syria, have made great sacrifices for their “democratic experiment”, as they call their pseudo-state in the north. Islamic State losing its grip on Syria The YPG has suffered considerable losses in the battles against Isil in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in the east. Officials estimate up to 8,000 fighters have been killed and 5,000 injured. Fierce battles are still ongoing for the last sliver of jihadist territory in Deir Ezzor. At least 5,000 IS fighters remain holed up in the pocket of territory, including some 2,000 foreign fighters, mostly Arabs and Europeans along with their families. The YPG has also made significant gains, including control of the country’s borders with Turkey and Iraq, its most lucrative oil fields and the freedom to once again speak their native language after decades of repression. “There are basic things we cannot give up; we need our democratic rights and our culture and language to be protected,” said Fawza al-Youssef, the co-chair of the executive body of the North Syria Federation. “But there are other things that are negotiable.” Mahmoud Mohammad Serhan, 59, a a retired trader who now keeps a farm, gets a cutthroat shave at a barber shop in Qamishli Credit:  Sam Tarling Relinquishing control of the borders and folding the YPG, into the national army, would be among the demands she says the self-administration would consider in return for a decentralisation of government. It would also be willing to do a deal on the oil fields in eastern Deir Ezzor province, which account for more than 80 per cent of the country’s pre-war production and currently lie within their control. “We aren’t saying all of this is rightfully ours, but the people here should benefit,” Ms Youssef said.  The next few days will prove pivotal for the Kurds as they face the greatest existential threat to their autonomy project since the war began. “We can’t go back to where were were before 2011, when we had nothing,” said Ms Youssef. “We have not fought this hard for it all to be destroyed.”

    Sat, 15 Dec 2018 11:11:19 -0500
  • BHP announces stock buyback, special dividend news

    BHP will issue a special dividend for shareholders after selling its US shale assets, the miner said Monday as it completed a US$7.3 billion stock buyback. The world's biggest miner recently sold its US shale oil and gas operations to British giant BP for US$10.5 billion, and said it would return the funds to shareholders. The special dividend of US$1.02 a share will be paid out in mid-January.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 20:34:22 -0500
  • I became a Democrat a year ago and found my own voice. It changed everything.

    I wrote my truth, held my breath and waited. I now care about lots more things than I used to, and I've finally embraced my Asian-American identity.

    Sun, 16 Dec 2018 04:00:08 -0500
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