Bolton to Iran: Don't mistake US 'prudence' for weakness
National security adviser John Bolton warned Iran that "no one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East."
06/23/2019 - 04:17 PM
White supremacist who killed woman after driving car into Charlottesville protesters begs judge to show him ‘mercy’
The self-avowed white supremacist who ploughed his car into protesters opposing a far-right rally in Virginia two years ago, killing one person and injuring dozens of others, has asked a judge for mercy and a sentence shorter than life in prison.James Alex Fields Jr’s legal team has argued in a new sentencing memo that the 22-year-old defendant should not spend his entire life in prison because of his age, a traumatic childhood and a history of mental illness.Fields has pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes in relation to the Charlottesville attack and is set to be sentenced on 28 June.“No amount of punishment imposed on James can repair the damage he caused to dozens of innocent people. But this Court should find that retribution has limits,” his attorneys wrote in a court document submitted on Friday.Fields’ attorneys said that giving him something less than a life sentence would be akin to an “expression of mercy” and a “conviction that no individual is wholly defined by their worst moments”.The attorneys highlighted his difficult upbringing and history of mental illness, but many of the details were redacted. The document did reveal he was raised by a paraplegic single mother and suffered “trauma” by growing up knowing his Jewish grandfather had murdered his grandmother before committing suicide.In their own sentencing memo, prosecutors said Fields had shown no remorse since he drove the car into the counter-demonstrators on 12 August, 2017, killing anti-racism activist Heather Heyer and injuring others protesting against the white nationalists.They argued that Fields deserves a life sentence, adding that would help deter others from committing “similar acts of domestic terrorism”.Prosecutors focused on years of documented racist and antisemitic behaviour by Fields, which they said included keeping a picture of Adolf Hitler on his bedside table. They also said that he was recorded on a jail phone call making disparaging remarks about Ms Heyer’s mother as recently as last month.They also argued that while Fields has a history of mental illness issues, it did not excuse his behaviour in a way that would demand a lenient sentence. “Any mental health concerns raised by the defendant do not overcome the defendant’s demonstrated lack of remorse and his prior history of substantial racial animus,” prosecutors wrote.Under a plea deal, federal prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty against Fields after he pleaded in March to federal hate crime charges and admitted that he intentionally drove his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters.The charges he pleaded guilty to call for life in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.In December last year he was convicted in a Virginia court of first-degree murder and other state charges for killing Ms Heyer and injuring others who were protesting. Sentencing on the state charges is scheduled for next month.The 2017 rally drew hundreds of white nationalists to Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Hundreds of counter-protesters demonstrated against the white nationalists.Donald Trump infamously said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the clashes in the Virginia city.Additional reporting by AP
06/23/2019 - 04:24 PM
Democrat O'Rourke proposes 'war tax' on affluent U.S. families without military members
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday proposed taxing affluent American families who do not have members in the U.S. military as a way to fund healthcare for veterans. The former congressman from Texas unveiled a plan for military veterans that includes a "war tax," in which taxpayers who earn over $200,000 a year would pay $1,000 in a new tax for each war embarked on by the United States. O'Rourke, who did not serve in the military but sat on the House of Representatives Armed Services and Veterans' Affairs committees, said the tax would be levied on households without current members of the U.S. military or military veterans.
06/24/2019 - 06:00 AM
Syria says sabotage damaged underwater oil pipelines
Five underwater pipelines have been damaged and put out of order after a sabotage attack off the coastal town of Banias, Syria's oil ministry said Sunday. The damage was discovered after divers checked to see what was behind an oil leakage, the ministry said. Banias is home to one of Syria's two oil refineries.
06/23/2019 - 02:40 PM
Bear breaks into home, locks itself in laundry room, then goes to sleep in wardrobe before being drugged and removed by police
Sometimes, when life in the wild all gets a bit much, a clean cupboard in a warm home is a much more inviting place for a nap.A black bear broke into a family house, locked itself into a laundry room and then went to sleep on the wardrobe shelf, defying all efforts to lure it out.Police were unable at first to reach the furry intruder because it had managed to bolt the door from the inside as it ripped apart the homeowners’ belongings.When officers knocked on the window to wake the bear, it just yawned, they said.Eventually, they managed to unlock the door to allow wildlife experts to tranquillise the animal to get it out and return it to the wild.The homeowners, in Butler Creek in the US state of Montana, were alarmed to find the animal had barricaded itself in during the night.The Missoula County sheriff’s office posted on social media: “Wow!!! What a day!”They explained: “When deputies arrived, they discovered this black bear had opened the door to the mudroom of this residence and somehow managed to deadbolt the door from inside.“After being unable to leave, the bear began ripping the room apart but then decided he was tired and climbed up into the closet for a nap.“When deputies knocked on the window, the bear was not the least bit impressed. He slowly stretched, yawned and, unamused, looked toward the door.“Eventually, deputies were able to unlock the door in hopes he would hop down and leave. However, their attempts were only met with more big bear yawns.”Officers added: “The homeowners were glad he was removed in good health, but won’t soon forget when this intruder came looking for the bear necessities.”Residents were warned to lock up their homes as the bear had reportedly tried at least two other doors.
06/23/2019 - 01:04 PM
Italy holds Netherlands, EU 'responsible' for migrant boat
Italy's hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said he would hold the Netherlands and the European Union "responsible" for the fate of 42 migrants that Rome has blocked from disembarking at Italian ports for over a week. The Dutch-flagged rescue boat Sea-Watch 3 has been stuck in the Mediterranean since rescuing 53 migrants drifting in an inflatable raft off the coast of Libya on June 12. While 11 of those on board the Sea-Watch have been allowed to disembark -- including two pregnant women -- the vessel has been denied permission to dock in Italy.
06/23/2019 - 12:00 PM
Mahathir Says He Underestimated Challenge of Governing Malaysia
(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he underestimated the challenges of governing the country before his shock election victory last year.“I underestimated because we were on the outside and we didn’t get any information on what was happening on the inside,” Mahathir said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin in Bangkok at the 5th Bloomberg Asean Business Summit. “We are having a very tough time dealing with damages in the finances as well as the crimes that were committed.”Here are some key comments from the interview:1MDBGoldman Sachs offered “a little compensation” versus the “huge killing” it made, Mahathir said, noting he was unsure where the money lost from the 1MDB scandal has gone.The scandal surrounding 1MDB sprawls from the U.S. to Switzerland, reaching the highest levels of Malaysian politics while ensnaring Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in its first criminal case. Mahathir has raised the amount he wants to recoup from 1MDB to $7 billion after previously saying he sought $4.5 billion that U.S. prosecutors estimated went missing from the state fund. So far, the Southeast Asian country has brought back less than $500 million.Mahathir said in May he was awaiting a response from Goldman Sachs before deciding whether to take legal action against the bank over “too high” fees on 1MDB bond sales. Malaysia had already announced criminal charges against Goldman in December, accusing the lender of misleading investors when it knew that funds raised from the $6.5 billion bond offer it arranged would be misappropriated. The bank said it will defend against the allegations.ChinaMahathir disagreed he was sending a message to the U.S. by taking China’s side on certain issues. It’s “free speech,” he said. “I don’t like the old idea of cooking something up in the West and then asking us to accept them. China is a bit more sensitive to our feelings.”On the resumed multi-billion dollar rail project, he said: “We were able to renegotiate the terms of the contract. It is quite obvious that the contract was overpriced.,” he said. The government considered dropping the project altogether “but did not want to pay huge compensation on it.”The project will now cost 44 billion ringgit ($10.7 billion) instead of the original 65.5 billion ringgit, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office in April.SuccessionLast May, Mahathir led Malaysia to its first change in government since its independence from Britain in 1957. The country is set for another political shift as he is expected to hand over power to Anwar Ibrahim, who said Mahathir had made it “very clear” that Anwar would get the top seat by May next year.Mahathir said he will hand over to Anwar in “a year or so.” He doesn’t want to leave Malaysia in shambles, he said, pointing to the state of the country when his predecessor Najib Razak was ousted.“I made a promise, I keep my promise,” Mahathir said. When asked why he was reluctant to set a date for the handover, Mahathir said it was because “there may be something I need to do before I step down,” noting he wanted to fix Malaysia’s debt.When asked whether he had changed, Mahathir replied: “I don’t know, I’m still myself. Well I want to work for the country. I don’t have much of a future so the last thing I want to do is to go away leaving the country in shambles, like the previous one.”EconomyMahathir has trimmed state spending to narrow the budget deficit to 3.4% of gross domestic product this year, from a five-year high of 3.7% last year. Fiscal recovery remains fragile as the government spends billions rescuing troubled institutions from the Hajj fund to an agency overseeing farmers. His administration replaced a sweeping goods-and-services tax with a more targeted consumption tax last year, and is now counting on state oil company dividends to support revenue.The government would be careful in choosing buyers for beleaguered national carrier Malaysian Airlines Bhd, he said Friday, noting: “If there is a good offer, we will consider.”(Updates with Mahathir comment in 14th paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected a quote in 3rd and 11th paragraphs from story that moved on Friday.)To contact the reporters on this story: Yudith Ho in Kuala Lumpur at firstname.lastname@example.org;Anisah Shukry in Kuala Lumpur at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
06/24/2019 - 01:50 AM
Nasa's Curiosity rover detects methane in latest hint at life on Mars
Nasa's Curiosity rover has detected another methane "spike" on Mars, in what could be a sign of alien life on the red planet. According to the New York Times, which obtained an email about the discovery written by senior scientists at Nasa, the rover detected "startlingly high amounts of methane in the Martian air." The detection of methane hints at an even greater discovery - life on Mars - as the gas is often generated by microbes underground known as methanogens,which can survive without oxygen. "Given this surprising result, we’ve reorganized the weekend to run a follow-up experiment, " wrote scientist Ashwin R. Vasavada in the email published by the New York Times. It is not the first time Nasa's robot has detected methane levels on the planet, and scientists are still not sure whether the gas is caused by living microbes. This is because geothermal reactions, with no biological life involved, can also create methane. When Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012 it could find barely any traces of methane, with less than one part per billion in the atmosphere. Then in 2013 the rover detected a sudden increase in methane levels, with seven parts methane per billion, which endured for several months and then vanished. The most recent discovery of Methane is 21 parts per billion, three times higher than the "spike" in 2013. While increased methane levels measured by @MarsCuriosity are exciting, as possible indicators for life, it’s important to remember this is an early science result. To maintain scientific integrity, the science team will continue to analyze the data before confirming results. pic.twitter.com/zSrONQHuc5— Thomas Zurbuchen (@Dr_ThomasZ) June 22, 2019 Scientists are also not ruling out the possibility that the methane was not recent, having been trapped underground for millions of years, and only now is gradually emerging through cracks in the surface. Thomas Zurbuchen, from Nasa's science mission directorate, advised people not to jump to any conclusions about the methane detection in a message on Twitter. "While increased methane levels measured by Mars Curiosity are exciting, as possible indicators for life, it's important to remember this is an early science result," he wrote. "To maintain scientific integrity, the science team will continue to analyse the data before confirming results."
06/23/2019 - 08:36 AM
University of Utah Student Mackenzie Lueck Missing for Nearly a Week After Taking Lyft
SLC Police DepartmentMackenzie Lueck, a 23-year-old University of Utah student, texted her parents on June 17 to let them know she had landed safely at the Salt Lake City airport, her father told Fox News. Nobody has heard from her in the week since. According to police, Lueck landed home from a trip around 1 a.m. She then ordered a Lyft to an unfamiliar address in North Salt Lake City, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. According to friends, Lueck’s phone has been off since she went missing, her car is still at her home, and her luggage hasn’t been found. She has not shown up to work, or class, since that early morning ride. Lueck's dad told local Fox station KTSU his daughter texted he and his wife to tell them her flight landed around 1 a.m. on Monday, June 17. Her family officially reported her missing that Thursday.Though Lueck has been missing for nearly a week, and police are investigating her disappearance, a formal search party has not been set up, the Tribune reports. In a press release issued by the Salt Lake City police department on Saturday, investigators said they have not “discovered any information that would lead us to believe that Mackenzie has been harmed or is in danger at this time.” In the same release, police also said “detectives are concerned for Mackenzie’s welfare.” Lyft has been working with Utah police to help trace Lueck's last known whereabouts, the Tribune reports.The ride share company told Fox News that the car’s route showed no irregularities, Lueck was successfully dropped off at her desired destination, and the driver began picking up more passengers immediately after her ride was complete. Authorities said they've been in contact with Lueck's apparent driver, but have not provided details of their account. “We’ve confirmed with Lyft, the app, that’s where she requested to go, and with the driver that that’s where she did go,” Salt Lake City Police Sargeant Brandon Shearer told ABC News. Shearer said the driver and Lyft have been cooperative. Lyft told Fox News in a statement on Sunday that they “recognize how scary this must be for those who know and love Ms. Lueck... The safety of our community is fundamental to Lyft and we are actively assisting law enforcement with their investigations.”Lueck, who reportedly goes by “Kenzie,” is a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, according to the Tribune. Her sorority sister Ashley Fine has been organizing volunteers to help in the informal search. Fine told The Salt Lake Tribune she does not know why her friend, who does not have a significant other, would have taken a ride to the address in North Salt Lake, instead of going directly to her home. As part of the community effort to find her, Lueck's friends organized a postering event at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday. A Facebook page with over 2,000 members has also been set up to help spread the word about her disappearance.“Everyone thinks that there’s danger in this story,” Fine told a local abc news affiliate. “Things aren’t adding up. She had another trip planned,” Fine said. “She’s making those plans with friends and family to have plans for the future. I don’t think she would hurt herself or anything like that... If you’re in a bad situation, please reach out... We’re really concerned for you.”Anyone with information about Lueck’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Salt Lake City Police at 801-799-3000 and reference case No. 19-111129.This is a developing story.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.
06/23/2019 - 04:45 PM
8 Can't-Miss Towns Near Great Driving Roads
06/23/2019 - 04:00 PM
Impeachment, socialism and Biden-baiting: What to look for at the 2020 Democratic debates
When 20 Democrats debate in Miami, will they support impeaching Donald Trump? Will they go after front-runner Joe Biden? And will anyone bring up age?
06/23/2019 - 08:59 AM
Man arrested month after woman jumps from window to escape brutal 6-hour rape
A month later, police arrested the man accused of raping a woman for six hours.
06/22/2019 - 01:53 PM
As Trump's sanctions bite, Iran's oil exports slide further in June
Iranian crude exports have dropped so far in June to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) or less after the United States tightened the screw on Tehran's main source of income, industry sources said and tanker data showed, deepening global supply losses. The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and six world powers. Aiming to cut Iran's sales to zero, Washington in May ended sanctions waivers to importers of Iranian oil.
06/24/2019 - 07:48 AM
Lawmakers to decide on Mueller testimony this week, Schiff says
“We have been in private discussions with the special counsel's office,” the California Democrat said.
06/23/2019 - 10:43 AM
Dominican Republic official says country is safe: 'There is not an avalanche of deaths'
The Dominican Republic tourism minister said the country is taking the deaths very seriously.
06/24/2019 - 08:16 AM
When Japan Lost This Battle It Lost World War II For Good
In the predawn hours of June 15, the U.S. attacking force was poised a few miles off the beaches. Time-Life correspondent Robert Sherrod later wrote: “[Saipan] was a shadowy land mass, purple against the dim horizon. Set against the reddish tint of the morning sun, it seemed unbelievable that this island paradise could prove to be so menacing.”Peering through his binoculars, Vice Adm. Chuichi Nagumo was in awe of the nearly 800 ships from Vice Adm. Raymond A. Spruance’s 5th Fleet. Just three years before he had led the carrier force at the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that initiated hostilities between Japan and the United States. But this was no time to gloat over past victories. As he lowered his glasses, Nagumo realized that the Americans must be stopped here. If the invading forces captured Saipan, their Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers could easily reach Japan itself.Saipan, about 85 square miles in size, is the southernmost island in the Marianas chain. It was the next important step in the Allied planning to conquer Japan. One of Saipan’s dominating features is Mount Tapotchau, over 1,500 feet high, situated near the center of the island. Also, a ridge runs from the southern end all the way to Mount Marpi at the extreme northern tip. To make things worse, steep cliffs dominate the region and a plateau is located in the southern area.
06/23/2019 - 02:00 AM
Report: Dubai plane that crashed followed others too closely
A plane involved in a fatal crash that killed four people working on improvements at Dubai International Airport had followed other larger aircraft landing there too closely as air traffic controllers offered inconsistent warnings about the hazard, a preliminary investigative report released Sunday found. The May 16 crash of the Diamond DA62 saw the aircraft roll upside-down in air and smash into a park near the airport at high speed, killing the three Britons and one South African on board, according to the report by the United Arab Emirates' General Civil Aviation Authority. The twin propeller-engine light aircraft first lost control in the wake of a Thai Airways Airbus A350 landing at Dubai's airport, the world's busiest for international travel.
06/23/2019 - 09:23 AM
Oregon Statehouse Shut Down After Lawmakers Team Up With Right-Wing Militias
REUTERSOregon’s statehouse shut down for safety concerns on Saturday. But the threats weren’t coming from anonymous trolls or foreign fighters—they were coming from the state’s Republican senators, who have teamed up with right-wing militias to threaten violence over a climate change bill.Eleven of Oregon’s Senate Republicans fled the state this week to avoid a vote on a bill that would cap greenhouse emissions. The group, believed to be hiding in Idaho, left the state senate with too few lawmakers to hold a vote. But the move is more than a legislative maneuver. The missing senators have partnered with right-wing paramilitary groups to threaten violence, should they be brought back to Oregon.The state senate had scheduled sessions on Saturday, but cancelled them after reports of several militias’ two-day “Rally to Take the Capitol” this weekend.“Oregon State Police has recommended that the Capitol be closed tomorrow due to a possible militia threat,” a spokesperson for the senate president told the Associated Press on Friday night.The trouble started this month, when state Senate Democrats advanced plans for a bill that would cut carbon emissions. Modeled after a similar policy in California, Oregon’s proposed cap and trade bill would restrict fossil fuel emissions, particularly for the industries that create the most pollution. The bill’s proponents say it’s part of a plan to cut emissions by 80 percent by 2050. (Climate scientists and the European Union call for effectively eliminating carbon emissions by 2050, in order to prevent out-of-control climate change.)But Oregon’s state Republicans weren’t on board, citing increased expenses for Oregon residents and businesses. This week, every Republican in the state senate walked out, rather than vote on the bill.Armed Militias Pledge to Fight for Fugitive Oregon GOP Lawmakers ‘At Any Cost’Walkouts are not unique to Republicans. Democrat lawmakers fled their states in 2003 and 2011 to prevent votes on redistricting and curbing union rights, The Daily Beast previously reported. Oregon has a long history of senate walkouts, including a four-day walkout in May, when Republicans refused to vote on a tax package that would fund schools. They returned to session with the agreement that they would not walk out again.But this walkout also came with violent threats. Multiple senators are believed to have fled to Idaho, with right-wing militias flocking to their aid. While leaving the statehouse before the walkout, Republican Sen. Brian Boquist implied that police officers who pursued them should be ready to die. “Send bachelors and come heavily armed,” Boquist warned police in a televised interview shortly before his walkout. “I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”State police said they were aware of Boquist's remarks, but were not commenting on them. Boquist and his colleagues are supported by several right-wing militias that made more explicit threats.After Oregon Gov. Kate Brown called on state troopers to return the lawmakers to the capital, the paramilitary group the Oath Keepers suggested violence against her. “Gov. Brown, you want a civil war, because this is how you get a civil war,” the Oath Keepers wrote on their public Facebook page. Beneath the post, Oath Keeper fans suggesting hanging, arresting, or taking up arms against Brown.Idaho militia insiders previously told The Daily Beast that paramilitary members in Oregon and Idaho had “mobilized” in defense of the Republican lawmakers, and that they were willing to die for the legislators. One leader compared the situation to the 2014 Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation, in which members of a right-wing militia led an armed standoff inside a wildlife sanctuary building. The standoff ended with the death of a militia member.But on Twitter, Oregon’s Republican party criticized state Democrats for cancelling Saturday sessions over the militias’ planned protests, tweeting, “Oregon senate Democrats canceled their weekend session citing a fear that Republican voters may show up.”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.
06/22/2019 - 01:12 PM
Chevy’s 2020 Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax Is the Brand’s Ultrasmooth Answer to the Half-Ton Diesel Truck Wars
Refined and quiet, Chevy's Duramax inline-six is the latest light-duty diesel in the segment.
06/23/2019 - 12:01 AM
For Dems, there's no chickening out at Clyburn's fish fry
Crowds snaked out the lot of the amphitheater, waiting for a free meal and a chance to hear 21 Democrats make their presidential pitch. What could go wrong?
06/22/2019 - 11:08 AM
School will no longer be recognised as Catholic after refusing to fire gay teacher, church officials say
A school that refused to fire a gay teacher as ordered by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis says it has been told by church officials that it will no longer be recognised as Catholic. But school leaders pledged to keep the institution's religious identification.The archdiocese announced in a statement that it would no longer recognise Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, an independently operated school, because it was not insisting that all employees "be supportive of all teachings of the Catholic Church," the Catholic News Agency reported. The church is against homosexual activity.A statement by the Reverend Brian G Paulson, who heads the Midwest Province of Jesuits, said the archdiocese told Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School two years ago not to renew the contract of a teacher whose "marital status does not conform to church doctrine." He also said the decision, to be formalised in a church decree, would be appealed through a church process and would go as high as the Vatican "if necessary."Leaders of Brebeuf Jesuit posted an open letter to their community on the Indianapolis school's website saying the archdiocese had directly inserted itself into a school governance matter in an "unprecedented" way and that it would not do what Archbishop Charles Thompson had demanded.The letter said in part: "Specifically, Brebeuf Jesuit has respectfully declined the Archdiocese's insistence and directive that we dismiss a highly capable and qualified teacher due to the teacher being a spouse within a civilly-recognised same-sex marriage."The unidentified teacher was said by Mr Paulson to be "a valued employee" who does not teach religion. He wrote that Brebeuf Jesuit became aware through social media "that one of its teachers entered into a civil marriage with a person of the same sex."According to the Associated Press, a school operated by the archdiocese, Indianapolis Roncalli High School, has fired or suspended two guidance counsellors in the past year because they are in same-sex marriages.Brebeuf Jesuit's leaders who signed the open letter are the Reverend William Verbryke, the school president; W Patrick Bruen, chair of the school's Board of Trustees; and Daniel M Lechleiter, chair-elect of the trustees board. They promised in the letter that the school's mission would not change as a result of this conflict with the archdiocese."We understand that this news will likely spur a host of emotions, questions and even confusion in the days ahead. Please be assured, the Archdiocese's decision will not change the mission or operations of Brebeuf Jesuit."On Friday, the school's name was not on the archdiocese's list of Catholic schools in its region.The church says there are 68 Catholic schools - 57 elementary schools and 11 high schools - in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, according to its website. Collectively, they enrolled some 23,200 students during the 2018-2019 school year.Most of those schools are operated by a school division within the archdiocese, which is headed by Superintendent Gina Kuntz Fleming, who did not return phone calls about Brebeuf Jesuit. While Brebeuf Jesuit is a Catholic school within the archdiocese, it is independently operated. The school has nearly 800 students in grades nine through 12.The school leaders' letter said that, while the archdiocese "may choose to no longer attend or participate in the school's Masses and formal functions, Brebeuf Jesuit is, and will always be, a Catholic Jesuit school."It also said church leaders assured them that "Jesuit priests may continue to serve at Brebeuf Jesuit and will retain their ability to celebrate the sacraments of the Catholic Church."The Washington Post
06/22/2019 - 02:50 PM
The Best Travel Mugs to Keep Your Coffee Hot (or Cold)
06/23/2019 - 02:00 PM
UPDATE 1-Iran, Venezuela may complicate global oil deal talks - Kazakhstan
Talks between OPEC and its allies next month about whether to extend their pact on cutting oil supplies "won't be easy" and may be complicated by the situation facing Iran and Venezuela, Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other large oil producers, including Russia and Kazakhstan, meet in Vienna on July 1-2 to discuss whether the oil output deal, which expires after June 30, should be continued. Kazakhstan wanted the deal extended into the second half of the year, he said, describing the oil price in a range of $60-$70 per barrel as "suitable".
06/24/2019 - 03:29 AM
Iran plays down threat of new US sanctions
Iran on Monday played down the threat of new US sanctions as Washington was expected to tighten punitive measures on Tehran in a standoff sparked by the US withdrawal from a nuclear deal. Both the US and Iran have repeatedly said they want to avoid going to war, but the spiralling tensions saw US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travel Monday to meet with Saudi leaders to build a "global coalition" against the Islamic republic. Tehran says the drone violated Iranian airspace and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has backed the claim with maps and coordinates -- allegations dismissed by Washington.
06/23/2019 - 08:57 PM
'Not all country boys are bigots': Photo of duct tape Pride flag on truck goes viral
Cody Barlow missed Tulsa's Pride parade but he did not miss out on the chance to show his support as an LGBTQ ally. He decorated his truck for Pride.
06/22/2019 - 01:26 PM
Corona: Sheriff's deputies make arrests, impound dozens of vehicles at street racing gathering
Sheriff's deputies broke up a large gathering of street racers who had taken over a parking lot in Corona, authorities said.
06/23/2019 - 07:17 PM
Hotel owner sues insurance company after Vegas mass shooting
More than 4,000 people are seeking damages from MGM Resorts International related to the Las Vegas Strip mass shooting that left 58 people dead, the casino giant said in a lawsuit alleging its insurance company has failed to pay promised legal costs. Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts alleges breach-of-contract and accuses Illinois-based Zurich American Insurance Co. of failing to pay defense costs for damage claims stemming from the 2017 shooting. MGM Resorts owns the Mandalay Bay hotel, where the shooter opened fire from a 32nd-floor window, and the Route 91 Harvest festival venue where country music concert-goers died and more than 850 people were injured.
06/22/2019 - 05:01 PM
Thomas Roberts on Stonewall 50: ‘I Want LGBTQ Kids to Know It’s OK. It’s OK to Be Different, and OK to Be Gay’
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast / Photos GettyIn this special series, LGBT celebrities and public figures talk to Tim Teeman about the Stonewall Riots and their legacy—see more here.Thomas RobertsJournalistWhen/how did you first hear about the Stonewall Riots, and what did you make of them?I learned of the Stonewall Riots in 2006-2007. It was shortly after coming out publicly. I was utterly impressed at the bravery protesters showed. They put it all on the line for us. The Stonewall Riots: What Really Happened, What Didn’t, and What Became MythWhat is their significance for you?Without Stonewall where would we be today? It was the spark.How far have we LGBT people come since 1969?Since 1969 we’ve come out of the shadows of shame and intolerance. In 50 years the LGBTQ community is a force to be reckon with, but we still have battles ahead. And it’s not solely on LGBTQ rights. We need to show up wherever people are marginalized and oppressed. We need to show up when we aren’t personally the sole beneficiaries.What would you like to see, LGBT-wise, in the next 50 years?I’d love to see an LGBTQ President. And I believe in my lifetime we just might. But in the meantime I want LGBTQ kids to know it’s OK. It’s OK to be different. It’s OK to be gay. The world is a big and wonderful place... eventually we all find our peace. However, it doesn’t come without ups and downs. There will be high highs and low lows. Keep going. It will all be OK. 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.
06/22/2019 - 10:28 PM
Hunt Says Johnson Dodges Scrutiny as Race for U.K. PM Heats Up
(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson faces mounting pressure to submit to public scrutiny, after his rival in the race to be U.K. prime minister tried to turn questions about the front-runner’s character to his advantage.Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the underdog candidate in the contest to lead the ruling Conservative Party, called on Johnson to take part in more media interviews and debates after he refused to answer questions this weekend about a noisy row with his partner that brought police to a London house."A new prime minister needs the legitimacy of having made his arguments publicly and having them subjected to scrutiny," Hunt wrote in the Times on Monday. "Only then can you walk through the front door of No 10 with your head held high instead of slinking through the back door, which is what Boris appears to want."The furor has thrown open a race that was previously expected to be more of a coronation than a contest. A poll published Sunday showed Johnson’s lead among Conservatives shrinking in the days following the domestic incident, and fellow lawmakers took to the media to demand he provide reassurances about what happened. Leader CampaignThe two candidates are crisscrossing Britain before a Tory membership ballot in July that’ll point the way to Prime Minister Theresa May’s replacement. In a contest dominated by Brexit, the pair are making their appeal with alternative visions.Hunt, who voted to remain in the European Union in 2016 but now says he backs leaving, is open to delaying exit day if it helps deliver a deal and an orderly departure. Johnson, however, says the U.K. must and will leave on Oct. 31 -- a message he reiterated in his Daily Telegraph column Monday.Hunt said on Twitter late on Sunday: “I have no interest in his personal life, but I do have a real problem with him avoiding public scrutiny.” He is set to be interviewed on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain,” with its host Piers Morgan challenging on Johnson to follow suit. Police officers were called to the home Johnson shares with his partner Carrie Symonds early Friday, about six hours after his confirmation as front-runner in the race to succeed May.While he drew cheers from Conservatives on Saturday as he dodged questions about the domestic incident, polling by Survation for the Mail on Sunday newspaper found that, among the general public, Hunt has now overtaken his rival in popularity.Among those who identified as Conservative supporters, Johnson’s lead had narrowed since Thursday, it said. A separate ComRes survey of 510 Tory councillors for the Sunday Telegraph, however, showed 61% intended to vote for the former London mayor.Conservative politicians are seeking greater clarity on the two candidates’ Brexit policies, as members who want to avoid a no-deal split are said to be considering options including quitting the party and mounting a rebellion to bring down the government.The fear among some Tories in Parliament is that Johnson, in particular, will find himself boxed into a corner where he has to carry out his threat to leave without a deal. There has been talk of a vote of no-confidence in the government, potentially as soon as Johnson takes office in late July.Read more: Tories Plot Against a Possible Johnson-Led No-Deal BrexitTo contact the reporter on this story: Lucy Meakin in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org, Steve Geimann, Emma Ross-ThomasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
06/23/2019 - 07:29 PM
Take a Peak: Meet the YF-22A Stealth Fighter (This Became the F-22 Raptor)
The interesting photo in this post shows F-22 less known older brother, the YF-22A. Actually, the YF-22A was the Raptor’s technology demonstrator. This fighter, in fact, was Lockheed Martin’s design for the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) Competition for the U.S. Air Force (USAF) where it was picked over its competitor, the Nothrop YF-23A.As we have already explained the origins of the ATF program trace back to late 1970s, when a new generation of Soviet fighters and Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) prompted the USAF to find a replacement for the F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter.The Advanced Tactical Fighter entered the Demonstration and Validation phase in 1986. The prototype aircraft (YF-22A and YF-23A) both completed their first flights in late 1990.The extensive flight tests conducted demonstrated that the YF-23A (named Black Widow II) was stealthier and faster while the YF-22A (named Lightning II) was more agile.
06/23/2019 - 10:30 AM
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS Is a High-Tech Palace of a Three-Row SUV
The fully redesigned three-row luxury SUV is the (rich) parent's co-conspirator.
06/23/2019 - 06:01 PM
REFILE-EXPLAINER-What's behind Japan's support of whaling?
Japan has for decades been steadfastly defiant about hunting whales despite widespread anger, including from key allies like the United States. After roughly 30 years of what it has called scientific research whaling, which saw several hundred minke whales taken annually in the Antarctic and North Pacific, Japan in December announced it would leave the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and resume commercial whaling on July 1. HOW LONG HAS JAPAN BEEN WHALING?
06/23/2019 - 08:33 PM
Iran reports previous incident with 'spy drone' in May
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted a map on Sunday showing a border incident with a "spy drone" encroaching its airspace in late May. Days after Iran shot down another US drone it said had entered its territory, Zarif said the US-made MQ9 Reaper -- also widely used for carrying out military strikes -- had entered Iranian airspace on May 26.
06/23/2019 - 09:11 AM
'Officer down! Officer down!' Chilling footage reveals deadly shootout in Sacramento
A hearing is Monday for the man accused of killing a rookie Sacramento police officer in a fierce shootout captured on the bodycam of a fellow officer.
06/23/2019 - 03:19 PM
Migrant detention conditions in Texas 'the worst I've ever seen', admits Republican after reports of lice-infested children sleeping on floors
Conditions in Texas migrant detention centres are the “worst I’ve ever seen”, a Republican from the state has admitted, after reports from lawyers suggested children were enduring lice infestations, flu infections and nights sleeping on cold concrete floors.Representative Michael McCaul added that “at a minimum”, Congress should create a humanitarian aid package for young people being held near the US-Mexico border. He blamed a lack of action by politicians for the filthy conditions.Speaking on CBS’s Face The Nation programme, he said: “I’ve been down there throughout my 15 years in Congress and before that, as a federal prosecutor. This is the worst I’ve ever seen it, and it has to be taken care of.”He would vote for a “compassionate, humanitarian package” whether or not it was tied to wider border security measures, he said.It came after a lawyer working with migrant children detained at Border Patrol facilities in Texas raised concerns for their welfare.Warren Binford said she had met children who had been held for weeks at a time – when the limit is 72 hours – with hundreds living together in a windowless warehouse at one base in Clint, in El Paso county.Families were separated and older children made to care for younger ones, she told the New Yorker magazine. “The United States is taking children away from their family unit and reclassifying them as unaccompanied children.“But they were not unaccompanied children. And some of them were separated from their parents.”She added: “We received reports from children of a lice outbreak in one of the cells where there were about twenty-five children, and what they told us is that six of the children were found to have lice.“They were given a lice shampoo, and the other children were given two combs and told to share those two combs ... which is something you never do with a lice outbreak.“One of the combs was lost, and Border Patrol agents got so mad that they took away the children’s blankets and mats. They weren’t allowed to sleep on the beds, and they had to sleep on the floor ... as punishment.”Some children had not been able to shower or brush their teeth for some days, Ms Binford told the magazine, while some had caught flu.At the weekend, Mr Trump delayed a planned migration crackdown in 10 major cities “at the request of Democrats”, in order to give politicians a chance to resolve the border issue that has plagued his presidency.Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids designed to snare families who had been served with deportation orders were put back two weeks.
06/23/2019 - 05:57 PM
Trump says he'd rather face Biden, isn't prepared to lose
President Donald Trump said Sunday that he'd prefer to run for re-election against Joe Biden, suggesting that the former vice president won't be the "great candidate" Hillary Clinton was in 2016. Trump told NBC's "Meet the Press" that Clinton was "very smart. Asked if he'd rather face Clinton again, the president said, "I would actually rather run against Biden" because "Sleepy Joe.
06/23/2019 - 12:44 PM
NASA just set preliminary dates for its commercial crew launches, with SpaceX in the lead
There's a space race happening right now. It's not between the United States and Russia, or any nations at all, for that matter, but it's definitely happening. It's a race between SpaceX and Boeing to be the first company to deliver a crew-capable spacecraft to NASA, and it's been filled with twists, turns, and delays since the very start.Now, a new preliminary planning schedule for NASA's "Commercial Crew" program hints that SpaceX might ultimately be the victor, but it's far from a sure thing.NASA hired Boeing to build the Starliner, and threw money at SpaceX to build the Crew Dragon. Both spacecraft will eventually take NASA astronauts into space from U.S. soil, which is a big deal for the space agency, but neither company has followed through on its promises yet.Both programs have been slammed with delays and setbacks, and neither the Starliner nor Crew Dragon has carried a human off Earth at this point. SpaceX sent an empty Crew Dragon to the International Space Station, which is a meaningful milestone, but an explosion (sorry, "anomaly") threw its progress into question. It seemed to open the door for Boeing to take the lead and be the first to fulfill its pledge to NASA. However, if the dates issued in a new planning schedule hold true, SpaceX will be the first to carry NASA crew into space.https://twitter.com/ChrisG_NSF/status/1141738478390194177?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1141738478390194177&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.teslarati.com%2Fspacex-crew-dragon-new-astronaut-launch-target%2FAs NASASpaceflight.com explains, the dates are far from being set in stone, and they're not even considered official target dates at this point. The dates in the report are based entirely on the available windows within which the space station could receive the spacecraft and when crew would be available to ride aboard them.Still, while the dates aren't even close to being set in stone, they show that NASA has some serious faith in SpaceX to correct whatever issue caused the explosion of its Crew Dragon during testing and get its program back on track swiftly. Perhaps even more than that, it shows that NASA doesn't think Boeing's Starliner will be ready to carry humans any time soon.
06/22/2019 - 02:08 PM
Ethiopia foils coup attempt after military chief shot dead by bodyguard in his home
he Ethiopian government appeared to have foiled a coup attempt last night after the army's chef of staff was shot dead by his own bodyguard and several other high-ranking officials were killed. The failed coup in the Amhara region was led by a high-ranking military officer and others within the military, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, wearing military fatigues, announced on the state broadcaster. Since taking office just over a year ago, Mr Abiy has embarked on unprecedented reforms in Ethiopia, Africa's second-most populous country and one of its fastest-growing economies. But the prime minister's shake-up of the military and intelligence services has earned him powerful enemies, while his government is struggling to rein in powerful figures in Ethiopia's myriad ethnic groups fighting the federal government and each other for influence and resources. In a related development, the head of Ethiopia's military was shot dead in the capital not long after the attack in Amhara, during which soldiers attacked a building in which a meeting of regional officials was taking place, Nigussu Tilahun, spokesman for the prime minister, told a news conference Sunday. The regional president and at least two other officials were among the victims of that attack, he said. The violent attack in Bahir Dar, capital of Amhara, was linked to the subsequent assassination of army chief Gen. Seare Mekonnen, who was shot dead by a bodyguard at his residence in Addis Ababa. A retired army general visiting the army chief at the time was also killed in the same attack, said the spokesman. "There is a link between the two attacks," Nigussu said. The attack in Bahir Dar was allegedly led by a renegade brigadier who had recently been pardoned by Ethiopia's prime minister after being jailed for some offenses. Most of the perpetrators of the attack in Bahir Dar have been apprehended and others are being hunted down, said the spokesman. The US Embassy reported gunfire in the capital Saturday and urged people to be careful. In Bahir Dar residents told The Associated Press they could still hear gunshots late Saturday. Ethiopia's internet appeared to be shut down on Sunday. The attempted coup in Amhara is the latest challenge to Abiy, who was elected last year as a reform-minded young leader. Abiy has captured the imagination of many with his political and economic reforms, including the surprise acceptance of a peace agreement with bitter rival Eritrea, the opening of major state-owned sectors to private investment and the release of thousands of prisoners including opposition figures once sentenced to death. Along the way he has faced some challenges. In June 2018, only months in office, an attempt to hurl a grenade at Abiy caused a deadly explosion at a massive rally in support of the sweeping changes in Ethiopia. Nine police officials were arrested over that incident, state media reported. In October rebellious Ethiopian soldiers protested over pay, causing a security incident in the capital. Ethiopia's army is one of the largest in Africa. The country is a key regional security ally for the United States and others in the restive Horn of Africa region.
06/23/2019 - 05:52 AM
Collision between truck, motorcycles leaves 7 dead, 3 injured
A truck and a group of motorcycles collided on a rural, two-lane highway Friday, killing at least seven people, injuring others and sending bystanders scrambling for first-aid kits and blankets to help injured bikers scattered along the road.
06/22/2019 - 11:36 AM
Two Nazi Soldiers Proved How Deadly a Sniper Can Be on the Battlefield
The three Soviet tanks edged forward slowly as the drivers scanned for the concealed Germans that lay ahead. The lead tank suddenly clanked to a stop and swung its long barrel around. It looked much like one of Hannibal’s elephants with its trunk raised, sniffing the air before its planned lunge forward toward the hapless enemy.The Wehrmacht troops were in a precarious situation. They lacked air support there as the Soviets mounted a heavy attack in mid-August 1943 along the length of the Donets Front in eastern Ukraine. Antitank panzerfausts were not available to the 3rd Gebirgsjager (Mountain) Division, and the unit had few, if any, sticky charges to blow the tracks from the Soviet T-34 tanks. All they had were their wits and their bolt-action Mauser rifles against the three steel titans that loomed in front of them with scores of Red Army soldiers trailing.Suddenly, the lead tank’s hatch opened about 10 inches and a head appeared with binoculars to scan the scene. Sniper Josef “Sepp” Allerberger brought the Soviet tanker’s head into the center of his scope, and at some 500 feet he squeezed off a round. A splat of blood hit the hatch as the head sank into the bowels of the tank.
06/23/2019 - 05:00 AM
UK PM hopeful Hunt says would go for no-deal Brexit if EU doesn't shift
Jeremy Hunt, the underdog in the race to be next British prime minister, said he would take the United Kingdom out of the European Union without a deal on Oct. 31 if the EU had not showed it was willing to renegotiate the Brexit deal. "If we got to the 31st of October, and the EU have not shown the willingness to negotiate a better deal ... then my judgment is that weighing those difficult options up, the political risk of no Brexit is far worse than the economic risk of no deal," Hunt said at a leadership hustings event in Birmingham, central England.
06/22/2019 - 12:40 PM
The fat bear cams are back in business
It's high time to devour 4,500-calorie salmon.The live webcams along Katmai National Park's Brooks River -- set in remote Alaska and operated by the wildlife streamers explore.org -- just came online for the 2019 season. For the next few months brown bears will wolf down copious amounts of salmon as they fatten up, some in extreme ways, in preparation for the winter's long, callous hibernation.The bears grew impressively fat in 2018, and global viewers may witness a similar plumping up of the ravenous omnivores this summer and fall. Bear 409, also known as "Beadnose," was crowned the park's Fat Bear Week champion last October, after a remarkable transformation."Bears benefitted from the abundance of fish," said ecologist Mike Fitz, a former park ranger at Katmai National Park who now reports on bear activity for explore.org. "Nearly every one at Brooks River last fall was fat or extremely fat."> BearCam is now LIVE. What are you waiting for? https://t.co/s57727MRTp pic.twitter.com/nNTJSk0wiF> > -- explore.org (@exploreorg) June 22, 2019Fitz is pleased the bears have started their return to the river. Each bear has its own tales of victory, defeat, and hardship. It's a natural, live-streamed drama, set in the unforgiving wilderness."Watching bears and salmon always reminds me that these animals live in a changing, competitive world where survival and success are not guaranteed," said Fitz.As of June 22, explore.org had turned on five webcams, though seven cameras will eventually stream live from the Alaskan subarctic this winter.The salmon run really ramps up in early July -- so don't be discouraged if the cams aren't yet teeming with bears. Still, bears can already be watched fishing for salmon at the now world-famous Brooks River falls. Bears to watch for this summerKatmai's park rangers and biologists get to know the webcam bears quite well, because many bears prudently return to the salmon-rich river each year -- and some return for decades.Fitz has already spotted a few usual culprits along the Brooks River, and noted some particularly intriguing developments to look out for this summer:1\. Bear 856An aggressive Bear 856, on right.Image: NPs / Mike FitzThis tough bruiser earned the title as the Brooks River's most dominant bear last year. Since 2011, bear 856 has forced other big bears out the most desirable fishing spots, and lesser bears often flee from his very presence. But, in 2017, bear 856 appeared weak and lost his claim of supreme dominance to the younger male bear 32, or "Chunk."Will bear 856 still reign as king in 2019?"We watched 856 regain his status as the river's most dominant bear last year, but each year I wonder if he'll be able to maintain that rank," said Fitz. "He's not getting any younger and there are several other large bears to contend with."Bear 503Bear 503Image: npsBear 503 has had perhaps the most dramatic history of any Brooks River bear. In the summer of 2014, as a 1.5-year-old bear, his mother abandoned him, leaving bear 503 helpless -- and likely to soon starve to death.But bear 503 did not die. He was, to the amazement of park rangers, adopted by another bear, and has since grown into a large, healthy bear.Perhaps 503, like bear 856, will mature into one of the more dominant males this summer.SEE ALSO: A big red reason not to dig a mine in Alaska's fat bear country"He's grown a lot during the intervening years and has been largely playful and tolerant of other bears," noted Fitz. "Five-zero-three still has a lot of growing in the next few years and even 856 played with other bears when he was younger, but I wonder how he will behave as his priorities change and he matures into a fully grown bear."Bear 402Bear 402 and cubs in 2018.Image: nps / Mike FitzBear 402 arrived at the Brooks River with a rare four newly-born cubs in 2018. It's challenging for cubs to survive their first year, amid dangerous males, competition for food, and the harshness of the Alaskan wild. Bear 856, for example, killed a cub last summer.The question that looms large is how many of 402's cubs will survive?"I'm curious to know whether all of her cubs survived the winter and spring," said Fitz. "We've seen a few other instances of bears with litters of four at Brooks River, but no mother has successfully weaned a litter of four, generally losing one or more cubs before their second year."Don't forget...Beyond these well-known characters, the bears' diligent webcam watchers will almost certainly look for 2018's conspicuously fat omnivores, the likes of bear 409, bear 747, and old Otis (bear 480).But, let us not forget the foundational reason why any bears are there at all: the hefty salmon. Bounties of the fish have come to spawn in Katmai's river and streams. Yet along the way, some will meet the claws of the ravenous bears, who consume the salmons' fatty brains, skin, and vivid red flesh."Salmon make the ultimate sacrifice in order to reproduce and without them, Katmai's ecosystem would be impoverished," said Fitz. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
06/23/2019 - 11:17 AM
Motorcycle community mourns 7 killed in 'devastating' New Hampshire biker crash
The tight-knit motorcycle community was reeling Sunday after a horrific biker collision left seven people dead and three injured in New Hampshire.
06/23/2019 - 03:59 PM
Debate in Germany over tie-up between Merkel's CDU and far-right
Until now, a possible tie-up between any of Germany's mainstream parties and the rising far-right AfD movement has always been strictly seen as a political taboo. One possibility is an alliance with the fiercely anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), at least at a regional level. Local elections in three states in the east of the country where polls suggest that the AfD could become the strongest political force -- Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia -- are forcing the CDU to rethink its stance.
06/23/2019 - 08:32 PM
In Mideast, Pompeo seeks a global coalition against Iran
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he wants to build a global coalition against Iran during urgent consultations in the Middle East, following a week of crisis that saw the United States pull back from the brink of a military strike on Iran. Pompeo spoke as he left Washington for Saudi Arabia, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Sunni Arab allies that are alarmed by Shiite Iran's increasing assertiveness and are working to limit its influence in the region. "We'll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned, and how we can build out a global coalition, a coalition not only throughout the Gulf states, but in Asia and in Europe, that understands this challenge as it is prepared to push back against the world's largest state sponsor of terror," Pompeo said about Iran.
06/23/2019 - 09:42 PM
Fresh Pixel 4 leak gives us another look at Google’s unreleased flagship
Google's upcoming new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the worst-kept secret in all of tech right now because, well, they're really not a secret at all anymore. Once a set of Pixel 4 design files was stolen from the factory where Google's new Pixel phones will be manufactured, renders showing the phone's new design were posted on the web. Rather than just sit idly by while it's new smartphone design is tossed around the internet like every other smartphone maker does, Google bizarrely decided to officially reveal the new design for the back of the Pixel 4. You can see Google's official reveal in the image at the top of this post, and it looks exactly like we thought it would following that early leak.Of course, just because Google posted an image of the back of its upcoming Pixel 4 doesn't mean the rumor mill is just going to pack it up and go home. There's still plenty of information that hasn't been confirmed and gadget fans won't be happy until everything is out in the open. We still have a long wait ahead of us before Google's new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL hit store shelves this fall, but the leaks will undoubtedly keep flowing between now and then. Case in point: A new set of Pixel 4 renders was posted by an industry insider, and they show the pure Android phone from a few more angles than Google was willing to share with its official teaser.In case you missed last week's leak, let's revisit it for a moment:As you can see, these renders of the Pixel 4 were likely made by a third-party accessory maker with access to the same stolen design files that were used to create the first set of renders that hit the web. Apart from the creative colors and the notch at the top of the display in that first image (the actual phones will reportedly have normal bezels above the screens, like it's 2016), they're likely a good representation of what we can expect from Google's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL later this year.If you want another look at the Pixel 4 in a color that will actually see the light of day later this year, don't worry because we've got you covered. Twitter user @xiaomishka has posted accurate renders of unreleased smartphones in the past, and he's back with a new look at the Pixel 4.https://twitter.com/xiaomishka/status/1142055559836962816Here's a closer look at that image:The renders appear to have been made by the same accessory maker that leaked the renders we saw last week, and they're pretty spot on as far as what we expect from Google later this year. Both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are expected to be announced in early October with a release to follow within a couple of weeks.
06/24/2019 - 08:17 AM
Navy SEALs Testify Their Chief Shot Girl, Man in Iraq
Mike Blake/ReutersSAN DIEGO NAVAL BASE, Calif.—Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward R. “Eddie” Gallagher, a 20-year veteran of the Navy, fatally shot a man and a young girl in Iraq during separate incidents in 2017, two of his fellow SEALS told a military court Friday afternoon. He also admonished snipers for failing to kill the man who had been walking along a river path.Gallagher, 40, is on trial and facing seven criminal counts, including attempted murder for allegedly shooting the man and girl, and for premeditated murder for allegedly fatally stabbing a wounded, teenage ISIS fighter captured by Iraqi military forces in early May 2017.Neither of the SEALs who testified said they actually saw Gallagher fire the fatal shots, and his defense attorney put blame for their deaths on ISIS fighters likely operating near the SEALs’ sniper positions in Mosul.The testimony came a day after a medic who was with Gallagher shocked the court by testifying that he may have been the one who killed the girl. The decorated SEAL has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include additional violations of general orders. He is alleged to have posed for photos with the dead ISIS fighter's corpse and he is accused of obstructing justice when he tried to stop some from reporting his actions during an Iraq deployment with SEAL Team 7's Alpha Platoon. Gallagher's defense team claims that he’s being unfairly prosecuted and targeted by junior SEALs jealous of his reputation and with personal vendettas against him.Gallagher's general court-martial began Tuesday before Judge Navy Capt. Aaron Rugh and a seven-member jury comprised of four senior enlisted Marines, a Marine chief warrant officer, a Navy SEAL chief and a Navy commander. All the jurors have combat experience. A conviction on any of the charges requires a two-thirds vote. The trial is expected to run at least through next week.Gallagher wore his gold Trident pin above several rows of ribbons on his chest to court. He sat at a table in front of his wife, friends and family, and was flanked by five members of his defense team, including Marc Mukasey, who has served as President Trump’s personal attorney and Tim Parlatore, his lead defense attorney.Witness Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Dalton Tolbert avoided looking at Gallagher except when asked to point out if the SEAL chief was in the room. In questioning by a Navy prosecutor Friday afternoon, Tolbert testified that both civilian shootings came as sniper teams with Alpha Platoon manned positions on towers, or damaged buildings, north and south of the Tigris River near a bridge crossing. The platoon with the Coronado, Calif.-based SEAL team had the mandate to observe and thwart any ISIS activity, which included keeping an eye out for any fighters who'd venture to the riverbanks for water or respite. Sometimes, he said, the snipers would fire warning shots to scare civilians from the area.From his sniper post north of the river, Tolbert said he saw a man dressed run across the path toward a nearby building. He was dressed in traditional white garb that differed from what ISIS fighters usually wore. “That's when I saw a red mark on his back after hearing a shot,” he told the court. “Over the radio, I hear, ‘You guys missed him but I got him’,” Tolbert said. “It sounded like Chief Gallagher.”The incident involving the girl happened sometime in June 2017, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Joshua Vriens told the court. Through his scope he told the court he saw four girls, about 12 to 14 years old, each wearing dressings and flowered hijabs. One of the girls, shot in the stomach, shrieked and fell on her right knee as two of the girls ran off and the fourth, in a gray dress, grabbed and dragged the wounded girl over a berm and out of sight, he said.Prosecutors asked if he had heard shots prior to the girls scrambling away. “I heard them from the north tower,” Vriens said, adding, “It was apparent the shot came from our direction.” He said that the immediate area of Mosul had been cleared previously and ISIS units remained active a bit further to the east. But when questioned by Parlatore, Vriens said Gallagher was about 850 meters from the girl.The court also heard that Gallagher purposely stabbed a young ISIS fighter in the neck after the wounded teenager was brought to the SEALs by Iraqi forces. Defense attorneys have argued that he rendered aid, along with several others. On Thursday, a platoon member shocked the court when he testified that he, and not Gallagher, may have caused the young ISIS fighter’s death to put him out of his misery. Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott testified that after he saw Gallagher stick his knife in the ISIS fighter's neck, he decided to asphyxiate the teenager by closing the breathing tube with his thumb and save him from a worse fate at the hands of the Iraqis, according to the Associated Press.“I knew he was going to die anyway, and I wanted to save him from waking up to whatever would happen to him,” Scott, a trained medic or hospital corpsman testifying with a grant of immunity, told the court. The identity of the ISIS fighter isn’t known, and a body was never recovered. “He was in the (Iraqi) custody the entire time,” Palatore said. Navy SEALs would have treated and stabilized him to “potentially get some intelligence out of him.”Vriens testified he wasn’t present when the ISIS fighter died. But he testified that he was in the platoon's tactical operations room when another SEAL was looking at a photo on a computer of a teenager with dark hair who “looked like he was concussed... It looked like he had a 1,000-yard stare.” He said that Gallagher walked in the room and was asked, “is this your guy?” Vriens said. Gallagher then told them, “I stabbed him in the side, then grabbed him by the hair and I looked him in the eye and I stabbed him in the neck.”The Navy’s case against Gallagher also has been rocked in recent months by allegations that the Navy’s secretive special operations community is a hotbed for personal vendettas after Naval Criminal Investigative Service documents and SEALs' statements were leaked to several journalists. The Navy's original prosecution team is accused of embedding emails with a software tracker directed at the defense team and journalist Carl Prine, editor of the Navy Times, to help determine the source of the leaks.On Friday, much of the defense's line of questioning of Tolbert and Vriens centered on a meeting that several platoon members had with Gallagher hours after the ISIS fighter's death. The court also saw evidence including text messages sent among a group of SEALs called the “Sewing Circle” which included platoon members opposed of war crimes who were apparently at odds with a group Gallagher belonged to known as the “Real Brotherhood.” Defense attorneys have criticized the government's investigation and have painted several SEALs who have testified against Gallagher as weak operators and liars stretching the truth for their own benefit.“We’re feeling pretty good about this,” Parlatore said during a short news conference outside the courtroom building after Friday's afternoon session concluded at the naval base. “These younger millennials feel they were just there to be able to say that they’re SEALs, they went to Mosul and they could get out and go on to their future careers with that 'former Navy SEAL' tagline on their bio.”Parlatore said the younger SEALS avoided conflict. “It’s surprising the things that they shied away from in this case,” said Parlatore, who served as a former naval officer before becoming an attorney. “They were there to clear Mosul, to fight this war. But these guys were more concerned with staying back, staying under cover and then blaming the chief.” Prosecutors have not made any public statements outside of court since the trial began.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.
06/22/2019 - 12:33 PM
The multi-millionaire anti-vax couple bankrolling groups scaremongering about immunisation
A wealthy New York couple has contributed more than $3 million to the anti-vaccine movement through groups that stoke fears about immunisations online and at live events.Hedge fund manager and philanthropist Bernard Selz and his wife, Lisa, have long donated to organisations focused on the arts, culture, education and the environment. But seven years ago, their private foundation embraced a very different cause: groups that question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.How the Selzes came to support anti-vaccine ideas is unknown, but their financial impact has been enormous.Their money has gone to a handful of determined individuals who have played a prominent role role in spreading doubt and misinformation about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.The groups' false claims linking vaccines to autism and other ailments, while downplaying the risks of measles, have led growing numbers of parents to shun the shots. As a result, health officials have said, the potentially deadly disease has surged to at least 1,044 cases in the US this year, the highest number in nearly three decades. The Selz Foundation provides roughly three-quarters of the funding for the Informed Consent Action Network, a three-year-old charity that describes its mission as promoting drug and vaccine safety and parental choice in vaccine decisions.Lisa Selz serves as the group's president, but its public face and chief executive is Del Bigtree, a former daytime television show producer who draws big crowds to public events.Mr Bigtree has no medical credentials but claims he is an expert on vaccine safety and promotes the idea that government officials have colluded with the pharmaceutical industry to cover up grievous harms from the drugs.In recent weeks, Mr Bigtree has headlined forums in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County, New York, both areas confronting large measles outbreaks."They should be allowed to have the measles if they want the measles," Mr Bigtree told reporters outside the Brooklyn meeting on 4 June. "It's crazy that there's this level of intensity around a trivial childhood illness."Thanks largely to the Selzes's donations, ICAN is now the best-funded among a trio of organisations that have amplified concerns about vaccines. ICAN brought in $1.4m in revenue in 2017, with just over $1m supplied by the Selz Foundation, according to tax filings.The Selzes and the groups they support are hardly the only purveyors of anti-vaccine ideas. Environmental attorney Robert F Kennedy Jr, a nephew of the late president, runs the Children's Health Defence, a charity that promotes a similar agenda; it brought in $727,000 in 2017, according to tax filings.Barbara Loe Fisher, who says her son was injured by vaccines, runs a Virginia-based nonprofit that combats legislative efforts to tighten vaccine requirements. Her group, the National Vaccine Information Centre, brings in about $1m a year, according to its 2018 tax documents.Although they are separately organised, the three groups reinforce one another's efforts. Mr Kennedy and Mr Bigtree often appear together at public events, while ICAN's website includes a link to Ms Fisher's group. Mr Bigtree's weekly livestream broadcast, which ICAN promotes, frequently features Mr Kennedy. New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, who has battled the nation's single worst measles outbreak since October, said she never heard of the Selzes."But I do know the science and the science is clear – the MMR vaccine prevents measles," she said, using the common acronym for the vaccine that prevents measles, mumps and rubella. "Any suggestion to the contrary is a threat to the health and well-being of New Yorkers."The Selzes did not respond to emails or phone messages. A woman who answered the telephone at the couple's home on Manhattan's Upper East Side declined to identify herself. "There's nothing to say," she said before hanging up.Bernard Selz, 79, has more than 40 years experience in the securities industry and runs Selz Capital, a hedge fund that holds a portfolio valued at more than $500m, according to recent filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission.Lisa Pagliaro Selz, 68, worked for Manufacturers Hanover Trust and Tiffany and Co. Since 1993, she has helped manage the Selz Foundation "with a focus on humanitarian, educational, geriatric, homeopathic, animal causes and the arts," according to a news release issued by LaGuardia Community College Foundation, where she was a board member from 2011 to 2016.The Selzes' sons – both young adults – declined to comment. Friends and family members reached by The Washington Post said they were unable to shed light on the Selzes' philanthropic choices. "This is a topic we don't discuss," said Marilyn Skony Stamm, a business executive and close friend of Lisa Selz. "We have differing opinions." Ms Stamm declined to elaborate, except to say that she values her friendship with the Selzes, whom she called "an incredibly philanthropic family."Most vexing to public health officials are Mr Bigtree's efforts to downplay the seriousness of measles. At one point, Mr Bigtree said he would be "ecstatic" if his two unvaccinated children, ages 5 and 10, got sick. "We haven't had a death in decades from this disease," he said at the Brooklyn forum. Mr Bigtree told The Washington Post that his remarks are backed by "peer-reviewed science or articles by reputable medical authorities"."I can say that virtually every one of our grandparents survived the measles or we wouldn't be here," he said. "They also never spoke of it as being dangerous... I have no fear of the measles."In fact, the last confirmed US death from measles was four years ago, when a 28-year-old woman died in Washington state. Meanwhile, hundreds of people have died of measles this year in other countries, including Madagascar, Ukraine and the Philippines. Before 1963, when the vaccine was introduced to the United States, 3 million to 4 million Americans were infected each year, with thousands developing complications that led to hospitalisation or lifelong disability. Approximately 400 to 500 people died every year. Today, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one to three children out of 1,000 infected with measles will die from complications. Mr Bigtree, who has appearances booked through the end of the summer, dismisses such projections as government fear-mongering to advance the interests of the drug industry.Washington Post
06/23/2019 - 06:29 AM
Middle East Chaos: All the Hell That Was the Iran-Iraq War
The world awoke to ominous news on September 22, 1980. Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein had launched a massive armored and air attack across the Iraq-Iran border. Believing that his Islamic fundamentalist neighbor to the east had been weakened by the ongoing revolutionary turmoil that in February 1979 had toppled the Shah, Hussein was confident that his forces would win a lightning victory and restore long-disputed territory to Iraqi control. Such a victory, not incidentally, would put Hussein at the forefront of a resurgent Middle Eastern pan-Arabism.Among the causes of the war—the ruthless ambition of Saddam Hussein; ongoing disputes over control of the strategic Shatt al-Arab waterway, a shipping lane formed by the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that created the southern borders of both countries; the struggle for dominance in the Persian Gulf region—the overriding issue was a centuries-old dispute regarding sovereignty over oil-rich Khuzestan Province in southwestern Iran. Khuzestan was the ancient home of the empire of Elam, an independent, non-Semitic, non-Indo-European-speaking kingdom whose territory spanned almost all of present-day southwestern Iran. Khuzestan had been attacked and occupied many times by various Arab kingdoms of Mesopotamia, the precursors of modern-day Iraq.A Centuries-Old Rivalry
06/22/2019 - 03:00 PM
VIDEO: New Vs Old Shelby GT350R
Does the 2016 model hold up against the original 1965? Recently, V8TV took a comparative look at the original 1965 Shelby GT350R, a race car that ruled the tracks during the muscle car golden age, and the 2016 Shelby GT350R. Despite these two vehicles sharing a nameplate, there’s a lot that’s different about them. How exactly do they stack up? The results may surprise you.Shelby ditched pretty much everything it could to shed weight on the 1965 car, using plexiglass for windows, dumping the heater, and not including a radio, to name a few things. Shedding that weight freed up the blue-printed 289ci V8 to pull hard on straightaways with about 315-horsepower. The car gained a roll cage, racing seat, harness, and performance gauges for track use.Bigger and heavier than the 1965 model, the 2016 Shelby GT350R has some big shoes to fill. There’s no denying its capabilities. It packs some serious heat with an aluminum flat-plane 5.2-liter V8, putting 526-horsepower to the wheels. The exhaust note sounds raw and exotic, but it’s different in sound from the original racer and not nearly as loud.What you get with the modern GT350R is reliability. You can actually use the 2016 model on the daily basis, driving through the city, something the 1965 would not do well at in the least. Also, the newer model is actually pretty plus on the inside, while the old-school snake is stripped-down to ditch any extra weight.While the 1965 Shelby GT350R is a real racer, it comes with all the real racer needs. The car isn’t exactly easy to drive, plus you need a trailer to get it to the track. On top of that, to keep that engine running smoothly you’ll need an experienced pit crew. With the 2016 model, pretty much anyone can handle the car, thanks to the wizardry of onboard electronics and other modern aids.Ultimately, both cars use the same philosophy of upgrading the street version of the GT350 with track-proven methods, resulting in a highly-capable racer. But which will get you around the track faster? That’s the true question. More American Muscle Take To The Track With A 2008 Ford Mustang FR500S Head Turning Restomod 1966 Pontiac GTO With LS3
06/22/2019 - 01:02 PM
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