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From today, July 16, 2019
- Italy seizes 'combat-ready' missile and automatic weapon stash in raids on far-Right figures
Italian police have seized a large arsenal of weapons, including an air-to-air missile, in raids on neo-Nazi sympathisers, they said on Monday. Elite police forces searched properties across northern Italy following an investigation into Italians who had fought alongside Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, a police statement said. Three men were arrested, including a customs officer who has previously stood for parliament for an extreme right party. During their raids, police discovered a French-made Matra air-to-air missile that appeared to have once belonged to the Qatar armed forces. Subsequent checks showed the weapon was in working condition but lacked an explosive charge. A big cache of guns and ammunition was seized by the Turin special police force Credit: FRANCESCO AMMENDOLA,HO/AFP/Getty Images Police said the suspects had tried to sell the missile in conversations with contacts on the WhatsApp messaging network. Among other weapons uncovered were 26 guns, 20 bayonets, 306 gun parts, including silencers and rifle scopes, and more than 800 bullets of various calibres. The arms were primarily from Austria, Germany and the United States. Police also seized Nazi memorabilia from the properties. "The police investigation ... came into being because of the activities of some Italian fighters with extremist backgrounds who had taken part in the armed conflict in the Ukrainian region of Donbass," the police statement said. More than 10,000 people have been killed since 2014 in fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine.
- Fox News pundit complains about Ilhan Omar quoting Trump's 'grab 'em by the p****' remark
A Fox News pundit has complained that Ilhan Omar used profanity when quoting Donald Trump in response to a series of racist tweets he directed at the Democratic congresswoman.Dana Perino, a former White House secretary under George W Bush, defended Mr Trump?s original statements and argued that he ?didn?t make them on live television at five o?clock?. Ms Perino was referring to a number of the US president's controversial remarks quoted by Ms Omar, including the "grab 'em by the p****" line he said in an interview with Access Hollywood in 2005. Ms Omar also quoted Mr Trump reportedly saying last year that people were coming to the US from "s***hole countries". It came after the US president tweeted at the weekend that some Democratic congresswomen should ?go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came?.While the US president did not name the targets of his attack, the context of his tweet made it clear it was aimed at a group of four progressive Democratic women of colour known as ?the squad?.The four ? Ms Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley ? spoke out against Mr Trump?s remarks at a press conference in Washington on Monday.Ms Omar claimed that the US president?s racist attacks were a ?distraction? from more important issues and sought to divide Americans."This is a president who has ultimately violated the very value our country aspires to uphold," she said."To distract from that, he is launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly-elected members of the United States House of Representatives, all of whom are women of colour."Mr Omar, who was falsely accused by Mr Trump of being both antisemitic and a supporter of Al Qaeda, said the US president had adopted the agenda of white nationalists. "This is a president who has said 'grab women by the p****,'" she added. "This is a president who has called black athletes 'sons of b****es'. This is a president who has called people who come from black and brown countries 'sh**holes.' This is a president who has equated neo-Nazis with those who protest against them in Charlottesville."However, in a discussion of the congresswomen?s impassioned rebuke of the US president on Fox News, pundit Ms Perino said: ?Can we also mention the profanity??In response, one of Ms Perino?s co-hosts, said: ?They can argue, well that?s what Trump said. So I?m going to say it.??But he didn?t say it on live television at 5 o?clock in the afternoon,? Ms Perino added.?These are things that they?re quoting from other places. He didn?t say it on television,?The co-host then added: ?This is from the only person on The Five who ever swore," referring to Ms Perino, who said the word ?a**hole? in a live recording of the weekly Fox News talk show in response to a video of an alligator in a convenience store.In his latest round of tweets Mr Trump has demanded an apology from the Democratic congresswomen targeted by his racist comments.He doubled down on his ?go back home? remarks in front of reporters in the White House, adding: ?If you?re not happy here, then you can leave?.
- At least 1 dead, 15 injured ? including 3 firefighters ? in California house explosion
- Geraldo Rivera on Trump's controversial tweets: It pains me to watch Trump take the low road
- Louisiana officials warn of snakes and other creatures fighting to escape Hurricane Barry floodwaters
- One of the world's largest airlines appears to be rebranding its Boeing 737 Max jets as customers say they don't want to fly on the plane after 2 fatal crashes
- Workers recover hundreds of bodies from Syrian mass grave
In an open field on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa, workers in black uniforms, surgical masks and red hardhats toil under a scorching sun to dig up bodies from a large mass grave discovered last month. All of the dead are men, women and children believed to have been killed or died during the Islamic State group's rule over the northern city, once the de facto capital of the extremist group's so-called Islamic caliphate and the site of atrocities committed by the group against residents who opposed its extremist ideology. The group at the time commanded large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq that it administered based on its own radical version of Islamic rule.
- Susan Rice Calls Chinese Diplomat a ?Racist Disgrace? on Twitter
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it's going next.Former U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice sparred with a senior Chinese diplomat on Twitter in an unusual and heated dispute over race in Washington.In a series of Tweets apparently aimed at making a broader point about diplomatic divisions over the mass detention of Muslims in China?s Xinjiang province, Lijian Zhao, a diplomat posted in Islamabad, said on Sunday that if ?you?re in Washington, D.C., you know the white never go? to the southeastern part of the U.S. capital.?You are a racist disgrace. And shockingly ignorant too,? Rice told Zhao on Twitter. Likely assuming that Zhao was posted in China?s mission in Washington, she then addressed her next comment to China?s ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai. ?Ambassador Cui, I expect better of you and your team. Please do the right thing and send him home.?Zhao, who is deputy chief of mission at the Chinese embassy in Pakistan?s capital, is often vocal on Twitter against critics of China?s infrastructure-building projects in Pakistan and other parts of Asia. Beijing has invested tens of billions of dollars in Pakistan, whose leader Imran Khan has previously dodged questions about the issue.?Shockingly Ignorant??You are such a disgrace, too. And shockingly ignorant, too. I am based in Islamabad. Truth hurts. I am simply telling the truth,? Zhao fired back at Rice on Monday. ?To label someone who speak the truth that you don?t want to hear a racist, is disgraceful & disgusting.?Read More: How China Is Defending Its Detention of Muslims to the WorldZhao didn?t immediately respond to phone calls, an email and a direct message on Twitter seeking comment.In a string of messages that appeared aimed at highlighting U.S. hypocrisy on human rights, Zhao referred to everything from income inequality and school shootings in the U.S. to immigration officers separating children from parents.He tweeted a list of mostly-Western nations that condemned China for its actions in Xinjiang as well as a separate list of other countries -- including Pakistan, Cuba, Tajikistan and Nigeria -- that wrote a joint letter to the United Nations supporting Beijing, which Zhao called ?a big slap on the face of U.S. & its western cohorts.?Outspoken DiplomatsChina?s diplomats have become increasingly vocal and outspoken. This month, China?s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, gave a rare televised statement accusing the British government of meddling in Hong Kong, the scene of mass protests against Beijing?s rule.Earlier this year, China?s envoy to Canada publicly accused his hosts of ?white supremacy,? while the country?s chief envoy in South Africa said President Donald Trump?s policies were making the U.S. ?the enemy of the whole world.?Asked about the Twitter dispute on Monday, China?s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang didn?t comment directly.?I don?t know the specific situation,? he said. However, he added, ?we resolutely oppose the interference of the U.S. and individual Western countries in interfering in China?s internal affairs with the Xinjiang issue.?To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in New Delhi at firstname.lastname@example.org;Dandan Li in Beijing at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org, Chris Kay, Gregory TurkFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- Tombs riddle could see Vatican efforts to find teen backfire: analysts
The Vatican's attempts to help the family of an Italian teenager who went missing 36 years ago have merely deepened the mystery surrounding her fate, and risk backfiring, analysts say. Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, was last seen leaving a music class in Rome aged 15, and theories have circulated for decades about who took her and where her body might lie. Two tombs at the Teutonic Cemetery in the Vatican were opened last week after an anonymous tip-off that they might contain her remains.
- Boy slips through Heathrow security to board British Airways flight to Los Angeles
Police at Heathrow Airport are investigating how a 12-year-old boy slipped through security and managed to board a British Airways flight to Los Angeles without a ticket or boarding pass. The unaccompanied child, who had no travel documents, mingled with passengers getting on the flight and was only spotted when cabin crew asked to see his boarding pass in order to direct him to his seat. The mystery youngster, who is thought to be Dutch, was not travelling with his parents, and refused to cooperate with cabin crew when he was challenged. Fellow passengers said he refused to leave the aircraft and was eventually removed by police officers who boarded to assist aircrew. As a result of the security lapse, the aircraft had to be cleared and all the passengers were forced to undergo a second security check, delaying the flight by more than four hours. The mystery youngster, who is thought to be Dutch, was not travelling with his parents, and refused to cooperate with cabin crew when he was challenged Credit: AP Photo/Alastair Grant Detectives were working to establish where the boy was originally from and how he had managed to pass through strict security cordons, without being spotted. One theory is that he was a transit passenger who had arrived at Heathrow with a ticket to an onward destination, but had then attempted to see if he how far he could get with our being challenged as part of an elaborate dare. The lapse also raises concerns over the effectiveness of security checks at Britain?s busiest airport, although a spokesman for British Airways insisted the boy had been through the same controls as all other passengers. The spokesman said: ?We have apologised to our customers for the delay to their flight after an issue during boarding. ?The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and everyone who had boarded the aircraft had been subject to security checks. ?We conducted additional precautionary screening as soon as this issue came to light and we are assisting the police with their enquiries.? Rachel Richardson, who was heading to Los Angeles on a business trip, described chaotic scenes as airline staff tried to deal with the situation. She said: ?The boy would not speak to the cabin crew and they were asking if anybody spoke Dutch. He would not help them understand where his bags were so the whole aircraft had to be cleared which meant we were almost more than four hours delayed taking off. It was very frustrating.? A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: ?A 12-year-old boy boarded a BA flight from Heathrow to Los Angeles at around 17:15hrs on 14 July. ?He was identified by cabin crew during pre-flight check. He did not have a ticket or any travel documents. "The boy was an unaccompanied minor. He is not a UK national. As a security precaution, passenger de-planed following a discussion between police and the captain. ?The child is believed to have arrived at Heathrow as a transit passenger.? A Heathrow spokesperson said: ?We are working with our police colleagues and British Airways to understand how an unauthorised passenger boarded the incorrect aircraft. The individual did not represent a security risk and, purely as a precaution, the aircraft in question was re-screened and has since departed. We apologise for the disruption and will continue working closely with the authorities and our airline partners to keep the airport safe.?
- Trump may face more court battles over giving citizenship data to states
Trump dropped the effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census on Thursday following a recent defeat in the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, he ordered other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration, to provide relevant data.
- Northern California town of Paradise lost 90% of its population after Camp Fire, data shows
- All the Best Amazon Prime Day Tech Deals to Shop (So Far)
- Land crabs infest Florida man's house after heavy rainfall
A man in Florida recently received hundreds of crabs as unexpected house guests.Heavy rain fall in south Florida forced hundreds of land crabs, which burrow underground, out of their holes and into the property of Dan Skowronski, a resident of of Port St Lucie. In a video shared to Facebook, the Florida man witnessed the home invasion with a surprising calm.?They must have got rained out of their holes,? he said while filming the crabs, which were scurrying all over his house and property. ?All land crabs. Their homes got wiped out by the rain, and they?re all over.??They?re more scared of me than I am of them,? he said, adding that ?sometimes it happens once a year?.Florida saw heavy rainfall as Hurricane Barry geared up in the Gulf Coast throughout last week, before making landfall in Louisiana on Saturday. The storm left heavy flooding throughout New Orleans, but was downgraded to a tropical storm upon hitting the city, and did less damage than anticipated. Still, much of the city experienced rampant flooding, which is expected to continue and spread this week.In the Florida panhandle, far north above the crab invasion, the storm stirred up a mass influx of jellyfish, washing up on the sand as the water picked up into dangerous riptides. Public beaches were closed to swimmers while the fish and waves persisted.WPTV reports that the crabs in South Florida were gone by Friday.
- Joe Biden worried in 1977 that certain de-segregation policies would cause his children to grow up 'in a racial jungle'
- Indiana police officer who fatally shot black man resigns
A white Indiana police officer who fatally shot a black man, sparking protests and roiling the presidential campaign of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, has resigned, the local police union announced Monday. The Fraternal Order of Police said Sgt. Ryan O'Neill's resignation from the South Bend Police Department was due to stress and media attention given to last month's shooting of Eric Logan.
- Russia?s Election Hackers Are Back?and Targeting George Soros
Sean Gallup/GettyThe Russian intelligence agency behind 2016?s election attacks is training its sights on billionaire financier George Soros, The Daily Beast has learned. The move comes hot on the heels of a surge in U.S.-focused hacking by Russia?s Main Intelligence Directorate with similarities to 2016 in targeting and methodology. Laura Silber, chief communications officer for Soros? Open Society Foundations, confirmed the hack attempt, but couldn?t provide additional details over the weekend. ?We were aware of an attack,? Silber told the Daily Beast.Last month Microsoft quietly seized a new batch of 10 deceptive domain names the company says were set up by the hackers known as Fancy Bear, the group intelligence officials and independent analysts have long attributed to Russia?s Main Intelligence Directorate, the GRU. Those web addresses imitate genuine domains used for Microsoft services like Sharepoint, an unmistakable sign that they were intended for use in phishing attacks, in which a victim is tricked into typing their password into a fake login page. Mueller Finally Solves Mysteries About Russia?s ?Fancy Bear? HackersOne domain targets a Singapore-based investment firm, and another references the Berlin anti-corruption organization Transparency International, which Russia has targeted before. Others are generic or ambiguous in their targeting. But one seized domain, soros-my-sharepoint[.]com, jumps out as a clear reference to Soros, a past GRU target from Russia?s 2016 election interference. An additional four phishing domains registered in the same time frame appear to target Soros? Open Society Foundations, said Kyle Ehmke, an intelligence researcher at the Arlington, Virginia-based cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect. Those domains haven?t been seized and ThreatConnect hasn?t found enough evidence to definitively link them to the Russian hackers, said Ehmke. The Kremlin?s targeting of Soros and his organization carries echoes of 2016, when the GRU dumped 2,500 files stolen from the Open Society Foundations for the debut of ?DC Leaks?, the fake leak site the spies created for their 2016 election interference campaign. ?SOROS INTERNAL FILES ? BIG DATA?, the site announced at the time.Some of the stolen files were reportedly altered to create the appearance that Soros was secretly financing Russian opposition candidates, making the leak politically useful to Vladmir Putin. More importantly, the Soros dump earned DC Leaks instant credibility in American right-wing circles, where the 88-year-old Hungarian-American philanthropist plays the role of villainous global puppet-master in countless conspiracy theories. Russia?s Internet Research Agency?the so-called ?troll farm, later indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller?pushed the same trope on its Facebook and Instagram feeds in the run-up to election day. One meme featured a close-up of Soros against a backdrop of anti-Trump picketers. ?No lives matter for those who sponsoring [sic] anti Trump protests,? the caption read. Another imagined Soros confronting the late Senator John McCain. ?Hey Johnny, I?m paying you a fortune. I don?t care how much cancer you have, get back to DC and backstab Trump.?The Soros targeting comes in the wave of what one expert describes as a fresh wave of Fancy Bear attempts against political nonprofits in the U.S. that ran from last December to March or April of this year, using similar tactics to the mass phishing campaign that famously ensnared Hillary Clinton?s campaign chief in 2016. ?It?s a similar type of activity to what hit Podesta,? said Robert Johnston, the former Marine Corp captain who investigated the 2016 DNC breach, and now heads the financial cybersecurity firm Adlumin. ?These were against political organizations and NGOs. The FBI has reached out to of bunch of them.?Putin?s Hackers Now Under Attack?From MicrosoftIn 2016 Microsoft sued Fancy Bear in federal court in Virginia and won, unopposed, an injunction allowing the company to seize any web addresses registered by the GRU?s hackers that imitate a Microsoft product or service. The company has seized over 100 domains so far.Experts caution that Russia?s hackers have always cast a wide net, and there?s no way to tell what their motives are in revisiting old haunts now. It may be pure intelligence gathering, or the opening salvo of a 2020 election interference campaign.?We don't know whether they are ultimately looking to compromise targets for influence operations, internal intelligence uses, or both,? said Ehmke.Either way, Russia likely views its 2016 efforts as a success, and is certain to try for an encore. ?I think you should absolutely anticipate a very vocal Russian interference in the 2020 elections,? said Johnston.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Populist pro-China mayor to face Tsai in Taiwan presidential clash
A populist mayor who favours closer ties with Beijing was announced as the presidential candidate for Taiwan's opposition on Monday as it looks to unseat President Tsai Ing-wen in upcoming elections. Han Kuo-yu won the primary for the opposition Kuomintang party, comfortably seeing off a challenge from Taiwan's richest man, billionaire Foxconn founder Terry Gou.
- From Hershey's bars to hand lotion, here's what wealthy convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein purchased in commissary while serving time in Florida
- What first-hand government reports say about conditions at migrant detention centers
- Trump Administration Implements ?Third Country? Rule to Alleviate Border Crisis
The Trump administration on Monday announced a new ?safe third country? policy that will drastically reduce the number of Central American migrants eligible to receive asylum in the U.S.The new policy, which will take effect when it is published in the Federal Register Tuesday, requires that migrants first apply for refugee status in Mexico, or whatever country they enter after leaving home, before seeking asylum in the U.S. Under the policy, only those migrants who have been denied asylum in another country will be eligible to seek asylum in the U.S.?Ultimately, today's action will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants lacking a legitimate fear of persecution, and the transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and smugglers exploiting our system for profits,? Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan said in a statement.The rule change, which is sure to be met with numerous legal challenges, is designed to discourage economic migrants from applying for asylum and includes exceptions for victims of human trafficking and other crimes.Attorney General Bill Barr said the move would stop ?forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States?while ensuring that no one is removed from the United States who is more likely than not to be tortured or persecuted on account of a protected ground.?The policy shift builds on the previously implemented Migrant Protection Protocols, which required that certain asylum-seekers remain in Mexico while their cases are being adjudicated.Federal law allows anyone who enters the U.S. to apply for asylum but includes an exception for those who first travel through a "safe third country."Currently, the U.S. only has a "safe third country" agreement with Canada and administration officials have thus far been rebuffed in their efforts to secure a similar arrangement with Mexico. Central American countries, including Guatemala and El Salvador, are considering adopting a regional compact to strike a similar deal with the U.S., but there is a legal challenge pending in Guatemala that is now preventing the finalization of any such deal.
- Macron Sticks to Demand for Deep EU Reform Before New Expansion
(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron stuck to his demand for deep reforms in the European Union before it accepts new members, telling biggest candidate Serbia that premature entry would benefit no one.Leaders across the Balkans have expressed frustration at what they say is stalling by the EU over when they can become part of the world?s biggest trading bloc. While most member are wary of taking in new members, Balkan leaders are struggling to explain the delay to their 18 million citizens who see entry as a guarantee toward higher pay and less corruption.Concerns flared two weeks ago when, after a marathon session of wrangling over who will take the EU?s top jobs, Macron said there would be no further enlargement unless ?deep reform? of the EU happens first. During a visit to Serbia Monday, where he met President Aleksandar Vucic, Macron again said that ?Serbia is destined to join? but that expanding the bloc without changing the way it makes decisions would cause problems for everyone.?Entering too quickly wouldn?t be good for Serbia, nor would it be for the EU,? Macron said, adding that even setting an entry timetable could backfire. ?We must not lock ourselves in to a calendar with a date, because if we fail it would be seen as a failure.?The last country to become an EU member was Croatia, in 2013. Outgoing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the earliest that any of the six remaining aspirants would be able to join is around 2025.For Serbia, the biggest hurdle is resolving relations with Kosovo. Backed by Russia and China, it refuses to recognize its neighbor?s unilaterally declared independence since 2008 and has blocked its efforts to join the United Nations and other international organizations.EU-mediated talks between Serbia and Kosovo all but collapsed last year when the latter imposed punitive 100% tax on products from Serbia and from Bosnia-Herzegovina, retaliating for Serb lobbying against its international recognition. Kosovo has ignored calls from EU states to lift the barrier.Vucic said he expected France?s help ?in the search for a compromise.? He also said that Serbia embraced the changes that it had committed to as part of EU entry.?For us, it?s important to reform ourselves, to do our part of the work, for the sake of our people to do good and that our economy makes progress.?Macron?s visit followed France-based Vinci Airports venture into Serbia with a 25-year concession for Aerodrom Nikola Tesla, while a unit of Suez Groupe SAS won an equally long contract in Belgrade, the capital. Alstom SA is also vying to build a subway in Belgrade, where the two first lines may cost $4.5 billion.(Updates with map of EU aspirant states.)To contact the reporters on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at email@example.com;Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at firstname.lastname@example.org;Helene Fouquet in Paris at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Irina Vilcu at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Andrea Dudik at email@example.com, Michael WinfreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- JetBlue flight evacuated at Newark Airport after suicide vest photo AirDropped to passenger iPhones
A plane was evacuated after someone sent a photograph of a suicide vest to passengers and flight attendants on board.The unknown sender used Apple?s AirDrop feature, which allows users to easily and anonymously transfer files to other iOS devices using Bluetooth.Authorities say the Florida-bound plane was about to take off from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey when the image was widely shared on board.A member of the crew on JetBlue flight 573 alerted the captain, who informed authorities at about 7.45am on Saturday.The plane returned to the gate and the 150 people on board were asked to leave the aircraft, and their luggage was re-screened and examined by police bomb-sniffing K-9 dogs.?We pull up to the gate and then we pull away and the captain comes on and says there's been a security threat,? Thomas Desmond told NBC News.?It was nervous when you see Port Authority police officers coming onto your plane and you just have no idea what's going on.?The culprit was likely one of those on board, as AirDrop only works with those in close proximity to the sender. However, they were not traced.JetBlue said the additional security screening was carried out due to ?an abundance of caution.?The flight eventually departed just before 11.30am, with no knock-on effects to other flights departing or arriving at Newark.
- Lyft broke the law when it failed to tell Chicago about a driver it kicked off its app. A month later he was accused of killing a taxi driver while working for Uber. (LYFT, UBER)
- Brit Hume responds to Trump, the 'squad'
- Police say Greek man detained in American scientist's death
A Greek man has been detained for questioning in the slaying of an American scientist on the island of Crete, police said Monday. Authorities said the 27-year-old man detained Monday was one of 10 people interviewed over the weekend for the investigation of Suzanne Eaton's slaying. Homicide detectives traveled from Athens to the island to head the investigation.
- Police officer who killed Ethiopian-Israeli released on bail
A police officer who shot dead a 19-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli, sparking nationwide protests, was freed on bail from house arrest on Monday, Israel's justice ministry said. The officer, who was off-duty and said he felt his life was in danger at the time of the June 30 shooting, will be subject to a series of restrictions while the investigation continues. The bail amount was not made public by the ministry following the closed-door court hearing over the shooting of Solomon Teka in Kiryat Haim near the northern port city of Haifa.
- Michael Flynn?s Ex-Business Partner Points the Finger at Him in Court
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/GettyIf there is a question of who worked on behalf of the Turkish government to influence the 2016 Donald Trump campaign, then the court should look no further than former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, lawyers for Bijan Kian, the Iranian-American businessman and former Flynn partner, told jurors in the Eastern District of Virginia Monday. Kian is charged with two felonies?illegally lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government and conspiring covertly to influence U.S. politics about Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who is now living in Pennsylvania. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted. But Kian?s team of attorneys said in their opening statements Monday that their client ?did not conspire with anyone? to work on behalf of the Turkish government in the U.S. When questioning the Turkish government?s influence operations in the U.S., the jury should look at the newly announced cache of evidence the government has on Flynn, said attorney Bob Trout. Kian isn?t referenced in any of it, Trout said. Michael Flynn Putting Mueller Deal at Risk in ?Dangerous? New TrialIn the opening statements Monday the Kian legal team spent the majority of their time arguing that their client did not work on behalf of the Turkish government when he attempted to influence public opinion in the U.S. about Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. Gulen currently lives in Pennsylvania and is wanted by the Turkish government for allegedly planning a military coup in the country in 2016. Kian instead worked on behalf of a Turkish-Dutch businessman named Ekim Alptekin, Trout said. (Alptekin is named as a defendant in the Kian case but will likely avoid appearance because he is living in Istanbul.) Toward the end of his statements, Trout tried to create a degree of separation between Kian and Flynn who is currently awaiting sentencing in Washington for crimes carried out during his time working with the Trump team. He pointed to the government?s evidence, which was mentioned in a hearing last week, and said that prosecutors had all but conceded that Kian was not involved. The jurors have not seen the evidence yet and the details of what the government currently has in its position is unclear.According to a government indictment filed last year, Flynn and Kian worked together throughout the fall of 2016, when Flynn was an advisor to then candidate Trump, on a project to try and extradite Gulen back to Turkey. Prosecutors said the two took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Turkish government to execute the plan. Flynn was also at the time accused of lying about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. He entered into a cooperation deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and admitted to lying about the communications and about his consulting firm?s business with the Turkish government. He said that the registration he filed for the Turkey-focused project in 2017 contained several inaccuracies, though his lawyers maintain that Flynn did not intentionally lie on the documents. As part of his deal with the government, Flynn was supposed to testify against Kian and his sentencing in Washington was postponed so he could appear as a witness in Virginia.That all changed last week when the government removed Flynn from the witness list and instead named him as a co-conspirator in the case. The government also said it had extensive information that the Turkish government attempted to influence the Trump campaign through Flynn. It was the first mention of an additional set of materials that show how Flynn was being extensively involved in the Turkish lobbying.It?s that evidence that lies at the heart of who really committed the crime of illegally lobbying for Turkey, Kian?s lawyers said Monday. Kian ?didn?t know? about the alleged separate communications between Alptekin and Flynn that are in the government?s possession, Trout said.For its part, the government in its opening statement barely mentioned the former national security adviser, instead referring several times to Kian?s business team members as ?associates.? The government focused on Kian?s email correspondences, including with Flynn, about the Gulen project and attempted to lay out for the jury how the money that flowed into Kian?s account for services rendered connected back to the Turkish government.After nearly an hour and a half of opening statements, both of which were at times tangled and difficult to follow, the jury seemed to fade by 5:30 p.m. Several individuals closed their eyes and appeared to be sleeping.They?re due back in court Tuesday morning for testimony, including evidence to be entered into the record and for witness examinations.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.
- Police: A 69-year-old Arizona woman is missing in California's Mojave Desert without supplies, cellphone
- Move over Trump: China's tweeting diplomats open fresh front in propaganda fight
Tweets from Chinese diplomats abroad, including seasoned ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, have opened a fresh front in Beijing's increasingly assertive approach to diplomacy and propaganda and may be a sign of things to come. Cui sent his first tweets just last week from his newly opened Twitter account, including one about Taiwan, the self-ruled and democratic island China claims as its own, garnering thousands of comments. "#Taiwan is part of #China.
- Billionaire Tom Steyer's entrance into the 2020 Democratic race is the perfect example of the rot at the core of the US political system
- Man 'shot polar bear and left its body outside his home for five months'
A man has been charged with killing a polar bear and leaving the body to rot outside his home in Alaska for five months.Christopher Gordon, 35, allegedly shot the animal dead when it ventured into his front yard to try and eat some butchered whale meat.He then failed to report the polar bear carcass or attempt to ?harvest? it for food between December 2018 and May this year.Gordon also allowed the bear to be covered with snow, which resulted in one of its legs being ripped off by a passing snowplough.Finally, on 22 May, he burned the carcass at the village dump in Kaktovik.He is now facing up to one year in prison and a $100,000 (£80,000) fine if convicted of the federal crime of ?knowingly taking a polar bear in a manner unlawful under the Marine Mammal Protection Act?.Prosecutors say that the killing of the bear was not done in legal self defence and that he ?left the harvestable remains to waste?.?Gordon allegedly left butchered whale meat outside in front of his yard of his residence for a substantial period of time, which attracted polar bear, as well as other animals to his front yard,? said federal prosecutor Ryan Tansey.?He then allegedly shot and killed the polar bear because it was trying to eat the improperly stored whale meat.?Gordon has also been charged with the state offence of wasteful taking of a marine animal.The investigation was carried out by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.Gordon declined to comment about the case and is scheduled to appear in court in Fairbanks in August.Kaktovik, with a population of just over 250, has experienced increasing encroachment by polar bears in recent years due to the disappearing Arctic sea ice.As a result it has become a popular tourist destination, with more than 2,000 people visiting the village during 2017.?These bears are getting used to people,? said council member Mike Gallagher. ?They?re domesticated.?Additional reporting by Associated Press
- Lightening Deal Alert: MasterChef's 13-In-1 Pressure Cooker Is 47 Off Right Now
- Marshall Plan for Central America would restore hope, end migrant border crisis
- Philippine leader signs law punishing sexual harassment
The Philippine president has signed a bill into law penalizing a range of acts of sexual harassment including catcalling, wolf-whistling and persistent telling of sexual jokes, which pro-women's groups have accused him of committing. Philippine officials released on Monday a copy of Republic Act 11313, known as the "Safe Spaces Act," which Duterte signed in April. The bill's main author, opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros, has called the law a "massive victory" against a growing culture of rude sexist actions.
- Teen girl brutally killed before photos of her body posted on social media, New York police say
- EU agrees measures against Turkey for Cyprus drilling
The European Union on Monday agreed measures to punish Turkey for pursuing drilling operations off Cyprus despite repeated warnings. The EU will halt high-level dialogue with Turkey, suspend talks over an aviation agreement and cut 145.8 million euros ($164 million) in pre-accession financial funds allocated for 2020. Foreign ministers from the bloc also told the European Commission, the bloc's executive, to keep working on possible financial sanctions targeting those involved in the drilling operations.
- Russia Didn't Shoot Back When Israeli F-16s Blew up a Syrian Military Complex
However, as has happened in over 200 other Israeli air strikes on targets in Syria, the defensive fire proved inadequate. The weapons struck three Syrian targets.At 2:30 in the morning on April 13, 2019, around a dozen missiles tore over the night sky of Hama province, Syria, launched by Israeli F-16 jets flying over Lebanon.(This first appeared earlier in June 2019.)In response, short-range Syrian air missiles arced into the night sky trailing plumes of fire from their rocket motors. One or two can be seen exploding mid-air, possibly having have hit their target.However, as has happened in over 200 other Israeli air strikes on targets in Syria, the defensive fire proved inadequate. The weapons struck three Syrian targets.The first was a training base called the ?Academy.? A second site was reportedly a storage facility for surface-to-surface missile launchers located near the Masyaf National Hospital. Afterward, the pro-Assad Al-Masdar news agency published a picture of an annihilated M-600 Tishereen ballistic missile launcher.The M-600 is a Syrian license-manufactured version of the Iranian Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missile, a type Tehran has used for missile strikes on targets in Syria, Iraq and Israel since 2017.
- Ethiopia premier's aide named to lead restive Amhara region
Ethiopia's Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) named the security adviser to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as head of the restive Amhara region on Monday after his predecessor was killed in a violent attempt to seize power there. Dozens were killed in fighting during the foiled coup by a rogue state militia in Amhara that claimed the life of regional president Ambachew Mekonnen and other top officials. The same night, the army's chief of staff and a retired general accompanying him were killed in the capital Addis Ababa in a related attack, the government said.
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- AOC fact-checked Trump's tweet seemingly telling her to 'go back' to 'broken and crime infested' country: I 'come from' the US
- June was the warmest June ever recorded, but there's a bigger problem
In 139 years of record-keeping, this June was the warmest June ever recorded. But June 2019 also revealed a deeper warming reality. The first half of 2019, January through June, finished up as the second warmest half-year on record, newly released NASA data shows. On top of that, each of the last five January through Junes are now the five warmest such spans on record. Only 2016 started off hotter than 2019. "At this point, the inexorable increase in global temperatures is entirely predictable," said Sarah Green, an environmental chemist at Michigan Technological University. She noted that NASA's updated data is added proof that climate models have accurately predicted Earth's continued warming as heat-trapping gasses amass in the atmosphere."As we have shown in recent work, the record warm streaks we've seen in recent years simply cannot be explained without accounting for the profound impact we are having on the planet through the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations," added climate scientist Michael Mann, the director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.Indeed, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, already at their highest levels in at least 800,000 years, are now accelerating at rates that are unprecedented in both the historic and geologic record."The latest numbers are just another reminder that the impacts of human-caused warming are no longer subtle," said Mann. "We're seeing them play out in terms of both unprecedented extreme weather events and the sorts of planetary-scale temperature extremes betrayed by these latest numbers."The warmest January through Junes on record.Image: nasa gissThe well-predicted consequences of this heating are now unfolding. Here are some, of many, examples: * Warming climes have doubled the amount of land burned by wildfires in the U.S. over the last 30 years, as plants and trees, notably in California, get baked dry. * Greenland -- home to the second largest ice sheet on Earth -- is melting at unprecedented rates. * The last 12 months have been the wettest 12 months in U.S. history, leading to widespread flooding around the nation (For every 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, of warming, the air can hold 7 percent more water.) * The Arctic is on fire. * Ocean temperatures are going up, and up, and up. * Since 1961, Earth's glaciers lost 9 trillion tons of ice. That's the weight of 27 billion 747s. * Heat waves are increasing in duration and frequency, while smashing records. * Daily high record temperatures are dominating daily low records. Overall, the atmosphere is experiencing an accelerated upward temperature climb, though there are some ups and downs within the greater warming trend. This is due to natural climatic influences, particularly from events like El Niño, which can give global temperatures an added kick. > NASA global mean June temperature is out! Guess what - it's been the hottest June on record. Definitely felt like that in Germany... climatecrisis FridaysForFuture pic.twitter.com/vkOFP22NNM> > -- Stefan Rahmstorf (@rahmstorf) July 15, 2019"The year-to-year variations of the global temperature may be affected by El Niño, etc., but in the long-term [global temperature] keeps increasing steadily," said NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies scientist Makiko Sato, who helped prepare the June climate observations. SEE ALSO: This scientist keeps winning money from people who bet against climate changeThis June was "easily" the warmest June on record, NASA noted, and overall, this year's January through June temperatures were 1.4 degrees Celsius (or 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit) above average temperatures in the late 1800s. Seasonal temperature trends.Image: nasa Giss2019 will almost certainly end up being one of the hottest years on record. This is in line with another stark trend. Eighteen of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 -- and the five hottest years have occurred in each of the last five years. (It's not just the first half of each year setting records.)"This is further evidence that temperatures will keep rising until government policies that decrease greenhouse gas emissions are actually implemented," emphasized Green. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
- Men Literally Died for That Flag, You Idiots
The American flag?s place in our culture is beginning to look less unassailable.The symbol itself is under attack, as we?ve seen with Nike dumping a shoe design featuring an early American flag, Megan Rapinoe defending her national-anthem protests (she says she will never sing the song again), and protesters storming an ICE facility in Aurora, Colo., and replacing the U.S. flag with a Mexican flag.U.S. soccer had a pretty good statement a while back setting out, in response to Rapinoe, why it has an expectation that players will stand during the national anthem (which, of course, is all about the flag):> Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer?s National Team. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer. In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men?s and Women?s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country.(Rapinoe called the sentiment ?cowardly.?)The U.S. soccer statement could have added that men have fought for the flag, and not just in the sense of fighting under it as members of the U.S. armed services. Our troops have literally fought for the flag, for its physical advance and preservation. This is the story of color sergeants during the Civil War.Color sergeants carried the flag ?typically, both the U.S. flag and the regimental flag ? into battle, and not a weapon. They depended for protection on the color guard, a small contingent of troops dedicated to the task. The flag, held aloft and leading the way, was important as a matter of tactics (to mark the location of the unit in the confusion of battle), of morale (to provide a rallying point for the troops), and of devotion and honor (to lose the flag to the enemy was a deep disgrace).Needless to say, this was hazardous duty that demanded the utmost bravery and dedication. According to Michael Corcoran in his book on the flag, For Which It Stands, the 24th Michigan Regiment lost nine color bearers on the first day of Gettysburg alone.The commander of the the Sixth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Dawes described his unit?s charge at Gettysburg:> Any correct picture of this charge would represent a V-shaped crowd of men with the colors at the advance point, moving firmly and hurriedly forward, while the whole field behind is streaming with men who had been shot, and who are struggling to the rear or sinking in death upon the ground. The only commands I gave, as we advanced, were, ?Align on the colors! Close up on that color! Close up on that color!? The regiment was being broken up so that this order alone could hold the body together. Meanwhile the colors were down upon the ground several times, but were raised at once by the heroes of the color guard. Not one of the guard escaped, every man being killed or wounded.Corcoran notes of the inception of the Medal of Honor during the Civil War: ?Nearly one thousand of the medals were awarded and, in a great many cases, they were bestowed upon men who had carried the Stars and Stripes into battle or who captured Confederate flags.?Consider a few examples. There?s John Gregory Bishop Adams, awarded the Medal of Honor for his conduct with the 19th Massachusetts Infantry at Fredericksburg. As the citation recounted, he ?seized the 2 colors from the hands of a corporal and a lieutenant as they fell mortally wounded, and with a color in each hand advanced across the field to a point where the regiment was reformed on those colors.?There?s John Gilmore, awarded the Medal of Honor ?for extraordinary heroism on 3 May 1863, while serving with 16th New York Infantry, in action at Salem Heights, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Major Gilmore seized the colors of his regiment and gallantly rallied his men under a very severe fire.?There?s William Carney, the first black serviceman to perform an act deemed worthy of the Medal of Honor, who saved the flag during the doomed but valorous assault on Fort Wagner in South Carolina.Part of the famous Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Colored Regiment, the exploits of which were depicted in the movie Glory, Carney saved the flag when the unit?s flag-bearer was wounded and, despite getting shot up himself, kept it aloft. He supposedly said when he finally turned the flag over to his comrades, ?Boys, I only did my duty; the old flag never touched the ground!?There are countless such stories of men risking everything, not for the idea of the flag or any abstraction but for the actual piece of fabric itself.Ancient history, you say? Regardless, the sacrifice and blood of these men are inextricably caught up in the meaning and moral status of the American flag. The historical illiteracy of those who protest it is perhaps understandable and on some level forgivable; their rank ingratitude and disrespect are not.
- Landmarks renamed: dispute over Yosemite trademarks resolved
- Australian model sentenced for airline flight disturbance
An Australian model was sentenced Monday in Los Angeles to community service and probation for slapping a flight attendant and going on an obscene tirade during a flight, with a federal judge saying he believed she was deeply remorseful and did not deserve fines or prison time. U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney sentenced Adau Mornyang to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service. Prosecutors had sought a month in jail for Mornyang.
- China detains Canadian citizen on drugs charges
A Canadian citizen detained in China is being held on drug-related offences, Beijing said Monday, at a time of tense relations between the two countries. News of the latest arrest comes amid a diplomatic crisis sparked by the detention of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer for Chinese tech giant Huawei, in Vancouver on a US extradition bid. "The Shandong Provincial Public Security Bureau recently seized a drug-related case involving foreign students," said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a press briefing.
- Babysitter charged with homicide over death of two-year-old at unlicensed day care
A man has been charged with homicide after a toddler died at an unlicensed day care in Wisconsin.Hunter Jones was charged earlier this month with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of 2-year-old Matthew Bolinski.A criminal complaint said Mr Jones called 911 on 27 March to say the child had jumped out of his playpen and hit his head. The complaint also said Mr Jones was on the phone with a dispatcher for four minutes before he revealed the child wasn?t breathing.Katherine Bolinski, the little boy?s mother, told local news outlets she feels like she is living in an ?ongoing nightmare?. ?I still pretend like he?s sleeping in the other room,? Ms Bolinski told WITI.?Now it?s just like an ongoing nightmare of waking up and there are moments where I just wish he could be with me still.? Mr Jones? wife, an in-home day care provider, told investigators she left the child and others in her husband?s care while she went out to pick up dinner.An autopsy listed the cause of the child?s death as undetermined, but also said the toddler had 18 contusions on his head and likely died of asphyxia. ?That day I dropped him off, he threw a fit like no other fit and I obviously regret having to do that now because of the outcome, but that?s my last memory of him alive,? Ms Bolinski told the local news outlet.The mother said she was ?confused,? ?hurt? and ?angry? after her son was found to have multiple injuries to his neck and head.Mr Jones did not have a defence attorney listed in court records. Additional reporting by AP
- Iran Loves This: The Royal Navy Doesn?t Have Enough Ships to Patrol Persian Gulf
The Royal Navy plans briefly to double its number of warships in the Persian Gulf following an attempted attack by Iranian forces on a British oil tanker on July 20, 2019.But the temporary increase in British warships in the region, from one to two, underscores just how few ships the Royal Navy can deploy even in an emergency.Iranian boats tried to ?impede? the British oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, the BBC reported. HMS Montrose, a Type 23 frigate, ?was forced to move between the three boats and the tanker,? according to the BBC.The British government claimed the attacking boats belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps militia. The IRGC also allegedly was behind several recent bomb attacks targeting oil tankers in the Gulf and surrounding waters.Tensions have escalated in the Middle East following U.S. president Donald Trump decision unilaterally to withdraw the United States from the 2015 deal limiting Iran?s nuclear program. After Trump restored economic sanctions, Tehran resumed stockpiling uranium.The July 2019 tanker incident compelled the Royal Navy to accelerate by several weeks a planned deployment to the Gulf by the Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan. Montrose and Duncan together will patrol the Persian Gulf before Montrose returns to U.K. waters for maintenance.Duncan sailed south through the Bosphorus on July 13, 2019. The destroyer had been in the Black Sea region for NATO exercises.
- South Korea calls Japan reports of North Korea sanctions breach 'grave challenge'
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday Japan's reported accusations that South Korea had exported banned goods to North Korea posed a "grave challenge" amid a growing dispute over Japanese export curbs. Japan has tightened restrictions on the export of three materials used in high-tech equipment, citing "inadequate management" of sensitive items exported to South Korea. Japanese officials have cited "inadequate management" of sensitive items exported to South Korea as a reason behind the curbs, as well as lack of information sharing on export controls.
- Trump says that his tweets being called racist 'doesn't concern' him because 'many people agree' with him