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Futures News - Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
From today, December 6, 2019
- Stanford law professor lights up House impeachment hearing
- Rep. Duncan Hunter Shows no Signs of Resigning Despite Pleading Guilty to Campaign Finance Charges
Representative Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) has not indicated that he will leave his seat in the House after he pleaded guilty on Wednesday to campaign finance violations.Hunter had long criticized the investigation against him as a "witch hunt," but announced on Sunday that he would change his stance and plead guilty. Hunter and his wife, who pleaded guilty to similar charges in June, were accused of using $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for family vacations to Hawaii, plane tickets for their pet rabbit, and other personal expenses. Both face a possible sentence of eight to fourteen months in jail."I failed to monitor and account for my campaign spending. I made mistakes, and that?s what today was all about," Duncan told reporters on Tuesday after his guilty plea. He said he wanted to avoid a trial "for my kids. I think it would be really tough for them."However, the congressman has not yet discussed resigning from the House with minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.). Hunter refused to answer Politico on Wednesday when they asked whether he planned to resign.Hunter is scheduled to be sentenced on March 17. One Republican lawmaker said party leadership would give him time to "get his affairs in order," but that time would be limited. Republicans had to force Hunter to give up positions on various House committees after his guilty plea.Former Rep. Chris Collins (R., N.Y.) resigned on September 30, one day before he pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading.
- Viral video shows border wall being scaled at Mexicali. Border Patrol says system 'worked exactly as designed'
- Report: Officer recorded kissing Chicago chief reassigned
A female officer who was reportedly caught on video kissing then-Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson at a popular restaurant in October was transferred weeks later from his personal security detail to another role on the police force, a department spokesman said. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed to WBEZ that the officer, who was appointed to Johnson's security detail in 2016, was reassigned in early November to the technical services bureau. Johnson?s attorney, Thomas Needham, didn't respond to questions about a relationship or the officer?s transfer, the radio station reported.
- Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia
A Sumatran tiger has killed an Indonesian farmer, police said Friday, marking the second fatal attack by the critically endangered species in less than a month. The latest mauling near Pagaralam city in Sumatra prompted authorities to warn residents against going into local forests. The coffee farmer's body was found Thursday by relatives who grew worried when he failed to return home, according to authorities.
- The fired Chicago police superintendent says he made a 'poor decision' on the night he was found asleep at a stop sign with his SUV running
- Why Is Japan Buying F-3 Fighters Instead of the Stealth F-35
- 19 unforgettable images from the Pearl Harbor attack 78 years ago
- Hermit crabs dying after mistaking plastic for shells, study finds
Hermit crabs are mistaking plastic for shells and the problem has killed more than half a million of the crustaceans, a new study by the Natural History Museum has found. The creatures do not make their own shells but instead move from discarded shell to discarded shell as they grow. They are not used to plastic in their environment so do not know to avoid it. Once they crawl into a piece of plastic debris, the crabs frequently get stuck and starve to death. Researchers said that if even just one crab mistakes some plastic debris for a shell, this can cause a "gruesome chain reaction", as when one dies it emits a signal alerting others there is a new shell. This causes scores of crabs to come scurrying across the island and fall into the plastic trap. The team carried out several surveys across a range of sites to ascertain of how many containers there were, including how many were open, how many were in a position likely to trap crabs, and how many contained trapped crabs. The results recorded 61,000 crabs trapped in debris on Henderson Island and 508,000 on the Cocos (Keeling) islands. This equated to 1-2 crabs per m2 of beach falling foul of debris, a significant percentage of the population. Around 570,000 hermit crabs become entrapped in debris on two tropical islands - the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean and Henderson Island in the Pacific. Dr Alex Bond, Senior Curator in Charge, Birds, The Natural History Museum, said, "The problem is quite insidious really, because it only takes one crab. "Hermit crabs do not have a shell of their own, which means that when one of their compatriots die, they emit a chemical signal that basically says 'there's a shell available' attracting more crabs who fall into the containers and die, who then send out more signals that say there are more shells available. "Essentially it is this gruesome chain reaction." The results come from a first of its kind study led by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania and including researchers from London?s Natural History Museum as well as the Two Hands Project community science organization. IMAS researcher Dr Jennifer Lavers, who led the study said, "These results are shocking but perhaps not surprising, because beaches and the vegetation that fringes them are frequented by a wide range of wildlife. "It is inevitable that these creatures will interact with and be affected by plastic pollution, although ours is one of the first studies to provide quantitative data on such impacts." The study is published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.
- The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now
- What happens if Trump loses in 2020 and refuses to leave the White House?
As Democratic primary voters agonize over who is their most ?electable? candidate, a slightly different question looms: Who would be the strongest standard-bearer if the fight goes on past the election, beyond the experience of history and into the uncharted territory outside the Constitution?
- Biden shows his tough side in Iowa and in attack ad: 'You're a d?mn liar'
- Transgender teen charged in fatal school shooting will be tried as an adult
A transgender teenager who told police that he and a friend opened fire at a suburban Denver high school to exact revenge on classmates who bullied him should be tried on murder charges as an adult, a judge ruled on Wednesday. Alec McKinney, 16, was ordered along with Devon Erickson, 19, to stand trial on first-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons charges in the May 7 shooting rampage at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, in which one student was killed and eight others wounded. Kendrick Castillo, 18, was shot to death when he ran toward one of the two assailants in what has been called a heroic effort to stop the shooting and save lives.
- Russia suspends project with Iran due to uranium enrichment
A Russian state company suspended a research project with Iran because of its decision to resume enriching uranium, a move a senior official said Thursday was necessary after the U.S. canceled a waiver to allow the joint venture. The TVEL company said in a statement that Iran?s decision to resume uranium enrichment at the Fordo facility makes it impossible to convert the facility to produce radioactive isotopes for medical purposes. Iran agreed to stop uranium enrichment under a 2015 deal with world powers to prevent it from building a bomb, but it has resumed such activities after the U.S. pulled out of the pact last year and imposed new sanctions.
- The college admissions scandal ringleader tried to recruit 7 Stanford coaches to be part of the scheme but only one took the bait
- Double the Fighters: Why Japan Wants Domestic F-3s and the F-35
- Climate models have been right all along, study finds
- US forces kill jihadist leader in Syria with precision 'ninja' missile that chops up targets with blades
US forces are thought to have killed a senior jihadist leader in northern Syria using a rarely deployed ?Ninja? missile which attacks targets with precision sword-like blades. The Hellfire missile, or AGM-114R9X, which has a set of six folding blades instead of a warhead for minimum collateral damage, is believed to have been used to take out a commander in the al-Qaeda offshoot Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS) in the province of Idlib. The leader, named locally by his nom-de-guerre Abu Ahmad al-Muhajir, was reported to have been killed on Tuesday night when the car he was travelling in was hit by missiles in the town of Atmeh near the Turkish border, 10 miles from the US raid that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last month. He was said to be a high-profile foreign trainer of an elite force within HTS, known as "The Red Bands". Another, unidentified fighter who had been in car was also killed. This fragment is reported to have been found at the site of what may have been an RX9 (Hellfire with frikken swords) strike. If you looks closely, you can see what appear to be hinges, as well as being and twisted projections from those hinges. H/T @obretix, who found this. pic.twitter.com/db7ZOE6S1x? Nick Waters (@N_Waters89) December 4, 2019 Images of the scene shared on social media show a hole in the driver?s seat of the Mutsubishi Delica, which is otherwise largely intact. Inside the car, flesh and blood can be seen and a number of large identical cut marks. Experts point to the windows, which have not been blown out, as evidence the ?Ninja? or so-called ?flying Ginsu? was used. The missile has only been deployed on a handful of occasions in the eight-year conflict in Syria, with at least one other reported use in the killing of Abu Khayr al-Masri, the deputy leader of al-Qaeda, in February 2017. Masri was killed while driving a car in al-Mastouma, 30 miles south of Atmeh, in Idlib. US unmanned aircraft, such as MQ-9 Reapers, can carry Hellfire missiles and are known to carry out targeted strikes. The missile has various pros and cons; while its precision helps to minimise the risk of civilian casualties, it relies on detailed intelligence that requires a lot of human resources. Nick Waters, a former infantry officer and investigator at Bellingcat who analysed pictures from the scene, said he could clearly see four cuts in the roof, one in the windscreen and one through the door: ?you?ve got six: the same number of blades an R9X has,? he said. Al-Qaeda deputy Abu Khayr al-Masri's car was targeted by a Hellfire missile. Pictures from the scene in 2017 show minimal damage to the rest of the car - a trademark of the AGM-114R9X, Credit: Twitter "This strike is very distinctive and although the coalition have denied carrying it out, it is possible that other US agencies not under the control of the coalition, such as the CIA, may have carried out this strike unilaterally,? he told the Telegraph. The US-led coalition said it did not carry out the strike. The Telegraph approached US Central Command (CENTCOM) for comment. The US has focused on targeting Isil leaders in northern Syria and has largely avoided HTS in Idlib in the northwest. The Islamist group rules control most of the province, pushing out more moderate groups who had previously been dominant. It would be the first US strike on an HTS leader since 2017. The skies above Idlib are crowded as the Syrian government and its Russian allies carry out an offensive to regain the last-remaining rebel stronghold in the country.
- NATO is finally talking about China, and there are 3 big problems it has to address
- Virginia Commission Calls for Repeal of ?Explicitly Racist? and ?Segregationist? Laws
A Virginia state commission released a report Thursday calling for the official repeal of ?deeply troubling? state laws still on the books that contain ?explicitly racist language and segregationist policies.?The Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law published a lengthy report saying that the outdated laws should not ?remain enshrined in law? despite no longer being in effect.?The commission believes that such vestiges of Virginia?s segregationist past should no longer have official status,? the report states. "The devastating long-term social, economic, and political impact of legalized segregation in Virginia continues to plague people of color today."While many of the laws the commission cited have been nullified by courts, such as the ban on interracial marriage in the ?Act to Preserve Racial Integrity,? the commission warned that they could become relevant again with another court ruling.?Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no child shall be required to enroll in or attend any school wherein both white and colored children are enrolled,? a 1956 law continues to read.Democratic governor Ralph Northam spearheaded the commission in June to identify state laws that ?were intended to or could have the effect of promoting or enabling racial discrimination or inequity.? The governor said he would focus on promoting racial equality for the rest of his term after weathering a scandal earlier this year over a racist yearbook photo depicting one person in blackface and another in a KKK outfit.Northam pledged in a statement Thursday to repeal all racially discriminatory language in Virginia law.?If we are going to move forward as a Commonwealth, we must take an honest look at our past,? the governor said. ?We know that racial discrimination is rooted in many of the laws that have governed our Commonwealth?today represents an important step towards building a more equal, just, and inclusive Virginia.?
- Pakistan pulls back on prosecuting Chinese sex traffickers
Pakistan has declined to pursue a sprawling case against Chinese sex traffickers due to fears it would harm economic ties with Beijing, the AP reported on Wednesday. Pakistan has been seeking closer ties with China for years as Beijing continue to make major investments in the country?s infrastructure.
- Wanted Indian guru resurfaces to announce new cosmic country
An Indian guru facing rape and sexual abuse charges made headlines Wednesday after he emerged from hiding and announced the birth of a new cosmic country with its own cabinet and golden passports. Swami Nithyananda, a controversial self-styled godman with thousands of followers in southern India's Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states, posted a video on his YouTube channel announcing the special project to his followers. 41-year-old Nithyananda announced that his country is called Kailaasa, and is the biggest Hindu nation without boundaries.
- Florida Republican: 'We should hang? treasonous Democrats
Local and national GOP leaders distanced themselves Wednesday from a Florida congressional candidate who sent a fundraising letter stating that ?anti-American radical Democrats? should be hung for treason. Omar was born in Somalia and came to the U.S. as a child. In the recent letter to potential donors, he said that ?we should hang? Omar and other ?traitors? for ?abusing our system to destroy our country.? He mentioned ?tinfoil hat accusations? against President Donald Trump, but didn't elaborate.
- World Bank adopts $1 bln-plus annual China lending plan over U.S. objections
The World Bank said its board on Thursday adopted a new plan to aid China with $1 billion to $1.5 billion in low-interest loans annually through June 2025, despite the objections of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and several U.S. lawmakers. Mnuchin told a House Financial Services Committee hearing that the Treasury's representative on the board had objected on to the plan on Wednesday, adding he wants the World Bank to "graduate" China from its concessional loan programs for low- and middle-income countries. The five-year lending strategy plan was published http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/902781575573489712/pdf/China-Country-Partnership-Framework-for-the-Period-FY2020-2025.pdf on Thursday afternoon after the World Bank's board "expressed broad support" for the multilateral development lender's engagement in China's structural and environmental reforms.
- The U.S. Army's Ultimate Weapon Isn't a New Gun or Tank
- A man arrested in Russia is accused of building a fake border with Finland 15 miles from the real one and charging migrants $11,000 to cross it
- Is Melania Secretly the Smartest Trump?
The best anecdote I ever heard about a first lady involved Laura Bush. Early in her relationship with George W. Bush, she was taken to his family?s compound in Maine, where Bush kin busied themselves with preppie jock activities like boating or tennis or touch football. ?And what do you do, Laura?? asked Bush?s grandmother. ?I read, I smoke, and I watch,? replied the retiring Laura.Laura Bush seems never to have cared much for the spotlight she was forced to share with her husband, but as the wife of a governor and then president, she gritted her teeth and did her best impersonation of a political wife. I interviewed her once, on the eve of the first national book fair, of which she was a sponsor (she had been one of the founders of the highly successful Texas book fair, and reading was truly a passion). In the few minutes I was allotted, I tried with no success whatsoever to get her off-script, to say anything spontaneous, but she had her talking points and would not be diverted. I remember us sitting there outside the Library of Congress, and I remember wishing I were anywhere else and thinking she probably felt the same. I often thought of Laura Bush while reading Free, Melania: The Unauthorized Biography, Kate Bennett?s thoughtful life of Melania Trump. Like Bush, Melania is no fan of the spotlight, her wardrobe choices to the contrary notwithstanding. She is, in fact, so intensely private that, as Bennett notes, she has been called the Greta Garbo of the East Wing. She does what she has to do as first lady but clearly takes little joy in the role. Melania?s Stilettos, Donald?s Khakis: The Trumps Are Indoor PeopleThe big difference between Laura Bush and Melania Trump is that Bush had years of experience as a politician?s wife before she entered the White House. So, private and shy though she may have been, she had at least an inkling of the fishbowl existence she would endure in Washington. Mrs. Trump not so much. As a former model and the wife of a rich man and reality TV star, she knew her way around a runway and red carpet, but the judgy, prying looky-loo culture of politics was foreign ground.So, naturally, she?s stumbled more than once, as when she donned a pith helmet (colonialism!) on a trip to Africa. Or in her poorly focused first lady initiative Be Best. Or in her speech to the 2016 GOP convention when she plagiarized Michelle Obama (as Bennett points out, Melania did not write the speech but neither she nor her speechwriter, or anyone else in the Trump campaign?s usual gang thought to vet the text; this, though, was for Melania the most important teachable moment and one, judging by subsequent events, that she took to heart: Madam, you are on your own).But the takeaway from Bennett?s book is how little her subject has stumbled. If you come to this biography hoping for dirt or salacious revelation (and surely Bennett?s publisher hoped you will by calling this book ?unauthorized?), you?ll be disappointed. The only gossipy facts I gleaned from this bio are that Melania has a tough time putting up with ?Look at me!? Ivanka and doesn?t get on too well with Karen Pence. Oh, and Donald Trump insists on having a lock on his bedroom door in the White House, which begs the question, who does the most protected man on the planet think is going to barge in on him in the middle of the night? Oh, one more great fact: what?s the most famous National Park that almost no one knows is a National Park? The White House.Unlike all the other Trumps, Melania loathes nearly all publicity and certainly any that she can?t totally micromanage. Also unlike all other Trumps, she thinks before she opens her mouth and then says as little as possible. Through no fault of Bennett?s, there is not one noteworthy Melania quote in this book, not one. Melania entered the White House as a mystery to the American people, and if she has her way, that?s how she will leave. Not for nothing did Maureen Dowd dub her the ?Slovenian Sphinx.?Melania?s first priority upon entering the White House was to protect her privacy and that of her son, Barron, and that she has done relentlessly. Only this week she angrily tweeted at a House impeachment witness for making a joke about Barron?s name, even though the joke was not at Barron?s expense but his father?s. The message was clear: You so much as mention my son in public discourse and I?ll come after you. A journalist for CNN, Bennett is the sole reporter who covers Melania exclusively, and she knows her subject well. She even admires her, and what she admires most is Melania?s resolute refusal to play the hypocritical game of political wife. After the Stormy Daniels/Karen McDougal news broke, Melania took a separate car to the State of the Union address and wore a white pants suit, even though everyone knows her husband hates pants suits. When the president forgot his wife on the runway in Israel and then bumblingly, belatedly tried to grab her hand, she swatted it away. She made opposing cyberbullying part of her Be Best platform over the protestations of her husband and ignored him again during the fallout over separating children from their parents at the border: he begged her not to go to Texas to see the damage for herself; she went anyway.More than that, Bennett argues, Melania is not a victim nor, in all likelihood, pining for the day when she can divorce her boorish husband. She knows their marriage is transactional, and she?s comfortable with that. When someone once crassly asked if she would have married Donald Trump if he weren?t rich, she replied by asking if her questioner if he thought Trump would have married her if she weren?t beautiful. By all accounts, the Trumps depend on each other, and she is the only person who can give him hell for things he says and does and not only get away with it but make him listen.Bennett concludes: ?Whatever you think of Melania?insipid trophy wife, clotheshorse, tone-deaf Marie Antoinette, enabler of one of the most divisive presidents in recent history, or a woman who spent her childhood and formative years in a poor communist country, who speaks five languages, who privately spends her time visiting sick children, who is a fierce protector of her child and keeps a noble grace and silence?Melania Trump is impossible to ignore. Say what you will about her, what is clear is that Melania Trump is unlike any other first lady.?All I know is, thanks to Kate Bennett, every time I see a picture of Donald and Melania Trump, I?ll be thinking, lady, you deserve better.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.
- Tesla refused to help the police with an investigation into stolen copper wire after Elon Musk learned about the incident because the company was scared of bad press
- Two school shootings a day apart: Wisconsin reckons with impact of armed guards
Shootings involving resource officers renew debate over the role of armed teachers or police in schools Shootings a day apart at two high schools in Wisconsin have shaken the state and sparked a renewed debate over how to combat violence in American schools.An Oshkosh police department resource officer shot a 16-year-old student Tuesday after the boy stabbed him in the officer?s office at Oshkosh West high school. A day earlier, a resource officer at Waukesha South high school helped clear students out of a classroom after a 17-year-old student pointed a pellet gun at another student?s head. Another police officer entered the room and shot the student.Neither of the students who were shot suffered life-threatening injuries. The Democratic governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, called the shootings ?breathtaking and tragic?.?The trauma that happens because of this just ripples through the community,? Evers added. ?It will take time for people to recover from this. Trauma is a significant issue. We have to be patient.?The debate about the role of armed teachers or police in schools has been a constant in the wake of school shootings across the country. But rarely have armed resource officers been able to prevent a shooting.An estimated 43% of public schools have armed officers on campus, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics. The survey covered the 2015-2016 school year, the most recent year surveyed. That figure doesn?t include schools with armed private security guards or teachers and administrators who carry guns.The US Department of Justice has adopted best practices for resource officers from the National Association of School Resources. Those guidelines call for resource officers to serve as police officers as well as teachers and mentors.Nasro recommends such officers have three years of experience and says they should be willing to engage with students and have excellent communication skills. They should complete a school-based policing course before being assigned to the beat and complete an advanced school policing course Nasro provides within a year of completing the basic course. They also should complete biannual training on how lone officers should handle threats and assailants.No Wisconsin laws spell out any special requirements for resource officers or restrictions on their weapons. But the state department of justice has adopted best practices similar to Nasro?s recommendations, calling for officers to work with schools on the extent of their duties, the skills they need, and where school discipline ends and illegal conduct begins. The state guidelines also suggest officers receive training in child development, restraint policies and de-escalation strategies.It?s not clear what led to Tuesday?s stabbing at Oshkosh West high school, which has 1,700 students. The police chief, Dean Smith, said that the officer and the student got into an ?altercation? in the officer?s office, the student stabbed the officer with an edged weapon ? Smith declined to elaborate ? and the officer opened fire with his 9mm pistol, hitting the student once. It?s unclear how many times the officer may have fired. Officials said the officer has 21 years of experience with the Oshkosh police department and has served as a school resource officer since 2017.At Waukesha South high school, 80 miles (130km) south of Oshkosh in suburban Milwaukee, a 17-year-old student apparently grew angry with another student and pointed a pellet gun at the other student. The school?s resource officer helped clear students from the classroom.Linda Ager told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Waukesha shooting happened in the classroom of her husband, Brett Hart, a special education teacher at Waukesha South. Ager said her husband restrained the student until the resource officer arrived.At some point, another officer entered the room and shot the student who refused to drop the weapon. Police said the boy pointed the gun at officers as they confronted him.Police said the student with the pellet gun underwent surgery and was in stable condition.?Today?s tragic event shows that trained school resource officers can save lives,? Vickie Cartwright, the Oshkosh superintendent, said at a news conference on Tuesday.As school shootings have become more frequent, gun rights advocates and gun control advocates have sparred over how best to respond to them. Supporters of gun restrictions have argued that putting more guns in schools does little to prevent shootings and just puts students at greater risk.Last year armed guards at three high-profile school shootings ? Marshall county high school in Benton, Kentucky; Majory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida; and Santa Fe high school in Texas ? were unable to stop those shootings. In Parkland, the school?s resource officer remained outside rather than enter the building to engage the shooter and try to stop it.But gun-rights advocates believe having more armed educators and law enforcement in schools will help stop a shooter from going on a rampage.?This confirms that action can, and should, be taken to mitigate harm and limit casualties when weapons are brought into school,? Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, said on Tuesday.Evers, the Wisconsin governor, said he is committed to working with Republicans who control the legislature on increasing mental health funding for schools.Evers said on WTMJ-Radio that he thinks Republicans will work with him on that, even though they did not provide as much funding for mental health programs as Evers requested in the state budget approved this summer. Republicans also refused to take up a pair of gun safety bills earlier this year that Evers said were part of the solution to combating violence in schools.Evers, a former state superintendent of schools who worked as a principal, school superintendent and administrator before he was elected governor, said the issue is particularly striking for him, given his background and the fact that has three grown children and nine grandchildren. Two of his children attended the high school in Oshkosh where the shooting occurred.?Our kids need help,? he said. ?I?ve been around long enough to see how this has amplified over time. The time is now to take it on.?
- Millions of children exposed as flu spreads following vaccine delays
Millions of children are at risk of flu amid a drop in uptake of vaccinations, after deliveries were delayed, officials have warned. New figures show the number of people hospitalised because of flu has tripled in a fortnight, with the virus spreading before many of the most vulnerable have been protected. Last night health officials urged parents to come forward and ensure children receive vaccinations. They are particularly alarmed by low uptake among toddlers, dubbed ?super-spreaders? because they tend to pass on the virus to high numbers of people, including elderly grandparents. Officials also warned that winter vomiting bug is on the rise, with twice as many hospital beds closed as this time last year. Hospitals in England have been forced to close more than 1,100 hospital beds over the last week due to norovirus. The new flu figures show uptake of the nasal vaccine among two-year-olds is just 25.5 per cent, compared with 34.9 per cent this time last year. And just 24.4 per cent of three-year-olds have received the vaccine, compared with 35.7 per cent at this time in last year?s season. The latest weekly data from Public Health England show the hospitalisation rate from flu is now at ?moderate intensity? - 4.3 admissions per 100,000 people, up from 1.4 admissions per 100,000 two weeks before. Manufacturers have been beset by delays delivering the vaccine, as a result of problems testing it. Health advice | What should I do if I feel the flu coming on? As a result, schools were last month told to cancel vaccinations, with GPs urged to prioritise toddlers and the sickest children. Health officials said the dealys were now resolved, and urged parents to take any unvaccinated toddlers to their doctor. Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, Head of Flu, Public Health England said: "Flu season has now started and so it?s really important that people get their flu vaccine as soon as possible to ensure they are protected against this potentially very serious illness. The initial evidence suggests the vaccine is a good match for the main strain of flu that is circulating. ?Vaccination uptake in toddlers is lower than we would hope for at this point in the year due to previous delays in delivery of the vaccine, which are now resolved. If you have children aged two to three go to your GP to get them vaccinated now.?
- Typhoon Kammuri death toll hits 13 in Philippines
The number of people killed by Typhoon Kammuri's pounding of the Philippines this week has hit 13, officials said Thursday, as authorities confirmed reports of storm-related deaths. Kammuri's fierce winds toppled trees and flattened flimsy homes across a swathe of the nation's north on Tuesday, and forced a rare 12-hour shutdown of Manila's international airport. Authorities said on Wednesday one person had drowned while three died after being hit by trees and flying objects.
- Palestinians outraged over ICC report into war crimes
Palestinian officials expressed ?great concern? Thursday over a report by the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor that includes a warning that Palestinian stipends to attackers and their families could constitute a war crime. The Palestinians have long sought redress with international bodies such as the ICC for what they consider Israeli crimes. President Mahmoud Abbas's government appeared to have been caught off guard by the language of the criticism found in the report.
- Hong Kong police chief calls for peace ahead of weekend protest march
Hong Kong's police chief has urged citizens to demonstrate peacefully ahead of an expected large turnout on Sunday for a pro-democracy march that organizers said aimed to show the movement retained strong momentum. Police have given a rare green light to the demonstration, organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the group that called the largely peaceful million-strong marches in the summer. "We hope our citizens can show the whole world (that) Hong Kong people are capable of holding a large scale rally in an orderly and peaceful manner," new police commissioner Chris Tang said before departing on a "courtesy visit" to Beijing.
- Missile Shield: Romania Now Has America's Aegis Ashore
- Blind inmate to be executed by electric chair, first since death penalty reinstated
- Trump Campaign Uses Footage From Poland, South Africa in ?American Dream? Thanksgiving Ad
President Donald Trump?s campaign released a Thanksgiving-themed ad earlier this week celebrating America?s inherent greatness. But some of the video?s Americana imagery was taken from foreign countries.The 43-second video displayed various, traditionally patriotic scenes: families gathering in the kitchen, a kid looking into a telescope, a game of catch, and steelworkers leaving a steel mill. However, two of those vignettes were filmed in, respectively, Poland and South Africa.The ad, posted on Twitter Monday, features a narrator touting the ?American dream? while the clips play and emotional orchestral music swells in the background. It then pivots to footage of Trump greeting and speaking to troops during his Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan.According to Getty Images, the shot of steelworkers leaving the steel mill in the advertisement originated from Poland. The website also says the clip showing a woman and a girl making sweets in a kitchen was filmed in South Africa. Both clips were available for purchase through Getty for as low as $175. The foreign origin of the clips were first flagged by super PAC American Bridge.The Trump campaign did not return a request for comment. This isn?t the first time Trump?s 2020 campaign has used foreign images in their ads. The campaign was caught using images of foreign stock footage models in Facebook and Google ads earlier this year, and making it look like testimonials from Americans. In addition, one of Trump?s 2016 campaign ads used footage of migrants in Morocco in an ad promoting the building of a wall along the Mexico border. At the time, the campaign told Politico the use of the Morocco footage was ?intentional.?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.
- Warren Is Drafting U.S. Legislation to Reverse ?Mega Mergers?
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is drafting a bill that would call on regulators to retroactively review about two decades of ?mega mergers? and ban such deals going forward.Warren?s staff recently circulated a proposal for sweeping anti-monopoly legislation, which would deliver on a presidential campaign promise to check the power of Big Tech and other industries. Although the Trump administration is currently exploring their own antitrust probes, the proposal is likely to face resistance from lawmakers.According to a draft of the bill reviewed by Bloomberg, the proposal would expand antitrust law beyond the so-called consumer welfare standard, an approach that has driven antitrust policy since the 1970s. Under the current framework, the federal government evaluates mergers primarily based on potential harm to consumers through higher prices or decreased quality. The new bill would direct the government to also consider the impact on entrepreneurs, innovation, privacy and workers.Warren?s bill, tentatively titled the Anti-Monopoly and Competition Restoration Act, would also ban non-compete and no-poaching agreements for workers and protect the rights of gig economy workers, such as drivers for Uber Technologies Inc., to organize.A draft of Warren?s bill was included in an email Monday from Spencer Waller, the director of the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies at Loyola University Chicago. Waller urged fellow academics to sign a petition supporting it. He said Warren was working on the bill with Representative David Cicilline, the most prominent voice on antitrust issues in the House. Waller declined to comment on the email.Representatives for Cicilline and Warren declined to comment. The existence of the bill and Warren?s support of it were reported earlier this week by the technology publication the Information.In Washington, there is some support across the political spectrum for increased antitrust scrutiny of large technology companies. Warren positioned herself as a leader on the issue this year while campaigning on a plan to break up Big Tech. She has repeatedly called for unwinding Facebook Inc.?s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, along with Google?s purchase of YouTube and advertising platform DoubleClick.Read more: Warren Accuses Michael Bloomberg of ?Buying the Election?It?s not clear when a bill would be introduced or whether it would move forward in its current form. Cicilline has said he would not introduce antitrust legislation until he concludes an antitrust investigation for the House Judiciary Committee in early 2020.Amy Klobuchar, a Senator from Minnesota who?s also vying for the Democratic nomination, has pushed legislation covering similar ground. Klobuchar plans to introduce additional antitrust legislation soon, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn?t authorized to discuss the plans and asked not to be identified.Any proposal would face significant hurdles to becoming law, and Warren?s version could be particularly problematic because it promotes the idea that antitrust enforcement is equivalent to being against big business, said Barak Orbach, a law professor at the University of Arizona who received a draft of the bill. ?The way I read it is that Elizabeth Warren is trying to make a political statement in the course of her campaign,? Orbach said. ?It?s likely to have negative effects on antitrust enforcement, so I just don?t see the upside other than for the campaign.?The bill proposes a ban on mergers where one company has annual revenue of more $40 billion, or where both companies have sales exceeding $15 billion, except under certain exceptions, such as when a company is in immediate danger of insolvency. That would seemingly put a freeze on many acquisitions for Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., Facebook, Microsoft Corp. and dozens of other companies. The bill would also place new limitations on smaller mergers.Chris Sagers, a law professor at Cleveland State University, said the proposal would serve as an effective check on corporate power. ?I don?t think you?ll have new antitrust policy until Congress says the courts have incorrectly interpreted the statutes,? he said. ?Someone has to do what Elizabeth Warren is doing.?(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at email@example.com;Joshua Brustein in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- Trump Administration Authorizes 'Cyanide Bombs' to Kill Predators Again, Months After Backlash
- Russian spies used French Alps as 'base camp' for hits on Britain and other countries
Fifteen Russian spies, including those accused of the Salisbury nerve agent attack, used the French Alps as a ?base camp? to conduct covert operations around Europe over a five-year period, according to reports. The revelations came as Germany expelled two Russian diplomats after prosecutors said there was ?sufficient factual evidence? linking Moscow to the killing of a former Chechen rebel commander in central Berlin. According to Le Monde, British, Swiss, French, and US intelligence have drawn up a list of 15 members of the 29155 unit of Russia's GRU military spy agency who all passed through France?s Haute-Savoie mountains close to the Swiss and Italian borders. They stayed between 2015 and late 2018, notably in the towns of Evian, Annemasse and Chamonix - the scene of a ski chase in the 1999 James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough. They arrived from London, Moscow, Spain and often Geneva. The Le Monde report added five new names to those already published by online investigative outlets such as Bellingcat and The Insider. Their identities and movements were uncovered during a joint probe by allied counterespionage services in the wake of the attempted poisoning of defector Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in March 2018, said the paper. Britain and its allies accuse the Kremlin of seeking to assassinate Mr Skripal, a charge Russia vehemently denies. Those who stayed in the Haute-Savoie included Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - the cover names of the two GRU agents accused of carrying out the attack on Mr Skripal, along with Serguei Fedotov, the suspected mastermind. According to Le Monde, a fourth agent believed to be linked to the Skripal assassination attempt and who stayed in the Alps, Serguei Pavlov, was located in the UK by MI6 in 2017. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the Russian suspects in the Skripal poisoning, are among those alleged to have used the French Alps as a base Credit: Getty Images Europe Le Mondesaid the five new names cited, all aliases, are Alxandre Koulaguiine, Evgueni Larine, Tour Nouzirov, Naman Youssoupov and Guennadi Chvets. The unit was also active in areas such as Bulgaria, Moldova, Montenegro and Ukraine. Western intelligence services involved found no material or arms left behind by the agents during their stays in France, Le Monde said, but their presence was confirmed by where they ate, stayed and shopped. "The most likely hypothesis is to consider it (Haute-Savoie) as a rear base for all the clandestine operations carried out by unit 29155 in Europe," said a senior French intelligence official, quoted by Le Monde. The paper said that one theory is that by staying in the Alps, the agents hoped to shake off any suspicion before they carried out their missions, which could explain why they conducted no covert missions on French soil. On Wednesday, Angela Merkel?s government summoned the Russian ambassador and ordered two of the embassy staff to leave the country within seven days. The two diplomats concerned are believed to be Russian intelligence officers, according to local media reports. The German foreign ministry said they had been declared persona non grata in protest at Russia?s failure to cooperate with investigations into the killing of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian national shot dead in a Berlin park in August. The suspected killer was captured by police attempting to dispose of a gun believed to be the murder weapon in the nearby river Spree. He was carrying a Russian passport which identified him as Vadim Sokolov, but German prosecutors on Wednesday confirmed that they now believe that is a false identity. Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were both poisoned with Novichok, a banned chemical weapon, in Salisbury Credit: Social media/EAST2WEST NEWS Police findings indicate that it is ?highly likely? the arrested man is Vadim Krasikov, a Russian national previously wanted for the murder of a businessman in Moscow in 2013, prosecutors said. A senior MP in Angela Merkel?s Christian Democrat party (CDU) on Thursday described the case as a ?return to the days of the Cold War?. ?Counterintelligence and foreign reconnaissance against Russia must be significantly expanded,? Armin Schuster told Bild newspaper. ?Germany must get its act together if a foreign state can order murder on German soil.?. France denies any ?laxism? by its embassy in Moscow for handing him a 90-day emergency visa on July 29 on a fictitious address. He passed through Paris before travelling on to Berlin. British and French intelligence sources told Le Monde the assassination was ?ordered by the pro-Kremlin Chechen regime of Ramzan Kadyrov with logistical help of the Russian state?. According to Le Monde, French intelligence suspects the Berlin assassination was leaked to the public for ?political reasons? linked to President Emmanuel Macron's apparent rapprochement with Moscow. Last week, Mr Macron said: ?Has the absence of dialogue with Russia made the European continent any safer? ... I don?t think so.? ?France's desire to rebuild strategic ties with Moscow has clearly prompted reactions from states who prefer direct confrontation with Russia,? said one French intelligence source, who denied any French ?complacency or naivity? towards Moscow. French surveillance of foreign Russian espionage was, the source told Le Monde, ?no doubt higher than any other service in Europe?.
- Opposition figure freed in Nigeria after court ruling
Nigerian opposition activist Omoyele Sowore and co-defendant Olawale Bakare were set free on Thursday after months in detention, for alleged treason. The pair were released hours after a judge gave the secret police 24 hours to release Sowore, who had been held since August by the Department of State Services (DSS) after urging protests under the online banner "#RevolutionNow". Sowore, 48, also ran unsuccessfully against President Muhammadu Buhari in the February polls.
- Kansas GOP congressman faces probe of voter registration
Authorities plan to investigate whether a freshman Kansas congressman broke state laws by listing a UPS Inc. store as his address on a voter registration form and for obtaining a mail-in ballot in a November election. The questions about Rep. Steve Watkins come as some fellow Republicans hope to oust him during the August 2020 primary. Watkins' spokesman said Wednesday that the congressman's use of the UPS store's address in southwest Topeka was an inadvertent mistake that will be corrected.
- No More North Korea: Could America Have Won The Korean War With Nuclear Weapons?
- Nepal makes first arrest over 'menstrual hut' death
Police in Nepal have arrested the brother-in-law of a woman who died after she was banished to a 'menstrual hut', the first such arrest in the Himalayan nation as it seeks to end the practice. The body of Parbati Buda Rawat, 21, was found on Monday after she lit a fire to keep warm in a mud and stone hut and suffocated in Nepal's western Achhan district, the latest victim of the centuries-old, "chhaupadi" custom, outlawed in 2005. "This is the first time we have arrested any person in connection with a death under the chhaupadi custom," Achham's chief district officer, Bhoj Raj Shrestha, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
- Pressure builds for Giuliani as associate enters talks over potential plea deal
Pressure to cut deal comes after revelations that Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman are ?likely? to face more charges, attorney saysTalks about a potential plea deal are under way between federal prosecutors and an attorney for Lev Parnas, a Rudy Giuliani associate indicted for making illegal campaign donations who helped Trump lawyer Giuliani?s search for dirt in Ukraine on Joe Biden, says an attorney familiar with the investigationThe talks appear to be in early stages, but the lawyer familiar with the investigation and ex-prosecutors say that pressure mounted on Parnas to cut a deal after prosecutors revealed on Monday that he and his business associate Igor Fruman, who was also indicted for making illegal campaign donations, are ?likely? to face additional charges.If Parnas strikes a deal it could put further legal pressure on Giuliani, who is facing a growing number of legal woes including some relating to his international consulting business as part of an investigation of alleged crimes including money laundering, wire fraud, campaign finance violations, making false statements, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.Parnas and Fruman, who were both born in the former Soviet Union, pleaded not guilty to illegally funneling contributions from a foreign source and three other counts. But Parnas and his lawyer have begun cooperating with the House impeachment inquiry in response to a subpoena and have turned over video and audio recordings to the House intelligence committee.As detailed in the 300-page report by House intelligence committee Democrats and other documents and reports, Parnas played a Zelig-like role in Ukraine and the US in tandem with Giuliani and several other conservatives to try and boost Trump?s political fortunes in 2020.Parnas and Fruman worked with Giuliani to help oust Marie Yovanovitch, a respected US ambassador in Kyiv who was removed this spring, and to pressure the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to announce an inquiry into debunked allegations about former vice-president Joe Biden, a leading candidate in 2020, and his son who had worked for a Ukrainian gas company, in order to lift a secret hold on $391m in badly needed US military aid.Parnas and Fruman were arrested at Dulles airport en route to Vienna in October and charged with a complex conspiracy to funnel $325,000 to a Trump Super Pac from a Russian source using shell companies.But federal prosecutors in New York have since widened their investigation to look at Giuliani, including his business interests in Ukraine, and reportedly issued numerous subpoenas.The lawyer familiar with the investigation, who requested anonymity since he was not authorized to discuss it, said: ?There are some plea negotiations under way with regards to Parnas,? and the federal prosecutors in New York?s southern district which brought the charges; but he noted that ?a proffer by Parnas? attorney [has] not been accepted at this time?.Ex-prosecutors say a plea deal would probably require Parnas to offer more information about Giuliani and probably others he had contacts with, including possibly Trump and the Republican congressman Devin Nunes.Ex-prosecutor Paul Rosenzweig said plea deals typically require defendants to provide truthful testimony about other possible defendants which in Parnas?s case would include Giuliani. ?That prospect has to make Mr Giuliani uncomfortable,? he said. ?It might also make Representative Nunes and President Trump uncomfortable as well.?Similarly, ex-federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin said that having a prosecutor signal more charges as likely against Parnas and Fruman ?substantially increases pressure on Parnas to work out a deal?.Zeldin added that ?additional charges could include such crimes as failure to register as a foreign agent, money laundering and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.? Convictions of these crimes carry substantial prison terms.Parnas?s lawyer Joseph Bondy declined to comment on whether plea talks were under way, but Bondy told the Guardian his client wanted to help the House of Representatives in its impeachment inquiry.In a statement, Bondy said that they are producing materials to the House intelligence committee ?? and that Mr Parnas remains fully committed to providing relevant and accurate sworn testimony?. But Parnas needs to be ?granted a level of immunity, such that his statements in the impeachment inquiry cannot be used against him in his federal prosecution?.Parnas and Fruman?s efforts to help Trump?s political fortunes go back at least to April 2018 when the duo were invited as prospective donors to a small Super Pac dinner with Trump at his DC hotel. There, Parnas talked to Trump and warned him that Ambassador Yovanovitch was hostile to his policies, to which Trump replied she should be fired, according to the Washington Post. Their $325,000 check to the Super Pac, America First Action, arrived a few weeks later.In a statement, the Super Pac indicated it has voluntarily cooperated with the federal inquiry, and the $325,000 check was put in a ?segregated bank account ? until these matters are resolved and a court determines the proper disposition of the funds?.
- Private investigators focused on frat party in Cornell University freshman?s death
- Investigators probing role weather may have played in deadly South Dakota plane crash
An NTSB investigator examines the wreckage of a Pilatus PC-12 airplane near Chamberlain Municipal Airport in South Dakota. The aircraft crashed on Saturday, November 30, 2019, moments after taking off amid heavy snowfall. The crash killed nine of the 12 people on board. (NTSB) The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released new information Tuesday about the plane crash in Chamberlain, South Dakota, that killed nine people and injured three others within a mile of takeoff. A review of the available information about the fatal crash, which occurred Saturday within a mile of takeoff, indicates weather was a significant, if not major, factor, experts say.Chamberlain, and much of South Dakota, was under a winter storm warning and experiencing near-blizzard conditions around the time of the crash on Saturday.The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 arrived in Chamberlain Friday at about 9:30 a.m. CST, according to the NTSB report. The airplane remained parked on the airport ramp until the accident a day later, the report noted."They landed on Friday ahead of the storm, and it looks like they just left the plane parked on the runway," said AccuWeather senior meteorologist David Samuhel, who reviewed the NTSB statement. "There was probably 8 or 9 inches of snow, so the plane probably had a whole lot of snow and ice on it." The NTSB is still investigating the crash, and it's not clear if the snow and ice were cleared from the aircraft before takeoff. Samuhel said, "If they didn't get the snow and ice off the wings, that would be a huge problem." A photo of a Pilatus PC-12 in flight. (Pilatus Aircraft Ltd) An aviation expert AccuWeather spoke with also said there was likely frost or ice below the layer of snow and added that it's "doubtful the facilities exist for that sort of deicing at this small airport." AccuWeather reached out to the Chamberlain airport manager, who as of late Thursday had not yet responded.Ice and snow needs to be properly removed from a plane for the flight to be legal, and if that doesn't happen, the consequences can be dire. "You're looking at [an] increase in drag of 40 percent and decrease of lift of 30 percent if you don't deice properly."Also, the NTSB reported the weather observation station at the Chamberlain airport recorded winds of 7 mph, with half-mile visibility and moderate snow and icing. AccuWeather's Samuhel believes the winds were likely much stronger."I question the wind reading at Chamberlain airport," he said. "Pierre is about 65 miles to the northwest of Chamberlain, but the conditions probably weren't much different and winds in Pierre were gusting to 40 mph and even higher some parts of the day."They were leaving Saturday and the storm was starting to wrap up, but they were still in a bad part of it where the wind was really kicking up and they were probably getting blowing snow, too," Samuhel said.According to Travis Garza, president of wellness company Kyani, the company's two founders, Jim Hansen and Kirk Hansen, were among the crash victims. The other seven passengers who died were their relatives; three passengers survived.Another factor that could have contributed to the crash was a possible load imbalance. The Pilatus PC-12 pilot's information manual notes the "maximum number of occupants is 9 passengers" plus 1-2 pilot(s). According to the NTSB report, there were 12 people on the plane.There were 393 U.S. civil aviation deaths in 2018, an increase from 347 in 2017, according to the NTSB. Most aviation deaths in 2018 took place during general aviation operations - all civilian flying except scheduled passenger airline service - when 381 were killed, compared to 331 in 2017.
- Buttigieg: Trump Supporters are ?At Best Looking the Other Way on Racism?
South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg implied on Monday that supporters of President Trump tacitly support racism."Anyone who supported this President is, at best, looking the other way on racism," Buttigieg said at a South Carolina campaign event.This is not the first time that Buttigieg has made this comment. In August, the Mayor told CNN's State of the Union that a vote for Trump in 2020 would mean ignoring racism in the U.S."Do you think that it's a racist act to cast a vote for President Trump in 2020?" host Jake Tapper asked the candidate."Well, at best, it means looking the other way on racism," Buttigieg responded. "Basically, what [Trump] is saying is, I want you to look the other way on racism."Buttigieg began this week a four-day campaign tour of North and South Carolina and Alabama, in a bid to reach out to black voters. The Mayor was polling at zero percent among black voters in South Carolina in November, which according to some reports was due to concern over his sexuality."We certainly knew that there was an opportunity and a need to mix it up in terms of our style of engagement and our approach," Buttigieg told the New York Times on Tuesday.In an October debate, Buttigieg said he was the candidate "who can turn the page and unify a dangerously polarized country."The mayor is leading polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to hold primary caucuses. Nationally he remains in fourth place, well behind frontrunner Joe Biden and trailing progressives Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has complained that since Kamala Harris dropped out of the presidential race, the Democratic field has become much less diverse."We're spiraling toward a debate stage without a single person of color," Booker wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
- Thai cave dive hero fights back tears as he tells court ?life sentence with no parole? inflicted by Elon Musk
A British diver who helped rescue a dozen boys trapped in a cave in Thailand fought back tears as he told a court Elon Musk's "pedo guy" slur amounted to ?a life sentence with no parole?.Vernon Unsworth choked up on Wednesday as he testified against the Tesla CEO during a defamation trial in Los Angeles.
- Employee shot at a Virginia post office
Authorities say a postal worker has been shot at a northern Virginia post office by an agent for the Postal Service's Inspector General's office. News outlets report that it happened Wednesday morning at the parking lot of the Lovettsville post office in Loudoun County.
- Indonesia minister says sacking Garuda CEO over smuggled Harley
The CEO of Indonesia's national airline Garuda will be sacked for allegedly smuggling a Harley Davidson motorcycle into the country and using a sub-ordinate's name on import papers to avoid detection, a minister said Thursday. State-owned enterprises minister Erick Thohir said the airline's chief Ari Ashkara allegedly brought over parts of the disassembled motorbike on a plane from France last month. The alleged smuggling was meant to avoid declaring the 800 million rupiah ($57,000) motorbike to customs, he added.