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Futures News - Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
From today, December 6, 2019
- Biden shows his tough side in Iowa and in attack ad: 'You're a d?mn liar'
- Chris Wallace Criticizes Dems for Refusing to Call on Republican Impeachment Witness: ?Not a Search for Justice or Wisdom?
Fox News commentator Chris Wallace criticized Democrats on Wednesday for refusing to question the lone witness brought by Republicans during the day's impeachment hearings.Republicans called on Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, to be their witness opposite three professors summoned by Democrats. Turley has previously testified in the 1998 impeachment hearings against Bill Clinton, giving background on the impeachment process.During the 45 minute hearing on Wednesday morning, "only once did [the Democratic counsel] ask Jonathan Turley any questions," Wallace told Fox News."Why is he talking to the three and not [Turley]? Because the Democrats, who have the majority, called three Democratic, pro-Trump-impeachment law professors and they wanted to focus on them, and they didn't want to hear anything from Jonathan Turley," Wallace went on. "This was not a search for justice or wisdom; this was a search for trying to make a case."Turley was able to say in his opening statement that while he is not a "supporter" of the President, he also did not back the impeachment inquiry."One can oppose President Trump?s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president,? Turley told lawmakers. "?If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president."House Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry following suspicions Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate corruption allegations against political rival Joe Biden.
- Police chief firing puts spotlight on cops who let him go
When fellow officers discovered Chicago?s police chief asleep behind the wheel of his running SUV, they did not conduct any sobriety tests and let their boss drive home ? a decision that has thrown a spotlight on what happens when one officer confronts another on patrol. ?It?s a worst-nightmare situation for a police officer to encounter their superior or chief who has been drinking,? said Philip Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
- Pearl Harbour shooting: two people killed after US sailor attacks base in Hawaii
Two people have been killed and one injured after a gunman opened fire before taking his own life at Pearl Harbour military base in Hawaii. Military officials confirmed that a US Navy sailor had attacked three Department of Defense employees before committing suicide. The injured victim, a 36-year-old man, is in a stable condition in hospital while the attacker died from "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound", officials said. A military spokesman said the situation has been ?contained?. One witness saw the attacker shoot himself at the scene. The Pearl Harbour Naval Shipyard was locked down on Wednesday afternoon after the shooting which is believed to have started at 2.30pm local time (10.30pm GMT). A PA system at the base urged people to take cover while staff received text messages alerts telling them to stay inside or find a secure location. The base was on lockdown after the attack Credit: CALEB JONES/AP The shooting took place at Dry Dock 2, near the south entrance of a combined US Air Force and Navy base about 8 miles (13 km) from Honolulu. Rear Admiral Robert Chadwick, commander of the Navy in Hawaii, said: ?Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and everyone involved. This is certainly a tragedy for everyone here.? He said it was not yet clear whether the gunman, a sailor assigned to the USS Columbia, knew the victims, who were all shipyard employees. While the investigation into this incident continues, my thoughts and aloha are with the victims of the terrible tragedy at JBPHH and with their families. I join all of Hawaii in expressing our gratitude to the first responders who rush toward danger every day to keep us safe? Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 5, 2019 One witness, who said he saw the gunman kill himself, told Hawaii News Now that he heard loud pops. ?I kind of recognise that as gunshots,? he said. ?I looked out the window and saw three people on the ground.? ?I looked out in time to see the shooter - who I assume was a sailor because he was in uniform - shoot himself.? Base security forces posted on Twitter that they had closed all access gates to the shipyard while they investigated the incident. David Ige, the governor of Hawaii, said the White House has offered assistance. ?I join in solidarity with the people of Hawaii as we express our heartbreak over this tragedy and concern for those affected by the shooting,? Mr Ige said. A White House spokesman said: "The president has been briefed on the shooting at Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam in Hawaii and continues to monitor the situation." The incident comes three days before the anniversary of the attack on the naval base on December 7, 1941 that led the United States to enter World War Two by declaring war on Japan.
- 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.
- Viral video shows border wall being scaled at Mexicali. Border Patrol says system 'worked exactly as designed'
- Giuliani Is in Kyiv; Ukrainian Officials Are Steering Clear
(Bloomberg) -- Rudy Giuliani, whose work in Ukraine is at the heart of U.S. impeachment proceedings, is back in the country -- and officials in Kyiv appear to be keeping their distance.People with knowledge of his trip say Giuliani flew into Kyiv from Budapest on Wednesday, the same day that U.S. hearings stemming from his shadow diplomacy in Ukraine kicked over to the House Judiciary Committee. Social media postings show him meeting with current and previous Ukrainian political figures as part of a cable news documentary series that?s critical of the impeachment inquiry.But President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine won?t be meeting with him, according to the president?s spokeswoman. Igor Kolomoisky, a Ukrainian billionaire who had ties to Zelenskiy, also said he wasn?t planning to meet Giuliani. Zelenskiy?s predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, met Giuliani twice in Kyiv in 2017; through a spokesman, he, too, said he had no plans to see Giuliani during his trip.Andriy Yermak, a key aide to Zelenskiy who figured prominently in the House?s impeachment report, was in London for a conference on Ukraine. He also said he wasn?t meeting Giuliani. ?How can I? I?m in London,? he said.Giuliani has been accompanied in Kyiv by Andriy Telizhenko, a Ukrainian who worked at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in 2016 and is the source of unsubstantiated allegations that his country interfered with the 2016 U.S. election.Telizhenko, who featured in the first episode of the documentary series on the One America News Network, declined to comment on the meetings, citing security issues.Others who have figured prominently in Giuliani?s Ukraine overtures in the past year -- former prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Kostyantyn Kulyk -- didn?t respond to requests for comment on whether they would be meeting Giuliani. In a Facebook post, Telizhenko said Giuliani would meet with Shokin and with former Ukraine prosecutor general Yuri Lutsenko on Friday.Giuliani?s decision to descend on Kyiv to meet with some key people in the impeachment saga comes after months of public testimony in Washington about his back-channeling in Ukraine. Journalists in Kyiv clambered to learn where he was holding meetings. A group of reporters rushed to the Fairmont Grand Hotel, which declined to comment on whether he was staying there.With his visit, Giuliani appears to be doubling down on his efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on political opponents of President Donald Trump. He met, among others, with Andriy Derkach, a Kremlin-friendly Ukrainian parliamentarian who recently wrote a letter to Giuliani beseeching him to support criminal justice reform in the country -- an effort that could help Giuliani take on the mantel of corruption fighter rather than dirt digger.Meanwhile, Zelenskiy?s government is pursuing its own anti-corruption efforts. Giuliani?s visit to Kyiv coincided with a visit by Philip Reeker, the acting U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. On the same day Giuliani met with Lutsenko -- who is accused of corruption in the House impeachment report -- Reeker was meeting with Ruslan Ryaboshapka, Zelenskiy?s new prosecutor general, to discuss changes to the country?s law enforcement structures.?The new prosecutor office will be oriented at society?s trust,? Ryaboshhapka?s office said in a written statement. ?It must be effective and fair.?(Adds Telizhenko Facebook post in seventh paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Stephanie Baker in London at email@example.com;Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey D Grocott at email@example.com, David S. JoachimFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- Why is Michael Bloomberg silencing the press? Because it's his plaything
In choosing to launch a presidential campaign for no reasons other than ego and greed, he has subjugated a respected news organization to his whimsAmong the many socially damaging things about the existence of billionaires is the fact that the ego of a single person with billions of dollars can exert more influence than the collective wisdom of thousands of professionals under their economic control. All the experts might say that the kingdom should focus on food and shelter for the people, but if the pharaoh wants a pyramid instead, well, everyone is getting the pyramid. There is no better demonstration of this farce than the sad fate of Bloomberg News, a global media organization that has the unfortunate distinction of also being a billionaire?s plaything.Michael Bloomberg, who is worth more than $50bn, is running for president. He will not win. Still, his candidacy is unsurprising. A cadre of political consultants who will get rich if he runs have urged him to run, and a potential wealth tax under President Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders would cost him a much greater portion of his fortune than the relatively small sliver he?ll spend on his doomed campaign. If nothing else, he hopes to be able to pull the scary socialist discourse back in the direction of the more capital-friendly wing of the Democratic party. Fine. Let the rich man have his fun. Perhaps a few weeks being forced to kiss pigs in middle American farm stalls will do his shriveled soul some good.But there is the small matter of that global media organization that the now-candidate owns. Bloomberg News boasts 2,700 editorial staffers around the world, churning out not just excellent coverage of the financial markets, but a broad range of news and opinion about everything. Including, of course, the US presidential race. In theory, this should not be a problem ? every reputable journalistic outlet in the world adheres to the principle of editorial independence, meaning that the newsroom operates without any editorial meddling by the owner. (It is equally true that media outlets generally reflect the broad philosophical beliefs of their owners, which is why there is little reporting from a Marxist perspective at Bloomberg News. Still, this fact of life does not need to interfere with the normal business of day-to-day ethical reporting about the world.)So the proper response to the boss running for president should be: whatever. We are still reporters, and we will still report. Every true reporter would relish the chance to stick the journalistic knife in the boss, I assure you. It would be easy for the editors of Bloomberg News to set loose their investigative reporters on Michael Bloomberg?s financial and political empire, planting a flag for independent journalism and educating readers at the same time. Instead, however, Bloomberg?s editor-in-chief, John Micklethwait, covered himself in disgrace by decreeing that the editorial board would be suspended (no great loss) and that: ?We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike ? and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries.? Somehow, Micklethwait managed to create a cowering editorial policy that is not only implicitly distrustful of his own reporters? professionalism, but explicitly biased in the way that investigative journalism is apportioned between the two political parties.Reputable political journalists, including former Bloomberg staffers, were disgusted by this policy. But let us not put all the blame on the middle managers. The true boss of Bloomberg News is Michael Bloomberg himself. In choosing to launch a presidential campaign for no plausible reasons other than ego and greed, he also chose to subjugate a respected organization of 2,700 news professionals to the interests of ? Michael Bloomberg?s ego and greed.A noble plutocrat would at least try to allow his reporters to do their jobs, thereby gesturing towards a belief in the value of truth. A vain plutocrat like Bloomberg has instead placed his reporters in such a compromised position that Donald Trump?s characteristically asinine declaration that Bloomberg journalists will be banned from his campaign events and rallies is actually defensible ? after all, it is impossible to argue that a media outlet with a formal policy of ?We will investigate Donald Trump but never any of his political rivals? does not fit the dictionary definition of ?biased?.The stupidest possible narrative that could emerge from this desperate presidential campaign season ? and it will emerge, I promise you ? is a ?battle of the billionaires?, in which the role of voters is merely to choose a super rich superman to worship, and political parties are reduced to mere stages for two extremely wealthy guys with slightly different varieties of arrogant personalities.Thankfully the billionaires in the Democratic primary will all lose, and with any luck they will be so damaged by aggressive investigative reporting that they will shrink away from ever trying again. None of that reporting will come from Bloomberg News. If they really want to cover Trump rallies though, I can tell them from personal experience that they don?t need a press pass. They can just walk right in with the regular folks. There?s always plenty of room. As usual, Donald Trump?s sneering proclamations are more sound than fury, meant only to soothe the man-baby?s rage until his attention flits to the next topic. In this case, the billionaire who?s really screwing the free press is named Michael Bloomberg. * Hamilton Nolan is a writer based in New York
- Double the Fighters: Why Japan Wants Domestic F-3s and the F-35
- Stanford law professor lights up House impeachment hearing
- Russia frees anti-Kremlin student protester after opposition outcry
A Russian court unexpectedly freed a prominent student protester on Friday after handing him a three-year suspended jail sentence on extremism charges in a case that has sparked an outcry among the Kremlin's critics. Yegor Zhukov, a 21-year-old student and politics blogger on YouTube, was among more than 1,000 people detained in Moscow on July 27 in one of the biggest crackdowns of recent years. The court on Friday found him guilty of inciting extremism on his YouTube channel and banned him from using the Internet for two years.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Blind inmate to be executed by electric chair, first since death penalty reinstated
- The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now
- Joe Biden Briefly Leaves Rural Iowa for Manhattan Fundraisers
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden left rural Iowa for the penthouses of New York for a six-figure night of fund-raising, sticking to a brief stump speech as he collected cash to keep his campaign afloat in key early voting states.His approach was as different as the locations. In Iowa?s small cities he?s discussed shared values. In Manhattan, he flattered the donors from the worlds of finance, diplomacy and art by telling them they were ?one of the most sophisticated audiences I?ll ever speak to.?Biden has hustled to boost his fundraising after a lackluster third quarter and on Monday his campaign said it raised $15 million in October and November, the same amount it took in during the summer. Biden has kept up a steady pace of fundraising events where tickets go for as much as the maximum $2,800 per person.Alan Patricof, 85, managing director and co-founder of Greycroft Partners LLC, introduced the candidate Tuesday night, telling the mostly 60-plus crowd that Biden has an advantage over some -- though not all -- of his opponents.?What?s so bad about having someone with experience, leading the country in these challenging times?? Patricof said of the 77-year-old former vice president. ?I, for one, am someone who keeps saying, you know, experience is not so bad. It counts.?Patricof endorsed Biden a few months ago, arguing that he was best positioned to beat President Donald Trump, and activated his donor network. He held his event Tuesday at the art-filled apartment of Milly and Arne Glimcher, founder of Pace Gallery.An Alexander Calder mobile hung from the ceiling of the two-story living room, while a giant three-way electrical plug sculpture by Claes Oldenburg hung at another. Patricof warned the guests to be careful around the big canvases by the Glimchers? late friend Mark Rothko. ?Please don?t touch the Rothko. You can touch anything else,? he joked. ?Not the Rothko.?Biden seemed impressed, thanking the Glimchers for ?opening your museum for me? and quipping that it was ?worth the trip for no other reason just to walk around.?Other hosts for the event included Thomas H. Lee, chairman and co-founder of Lee Equity Partners LLC; Anne and Vincent Mai, founder and chairman of Cranemere LLC; Ellen and Richard Richman, founder and CEO of the Richman Group Inc.; Jay Snyder, principal of HBJ Investments LLC; and Michael Kempner, founder and CEO of the public relations firm MWWPR. Donald Blinken, a former U.S. ambassador to Hungary and co-founder of E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co., was also at the event and drew praise from Biden for raising his longtime foreign policy adviser Tony Blinken.?Joe?s someone who many of us here consider to be an old friend and someone with whom we are very comfortable. And I think that?s an important word to say this day,? Patricof said. Later, he added that Biden is ?someone who also I think will make, and is making, people comfortable all around the country.?The second fundraiser was held at the home of David A. Steinberg, founder and CEO of marketing firm Zeta Global Corp. Michael Blackson, an actor and comedian who was a guest of the host, caught Biden?s attention with his calf-length red, purple and gold Versace puffer coat.?The key to success is hiring and working with people smarter than you and who can dress a hell of a lot better than you,? Biden said after spotting two former staffers as well as Blackson in the crowd of 65 donors. ?I tell you what man, we ought to go on the road together,? he told Blackson.After he wrapped up, he headed out back on the road for a late-night return to Iowa -- without Blackson or his colorful coat.(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 reporter on this story: Jennifer Epstein in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- Why Is Japan Buying F-3 Fighters Instead of the Stealth F-35
- 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.?
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Climate models have been right all along, study finds
- After six months and a siege, Hong Kong?s front line takes stock
- No More North Korea: Could America Have Won The Korean War With Nuclear Weapons?
- FBI Failed to Inform FISA Court that Steele Dossier was Unreliable: Report
The Justice Department's inspector general has concluded that the FBI omitted crucial details in its requests for warrants to surveil Trump campaign associate Carter Page, saying the agency neglected to mention that some of the information the warrant applications were based on was shaky.Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's yet unpublished draft report found that the FBI did not inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the controversial Steele dossier, cited in applications to spy on Page, was unreliable, according to the Washington Post.The dossier was compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele who was investigating Donald Trump for an opposition research firm hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign. The dossier purported to show connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.The FBI found Steele's information about a Russian government connection to be dubious but declined to mention as much in the later applications to the FISA court for warrants to surveil Page.Horowitz also found that an FBI lawyer doctored an email used in the warrant application, a potential crime prosecutors are now investigating.However, the inspector general did not say the FISA court should have declined to grant the warrants and nevertheless concluded that political bias did not compromise the FBI's handling of the Russia investigation.Attorney General William Barr has reportedly said privately that he disagrees with the inspector general that FBI had enough information in July, 2016 to justify opening an investigation into members of the Trump campaign.?I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It?s a big deal,? Barr said in April. "Frankly, to the extent that there were any issues at the FBI, I do not view it as a problem that?s endemic to the FBI. I think there was probably a failure among a group of leaders there in the upper echelon.?
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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?.
- Second evacuation order lifted in Texas city hit by explosion, chemical fire
Authorities on Thursday lifted a second evacuation order in a week for thousands of people in a Texas city as U.S. safety officials began examining what caused the latest in a series of chemical plant fires in the state. The about 14,000 residents of Port Neches 95 miles (153 km) east of Houston were told to flee late on Wednesday when air monitors detected high levels of cancer causing petrochemicals butane and butadiene following an explosion last week. Butadiene is the main product of the TPC Group's facility in the city struck by last week's blast and fire, which injured three workers and prompted an initial, two-day evacuation.
- St. Louis Woman Looked Up ?What to Do if Your Husband Is Upset You Are Pregnant? Before Her Murder: Warrants
Before she went missing last month, a St. Louis woman looked up ?what to do if you husband is upset you are pregnant? on her phone, according to search warrants.Beau Rothwell, 28, reported the disappearance of his six-weeks-pregnant wife, Jennifer Rothwell, on Nov. 12, after she failed to show up for work at a chemical engineering firm. Two days later, authorities charged him with second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in connection with his 28-year-old wife?s slaying. Rothwell is currently being held without bond after authorities on Nov. 19 located his wife?s body?which was found after he gave up information on her location, police said.In the newly released search warrants obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, investigators say Beau Rothwell called authorities at 9:44 p.m. on Nov. 12 to report his wife of four years missing. He initially told investigators they had spent the night before watching cooking television shows together, and he had last seen her leaving for work the next morning.Charred Body Found in NYC Storage Unit Is ?Very Likely? Missing Mom, Police SayPolice later found her car parked with her cell phone inside about a mile from their home just outside Creve Coeur.?She has not been seen or in contact with anyone since leaving her home. Jennifer has no history of leaving and is normally in contact with family members and friends on a daily basis," St. Louis County police said at the time of her disappearance.When authorities tried to search their home, Rothwell did not let police enter and barred them from looking at his car and cell phone. He also refused to give police a DNA sample, and immediately requested an attorney.As they searched the perimeter of the couple?s home, investigators found various cleaning supplies, including rubber gloves and paper towels in a trash can, the warrants state. St. Louis County police told The Daily Beast in a statement video surveillance also shows Rothwell purchasing the supplies with a gift card and cash at Dierbergs grocery store on Nov. 11. ?This purchase was oddly at a time during a major snow event involving dangerous driving conditions, and was also contradictory to Beau Rothwell?s statement that he was home with his wife all night,? the warrant states.Husband of Missing Connecticut Mom Jennifer Dulos Takes Stand in Civil Lawsuit Brought by Mother-in-LawOn Nov. 13, after obtaining a search warrant for the couple?s home, detectives found ?empty cleaning bottles, wet carpet soaked with bleach, large areas of blood in carpeting and underlying pad,? police said. ?DNA from the victim?s mother and father was analyzed and is consistent with the blood found in the carpet,? the warrant states. Detectives also described the home as having an ?overwhelming? smell of bleach and other cleaners, adding that the drywall in the basement appeared to be damaged and contained samples of human hair. In the attached garage, investigators found a 2015 GMC Canyon pick-up truck that also smelled of bleach. The night, Rothwell was arrested on suspicion of murder. On Nov. 18, authorities found Jennifer in a wooded area during a six-hour search near Troy, Missouri. According to the Post-Dispatch, detectives found the 28-year-old naked and partially covered in branches and brush after her husband allegedly gave up information about her location. The medical examiner?s office has not yet determined her official cause of death. 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.
- 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.?
- Missile Shield: Romania Now Has America's Aegis Ashore
- 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.
- China imposes 'reciprocal' restrictions on US diplomats
China on Friday said it had taken "reciprocal" measures against US diplomats in the country, ordering them to notify the foreign ministry before meeting with local officials. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had notified the US embassy of the new measures on Wednesday, which she said were a "countermeasure" to Washington's decision in October to restrict Chinese diplomats. In October, the US ordered Chinese diplomats to notify the State Department in advance of any official meetings with US diplomats, local or municipal officials, and before any visits to colleges or research institutions.
- Fearing protests, North Carolina town cancels Christmas parade featuring Confederate group
- Tennessee governor not stopping planned execution Thursday
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Wednesday that he won't stop the state from putting a blind inmate to death in the electric chair later this week, clearing the way for the execution unless a federal court intervenes. Lee Hall, a 53-year-old inmate who became blind from glaucoma during is decades in prison, is scheduled to be electrocuted Thursday for his conviction in the 1991 killing of his estranged girlfriend. Earlier this year, Hall chose the electric chair over lethal injection as allowed under state law.
- 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.?
- Russia, Turkey working on new S-400 missile contract: Interfax
Russia and Turkey are working on a contract for the delivery of a new batch of Russian S-400 missile systems, the Interfax news agency cited a senior official at a Russian military cooperation agency as saying on Friday. Such a deal would be likely to further strain Ankara's relations with Washington which has suspended Turkey from the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jet program, in which it was a producer and buyer, to penalize it for buying S-400 batteries this year. The official, Dmitry Shugaev, said he thought there was a "fairly high likelihood" Turkey and Russia would sign a contract for the delivery of an additional batch of S-400s next year.
- WH counselor Kellyanne Conway calls video of Trudeau laughing at Trump 'childish,' 'churlish'
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway had a few pointed words about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during an appearance on ?Fox & Friends? on Thursday, calling video footage of Trudeau and other world leaders laughing at President Trump both ?childish? and ?churlish.?
- Trump Administration Authorizes 'Cyanide Bombs' to Kill Predators Again, Months After Backlash
- The U.S. Army's Ultimate Weapon Isn't a New Gun or Tank
- 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.
- Trump Revives Threat of Force Against North Korea?s ?Rocket Man?
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Donald Trump revived both his ?Rocket Man? nickname for Kim Jong Un and the threat of military force against North Korea, in the latest sign of rising tensions ahead of Pyongyang?s year-end deadline.Trump revisited the name he once used to mock Kim just hours after North Korea said it was preparing a ?Christmas gift? for the U.S. if the administration failed to meet its demands by year-end for concessions in nuclear talks. Kim has repeatedly warned in recent months he could take a ?new path? in relations with the U.S., while resuming ballistic missile launches.?He definitely likes sending rockets up, doesn?t he? That?s why I call him ?Rocket Man,?? Trump said Tuesday during a NATO summit in the U.K., adding: ?We have the most powerful military we?ve ever had, and we?re by far the most powerful country in the world. And, hopefully, we don?t have to use it, but if we do, we?ll use it. If we have to, we?ll do it.?Hours later, North Korea?s state media said Kim was ?displeased? to hear Trump?s threat about the possibility of using military force against the country.The Korean Central News Agency released a statement on Wednesday from North Korea?s army chief, Pak Jong Chon, who said ?the use of armed forces is not the privilege of the U.S. only,? warning that Pyongyang will take ?prompt corresponding actions at any level? should the U.S. initiate military action.Despite resuming weapons tests, Kim has refrained from detonating nuclear bombs or launching missiles capable of carrying them to the U.S. while pursuing unprecedented talks with Trump. North Korea?s deadline puts one of Trump?s biggest foreign policy achievements on the line just as he gears up for re-election.Any shift by Kim could come as soon as the North Korean leader?s annual New Year?s address, which he has previously used to ratchet tensions up and down. The ruling Workers? Party announced a rare meeting in Pyongyang later this month ?to discuss and decide on crucial issues? due to the ?changed situation at home and abroad.?Pyongyang?s propaganda machine has kicked into high gear in recent months to show Kim as a strong leader. Earlier on Wednesday, the Korean Central News Agency published pictures of him riding a white horse through the snow on Mt. Paektu -- a sacred site where North Korea says Kim?s grandfather and state founder, Kim Il Sung, led guerrillas against the Japanese and his father, Kim Jong Il, was born.State media praised Kim Jong Un in rhetorical flourishes about the mountain visit -- that included his wife, top cadres and military brass -- saying he rode a steed ?through knee-high virgin snow,? connecting himself to ?the source of the lifeline of the revolution and inexhaustible patriotism.?While Trump and Kim have held three face-to-face meetings and lavished each other with praise over the past two years, they?ve achieved little beyond a vague promise to ?work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.? North Korea has continued to expand a nuclear weapons program that it sees as a vital deterrent against the threat of American invasion.During their detente, Trump and Kim have held back from the threats and personal insults they flung at each other in 2017 as North Korea conducted a series of weapons tests. The president notably used the ?Rocket Man? moniker in September of that year while threatening to ?totally destroy North Korea? during a speech to the United Nations. North Korea has referred to Trump as a ?dotard.?Kim has balked at U.S. demands for the dismantlement of his weapons program while Trump has so far rejected North Korea?s calls for greater sanction relief. The most recent working-level talks between the two sides in October broke down, with North Korea?s envoy accusing the American side of arriving ?empty-handed.?Trump?s current point man for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will go to Seoul later this month in his first visit to the South Korea capital since the working-level talks with North Korea broke down, the Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an unidentified official at South Korea?s foreign ministry.Although Kim hasn?t tested an intercontinental ballistic missile in more than two years, he has reminded the region of his growing military threat with tests of shorter-range missiles, including another volley last week. North Korea responded to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe?s complaints about the launches with a harshly worded commentary, saying that he ?may see what a real ballistic missile is in the not distant future and under his nose.?On Tuesday, Trump also highlighted a key source of friction between the U.S. and its South Korean allies: the president?s demands for more military funding. American negotiators walked out of cost-sharing talks in Seoul last month, after South Korea rejected the administration?s demands for as much as a five-fold increase to the approximately $1 billion it currently pays.Trump said those talks had make progress, but it wasn?t immediately clear whether he was talking about an agreement for the current year or the period ahead.?Last year, I asked them to pay more and they agreed,? Trump said. ?And nobody knows this -- I?ll say it now, I think, for the first time -- but they agreed to pay approximately $500 million a year or more for protection.?(Updates with North Korean leader?s comments from fourth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Jihye Lee in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at email@example.com, ;Jon Herskovitz at firstname.lastname@example.org, Chris Kay, Colin KeatingeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- Life in Oswiecim, a town in Auschwitz's shadow
Only train tracks and barbed wire separate the former German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau from Oswiecim. On Friday, it will once again be back in the spotlight when German Chancellor Angela Merkel pays her first visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. "Visitors believe that even three generations later, we should be in mourning all day, every day," resident Dawid Karlik told AFP this week.
- 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.
- Private investigators focused on frat party in Cornell University freshman?s death