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  • Pompeo breaks silence on alleged threats to envoy in Ukraine

    Golocal247.com news

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday broke nearly 72 hours of silence over alleged surveillance and threats to the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, saying he believed the allegations would prove to be wrong but that he had an obligation to evaluate and investigate the matter. In interviews with conservative radio hosts, Pompeo said he had no knowledge of the allegations until earlier this week when congressional Democrats released documents from an associate of President Donald Trump's personal attorney suggesting that Marie Yovanovitch was being watched.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 11:34:25 -0500
  • Secrets Stolen: What Will China Do With Data On Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense?

    Golocal247.com news

    If China can break into top-secret Israeli computers, they can break into America’s—and everybody else’s, too.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0500
  • A young female reporter exposed a Michigan state senator who told her a group of high school boys could 'have a lot of fun' with her after she asked him a tough question

    Golocal247.com news

    The reporter, Alison Donahue, wrote that she hoped "men in power" would "think twice" before making crude comments to women in professional settings.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:00:27 -0500
  • Jordan, Meadows Send Letter to FISA Court Questioning Kris Appointment

    Golocal247.com news

    House Oversight Committee Republicans Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows issued nine demands to FISA Court presiding judge James Boasberg in a Thursday letter in response to the appointment of Obama Department of Justice lawyer David Kris to help oversee the FBI’s reform of FISA applications.The letter, obtained by National Review, asked Boasberg to identify who else besides Kris was considered, whether Kris’s past defense of the FISA application to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page was taken into account, and whether “the FISC bears any responsibility for the illegal surveillance of Carter Page,” among other concerns.“If the FISC’s goal is to hold the FBI accountable for its serious misconduct, Mr. Kris does not appear to be an objective — or likely effective — amicus curiae for several reasons,” the letter states. “At minimum, the selection of Mr. Kris creates a perception that he is too personally invested on the side of the FBI to ensure it effectuates meaningful reform.”A Republican official with knowledge of the letter told National Review that the letter signaled a concerted Congressional effort to reform FISA.“For too long, the FBI has remained largely un-checked when it comes to the FISA process. Congress must ensure that FISC stands ready to protect civil liberties without even the slightest indicia of political bias,” he said.The letter appears to be a follow-up to Monday comments from Meadows, who said in an interview that Republicans were “appealing this to the Judge” regarding Kris's appointment. The North Carolina Congressman also slammed the move to appoint Kris, saying that “there’s no way” Kris is the right man to address abuses “if he doesn’t even acknowledge that there is a problem.”Kris, a former assistant attorney general in the Obama DOJ’s national security division, has extensive experience with the FISA Court, serving as an amicus curiae, or special adviser, since March 2016.A frequent contributor to Lawfare blog, Kris was an outspoken defender of the FBI’s authority in surveilling Page, who was accused of being a Russian agent.Following the release of heavily-redacted FISA applications used to surveil Page in July 2018, Kris doubled down. “It seems to me very likely that if we get below the tip of the iceberg into the submerged parts and more is revealed, it will get worse, not better,” for Page, he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow at the time. The letter references Kris's comment to Maddow as evidence that he is biased in favor of the bureau and against Page.DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed in December that the FBI knowingly withheld information that Page was a CIA informant in order to obtain a FISA warrant against him, and even doctored an email to keep the information from the court. The report also revealed that the bureau did not inform the FISC of the partisan origins of the uncorroborated Steele dossier despite its playing a "central and essential" role in their application to surveil Page.In their letter, Jordan and Meadows also request that Boasberg give greater insight into the details surrounding the court’s assessment of the Page applications, including when it “first received any indication that information contained in the FBI’s surveillance applications for Carter Page was misleading or false.”

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 15:10:25 -0500
  • Michael Avenatti Tossed in Jail for ‘Foreseeable Future’

    Golocal247.com news

    LOS ANGELES—United States District Court Judge James V. Selna ordered today that Stormy Daniels’ ex-attorney Michael Avenatti remain in federal custody for possible violation of his conditions of pretrial release and be transported “forthwith” to New York, where he will stand trial next week.The judge found there was probable cause Avenatti had committed crimes in violation of the terms of his bond and ordered the embattled celebrity attorney detained without bond. Avenatti will continue to be held in an Orange County jail pending transfer to New York and will remain in custody “for the foreseeable future,” according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.Prosecutors in California say that since Avenatti was released on bond after a not-guilty plea to federal charges in March, he has engaged in a scheme to defraud victims—ranging from former colleagues and clients to two ex-wives—by concealing funds and “structuring” currency transactions to amounts below the $10,000 amount that w0uld automatically trigger reporting by the bank to the government.As The Daily Beast first reported, the pugnacious lawyer was arrested by federal authorities on Tuesday evening during an appearance at State Bar Court in Los Angeles, during a disciplinary hearing in which the State Bar of California claimed Avenatti had scammed a client out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.In New York, Avenatti faces federal charges that he attempted to extort millions out of Nike in order to keep mum on the sports company reportedly paying out high-school basketball players. “I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap,” Avenatti allegedly threatened Nike’s legal team. He also faces wire fraud and bank fraud charges in California, over allegedly misappropriating a client’s settlement money. If convicted, he could face decades in prison.Michael Avenatti Arrested by Feds at California State Bar HearingMichael Avenatti Lived the High Life While Owing Millions to IRSA court filing by the government, which the Santa Ana court unsealed on Wednesday after the arrest, alleges that Avenatti committed a slew of state and federal offenses during the 10 months since he was granted pretrial release in California—including mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. By Judge Selna's estimate, Avenatti engaged in more than 20 cash transactions in excess of $5,000 since he was arraigned in March. In remanding Avenatti into custody, Judge Selna declared that the former media darling’s release on pretrial bond posed an “economic danger to the community.”He ruled in favor of federal prosecutors who argued that Avenatti lied to investigators and directed money he was obligated under judicial order to pay to creditors, using it instead to fund a lavish lifestyle that included an $11,000-a-month apartment, expensive artwork and vacations, membership in an exclusive private club, and a luxury car.  Other allegations of fraudulent activity from the court filing include arranging for his first ex-wife, Christine Avenatti Carlin, to use a portion of a $717,000 payment to purchase a $50,000 Mercedes Benz in her name that he and his personal driver repeatedly used to transport him. Avenatti, the document says, completed the paperwork to purchase the Mercedes in his own name on May 6, 2019, but returned days later with Carlin to purchase the car in her name. Carlin and her current husband, Brian Carlin, are the third-party sureties for Avenatti’s March release on an unsecured $300,000 appearance bond pending trial in the California case. In court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Sagel raised the possibility that Carlin received as much as $200,000 in payment from Avenatti in return for serving as his third-party surety. “He paid her to be a surety to the tune of a couple hundred thousand dollars, minus the $50,000 for the car she bought for him,” Sagel told the court. Afterward, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to say if Carlin or her husband were currently under federal investigation. Prosecutors also allege that Avenatti used nearly half the proceeds from a $33,000 cashiers check to buy back a piece of art work at auction, despite standing judicial orders to use such money to pay back his numerous creditors. According to court filing, Avenatti owes roughly $5 million to a former law partner pursuant to a judgment issued in the LA Superior Court; roughly $2.2 million to a former client pursuant to a judgment issued in Santa Barbara Superior Court; roughly $2.5 million to his second wife, Lisa Storie Avenatti, pursuant to spousal and child support orders issued in Orange County Superior Court; and approximately $1.5 million to the Washington State Department of Revenue pursuant to a tax warrant. Another client who is a star witness in the California criminal case alleges that Avenatti stole nearly $840,000 from him, funneling money from a lawsuit settlement fund to his own personal use. Lawyers for Avenatti argued that the purchases referenced in the government's filing were properly reported to the court's Pretrial Services Officer. Due to the rapid pace of events that have unfolded since Avenatti’s unexpected arrest, the pretrial officer has not yet made a determination in the matter, the court said. Avenatti’s attorney Dean Steward downplayed the government’s case, calling the 59-page filing an “attempt to collect debts through the U.S. Attorney's Office.” Steward argued that Avenatti’s attempts to “make it harder” on his numerous creditors is not a crime, and that there is “no law or statute that says he has to pay [his creditors] in any particular order.” He also disputed a number of the more attention-grabbing purchases, insisting that the Mercedes belongs to Avenatti’s ex-wife, and stressing that dues paid to maintain private club membership were “valuable and transferrable.”   At one point in the hearing, Steward leveled an inflammatory accusation against Assistant U.S. Attorney Sagel, claiming the prosecutor was acting out a personal animus against Avenatti because one of Avenatti’s alleged victims is being represented by high-profile former U.S. federal prosecutor Andrew Stolper. “Are you accusing Mr. Sagel of misconduct?” the judge asked him. “Of course, absolutely, without a doubt,” Steward replied. Sagel called the accusation “sad,” and said Steward had heard it from “an individual sitting four feet away” from him, referring to Avenatti, who was seated at the defense table. Avenatti received the judge’s ruling with a stony expression and was quietly escorted from court in the custody of a federal marshal. He is currently being held in a jail in Santa Ana, which has a contract with the federal government to house prisoners.  Prior to his arrest, Avenatti had been making plans to board a flight to New York in preparation for his trial scheduled to begin on Tuesday. With today’s ruling, he will be transported by authorities and remain in custody while he awaits to the start of his trial. 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.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 15:42:38 -0500
  • 10 Home Prep Tips Before Going on Vacation

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    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:00:00 -0500
  • Merkel to seek end to Huawei dispute in her conservative camp: sources

    Golocal247.com news

    Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet senior conservative lawmakers on Thursday to resolve a dispute in her own party over whether to bar China's Huawei [HWT.UL] from the country's 5G network rollout, party sources said. Merkel's conservatives are divided on whether to support a proposal by their Social Democrat junior coalition partners that, if approved, would effectively shut out the Chinese technology giant from the network. Handelsblatt business daily was first to report on Wednesday the planned meeting between Merkel and senior conservative lawmakers.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 18:44:48 -0500
  • U.S., Japan May Invest in Indonesia Islands Near South China Sea

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S., Japan and South Korea are keen to invest in Indonesia’s Natuna Islands as President Joko Widodo steps up efforts to rebuff Chinese claims over the resource-rich waters in the South China Sea.The countries are interested in building fisheries processing and manufacturing industries in Natuna, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. Indonesia can manage the sea dispute with China without going into a war, Pandjaitan, a former general, said.“The U.S. investors have expressed their interest, along with investors from Japan, Korea and China,” Padjaitan said. “For us, it doesn’t matter where they come from.”Widodo’s efforts to lure foreign investment into the Natuna islands may ratchet up tension with Beijing following the intrusion of Chinese fishing vessels into an area claimed by Indonesia as an exclusive economic zone. Indonesia is not a claimant in the broader dispute over the South China Sea, but it does insist on its sovereign rights to waters around the Natunas.Beijing says while it has no territorial disputes with Jakarta, claims over maritime interests in certain waters in the South China Sea “overlap.”“War is the last resort in our negotiation process,” Pandjaitan said referring to the standoff with China on Natuna. “But under no circumstances will we negotiate our sovereignty and territorial rights.”Jokowi, as Widodo is commonly known, visited the Natuna islands last week and asserted Indonesia’s sovereignty over the waters after authorities deployed fighter jets and warships to push back the Chinese fishing vessels, which were accompanied by coast guard ships. The president also inaugurated a fisheries processing center in the region and days later invited Japan to invest in Natuna to develop the fishing industry.Indonesia is also seeking investment by Vietnamese marine processing companies. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met officials of Hai Nam Co., a seafood importer this week in Ho Chi Minh City, and asked it to explore a joint venture with Indonesian companies for a fisheries processing unit in areas including Natuna, according to a foreign ministry statement Thursday.It has identified a location in north Natuna for a fishing port, while southern Natuna will serve as a base for the navy, Pandjaitan said. The country will also soon acquire its first ocean-going vessel, probably from Denmark, to beef up its sea powers, he said.To contact the reporters on this story: Arys Aditya in Jakarta at aaditya5@bloomberg.net;Harry Suhartono in Jakarta at hsuhartono@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net, Thomas Kutty AbrahamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 01:39:51 -0500
  • Camera Captures the Moment a Deer Sheds Its Antlers in the Middle of the Night

    Golocal247.com news

    If you blink you might miss it

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:21:34 -0500
  • 'Days of God': A look at Iran's mounting crises

    Golocal247.com news

    The Islamic Republic has been reeling from one crisis to another, from the targeted killing by the United States of its top general to the Revolutionary Guard's accidental shootdown of a passenger plane carrying scores of young people, most of them Iranians. U.S. sanctions have crippled its economy as tensions with America have soared. In a rare Friday sermon in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stuck to the playbook Iran has relied on since 1979, blaming the country's woes on the U.S. and other Western powers, and proclaiming that Iranians still support the Islamic Revolution.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 07:50:14 -0500
  • Lev Parnas says Attorney General William Barr was 'basically on the team'

    Golocal247.com news

    Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, says he told Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash that in exchange for information that could discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, he would try to stop Firtash's extradition to the U.S. to face corruption charges.Firtash, who is believed to have ties to the Russian mob, was in Vienna fighting extradition. During an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, Parnas said he was told Firtash's camp claimed to have evidence that one of Mueller's prosecutors was doing some "illegal stuff," and he was tasked with securing this evidence. John Solomon, a conservative columnist who pushed conspiracy theories, gave him documentation to show Firtash he "was in the loop," Parnas said.Parnas conveyed to Firtash that they believed he "was being prosecuted for no reason," and "basically, it could be taken care of," meaning they could stop the extradition. Parnas then worked to get conservative husband-and-wife lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova on Firtash's legal team. Toensing and diGenova, staunch supporters of President Trump, also represent Solomon. Parnas said he was told to negotiate $1 million for the couple, plus $100,000 a month in expenses. He received $200,000.Giuliani, meanwhile, was working in Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and Parnas said they wanted Firtash to pressure Ukraine into announcing an investigation into the Bidens. Parnas told Maddow he was "involved" in conversations Giuliani and diGenova had with Attorney General William Barr, and Barr "absolutely" knew of the effort to get Ukraine to announce the investigation. "Mr. Barr had to have known everything," he said. "Victoria, Joe, they were all best friends. Attorney General Barr was basically on the team." A Justice Department spokeswoman told Maddow that Parnas' account is "100 percent false." More stories from theweek.com Sean Hannity, the biggest Trump insider at Fox News, says MSNBC and CNN are 'state-run TV' Lev Parnas believes Joe Biden didn't do anything wrong in Ukraine Ukraine gives Trump the corruption investigation he asked for

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 22:32:00 -0500
  • Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln shatters US Navy's record for longest post-Cold War deployment with 10-month around-the-world tour

    Golocal247.com news

    The Lincoln broke a cruise record the ship set nearly two decades earlier, sailed around the world, and sent warnings to both Russia and Iran.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:25:59 -0500
  • Antifa Group to March With Pro-Gun Protesters at Virginia Rally

    Golocal247.com news

    An annual 2nd Amendment rally in Richmond, Va. scheduled for this Monday will see gun rights activists marching alonside an unusual ally: the local Antifa chapter.While Antifa groups are most famous for sometimes-violent protests against right-wing groups, the Richmond-based Antifa Seven Hills is joining 2nd Amendment supporters in support of gun rights."I think it’s been pretty important for us to focus on the fact that gun control in America has a legacy of racist enforcement," Seven Hills spokesperson James told Vice, requesting that his last name be withheld from publication. "Like taking guns away from black people, because black people were perceived as a threat to property and the sanctity of the state."Several leftist gun rights groups have formed in response to the election of President Trump. This includes Redneck Revolt, which was established in 2016, and the Socialist Rifle Association, which was formed in 2018 and has chapters in all 50 states."I think what’s particular about the South is that we have to be a bit more creative and sensitive to the people around us — instead of fulfilling some sort of meme of what antifa is," James said. "That’s really what we’re trying to work against right now, especially by talking to conservatives and showing we aren’t just a black-clad group of rabble-rousers who are out for attention and have jobs funded by George Soros.""The presence of an armed left is not discussed, it’s not understood," he added.The rally itself became the subject of controversy after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency citing "credible intelligence" of "groups with malicious plans" to appear at the rally. The FBI on Thursday arrested three suspected neo-Nazis who were planning to attend the rally. One of the men is a former Canadian army reservist, and all were linked to a group called The Base that aims to establish a state populated only by whites."No one wants another incident like the one we saw in Charlottesville,” Northam told reporters. “We will not allow that mayhem and violence to happen here.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 08:59:31 -0500
  • Groom accused of sexually assaulting underage server at his wedding gets probation

    Golocal247.com news

    A South Jersey man will serve six years of probation after admitting to indecent exposure and simple assault at his wedding venue.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:27:28 -0500
  • McConnell says 'the House's hour is over'

    Golocal247.com news

    During an address on the floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "The House's hour is over. The Senate's time is at hand."

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 11:02:53 -0500
  • Philippines reimposes ban on workers deploying to Kuwait

    Golocal247.com news

    The Philippines said Friday it was reimposing a ban on its citizens going to work in Kuwait after a Filipina was allegedly killed by her employer, echoing a 2018 row between the two countries. President Rodrigo Duterte approved the ban as his government accused the emirate of covering up the killing of a maid, one of about 240,000 Filipinos working in the Gulf state. Duterte's government briefly banned Filipinos deploying for work in Kuwait two years ago amid a diplomatic row that began with the discovery of the remains of a murdered Filipina maid in her employers' freezer.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 19:16:41 -0500
  • Russia Isn't Afraid of America's Mighty F-35. Why?

    Golocal247.com news

    Maybe they should be...

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 05:47:00 -0500
  • A man who was put up in a Comfort Inn 'boardroom suite' discovered it was literally a boardroom with a bed

    Golocal247.com news

    The stranded traveler shared his amusement on Twitter, where the photo of the "boardroom suite" hotel room went viral.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 17:37:03 -0500
  • Bureaucracy to brutality: New evidence reveals IS hierarchy

    Golocal247.com news

    Documents compiled by a U.S.-based Syrian rights group reveal how Islamic State militants used one of their most powerful bureaucratic bodies to regulate daily life and impose and execute penalties. The Washington-based Syria Justice and Accountability Center said Thursday that the evidence — documents produced by IS itself — could help identify individuals responsible for atrocities during the militants' four-year reign of terror and lead to criminal prosecutions. The 24-page report, called “Judge, Jury and Executioner,” is based on dozens of documents obtained by SJAC from inside Syria and collected by a local activist from abandoned IS offices in Raqqa province, where the militants also had their self-declared capital in a city that carries the same name.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:13:28 -0500
  • When Iran Took Americans Hostage, Bernie Backed Iran’s Defenders

    Golocal247.com news

    Bernie Sanders, a top competitor in the Democratic primaries, has attacked Joe Biden for bringing “just a lot of baggage” into the race. But if past views are a major consideration, consider the baggage that Sanders drags into the campaign.Go back over 40 years, to the start of Iran’s long conflict with the United States. On April 1, 1979, the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran was proclaimed. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who had returned to Iran from exile to assume command of the revolt, became Supreme Leader in December of that year. His rise was accelerated by the seizure on Nov. 4 of 52 American diplomats and citizens, and citizens of other countries, at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The hostage crisis became the means by which the Ayatollah crushed political opponents in Iran. Dealing with the hostage taking became the overwhelming political crisis for President Jimmy Carter. It lasted 444 days. Virtually all Americans—Democrats, Republicans and independents—united in support of the hostages and the international call for their freedom. One prominent political figure on the 2020 stage, then almost completely unknown, stood apart by joining a Marxist-Leninist party that not only pledged support for the Iranian theocracy, but also justified the hostage taking by insisting the hostages were all likely CIA agents. Who was that person? It was Bernie Sanders.  Sanders would like the public to believe, as an AP story put it, that “democratic socialism [is] the economic philosophy that has guided his political career.” But that has not always been the case. In 1977, he left the tiny left-wing Liberty Union Party of Vermont that he’d co-founded, and in 1980 instead aligned himself with the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the self-proclaimed Trotskyist revolutionary party, became its presidential elector in Vermont, and campaigned for its candidates and platform that defended the Iranian hostage seizure.  In fact, the SWP’s position on Iran is part of what distinguishes it from democratic socialist groups. When its presidential candidate, Andrew Pulley, came to speak at the University of Vermont in October 1980, Sanders chaired the meeting. Pulley attracted only 40 students to his rally, where he concentrated, according to the SWP’s newspaper The Militant, “on the Iran-Iraq war,” and condemned “anti-Iranian hysteria around the U.S. hostages.” Military action against Iran was not at that point theoretical—Pulley’s speech came six months after the attempt to free the hostages in Operation Eagle Claw had failed. In his standard stump speech, Pulley condemned “Carter’s war drive against the Iranian people,” and said that the U.S. “was on the brink of war with Iran,” which would be fought “to protect the oil and banking interests of the Rockefellers and other billionaires.” Americans, he predicted, would soon “pay on the battlefields with our very own lives.” Their criticism of the Ayatollah was intended “to get us ready for war.” And, Pulley charged, the media who criticized those of us who were against “American imperialism” were “declared insane.”  As for the hostages, Pulley said “we can be sure that many of them are simply spies… or people assigned to protect the spies.”  Pulley’s words were a direct echo of what the Islamic  Society of University Teachers and Students had declared on Nov. 4, 1979 : “We defend the capture of this imperialist embassy, which is a center for espionage.” Six months after the 1980 election, on May 21, 1981, Sanders spoke at another Pulley rally. “For the last 40 years,” Sanders said, “the Socialist Workers Party has… been harassed, informed upon, had their offices broken into, had members of their party fired from their jobs, and have been treated with cold contempt by the United States government.”  Even worse, he went on, apparently referring to the Iranian hostage crisis, “now anybody who stands up and fights and says things is automatically a terrorist.” He claimed that he had been investigated himself by the FBI because “I was an elector for the Socialist Workers Party,” referring to his formal role in the 1980 election with the Trotskyists.    The Sanders campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Asked about the SWP in 1988, Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington and a congressional candidate, talked down the connection, saying that: “I was asked to put my name on the ballot and I did, that’s true." Today, no mention of Sanders’ association with the SWP appears in any campaign biography he has issued. But Sanders remained tied to the party after 1980. He was a featured speaker at a Boston rally for the SWP’s Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate and the party’s slate for Congress in 1982, the year after he was narrowly elected mayor of Burlington. In 1984, he again spoke on behalf of the SWP’s presidential candidate, this time former Black Panther Mel Mason, telling The Militant that “at a time when the Democratic and Republican parties are intellectually and spiritually bankrupt, it is imperative for radical voices to be heard which offer fundamental alternatives to capitalist ideology." It remains unclear when Sanders’s affiliation with the SWP ended.  Of course, Sanders had a right to his beliefs. But he has not been fully transparent about what those beliefs, connections, and loyalties have been over the years. Sanders says that he has been consistently and firmly dedicated to democratic socialism. His record, however, reveals a very different story around the time of the Iranian hostage crisis. But Democratic voters today concerned above all with defeating Donald Trump and the electability of their prospective presidential candidate need to know the whole of Sanders’ history. He has not always been the democratic socialist he claims to be. Sanders could have supported the Socialist Party, the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, or Social-Democrats U.S.A., the three leading democratic socialist organizations existing in 1980. He rejected them. Instead he embraced a Marxist-Leninist communist sect that proclaimed its solidarity with Iran. The preeminent democratic socialist of the time, Michael Harrington, wrote that the hostage taking was “terribly wrong,” and that “the original evil was compounded by the psychological and physical brutalization to which at least some of the hostages were subjected. The moral stance of those who denounce such acts is clear and compelling.” Far from denouncing the acts, Sanders stood with those who applauded the hostage taking. If Sanders were to become the Democratic presidential nominee, all this will come pouring out in Trump ads on television and social media. Voters  will see TV clips of the American hostages, blindfolded and abused, alongside Sanders as the Trotskyist elector supporting the Iranian kidnappers. Rest assured, Trump will make absolutely sure that it is Sanders’ own past that will bury him and perhaps the Democratic Party. 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.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 05:00:52 -0500
  • Hong Kong Leader Says China Could Treat City the Same After 2047

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong’s leader said China could continue guaranteeing the city its separate freedoms under the “one country, two systems” principle after it expires in 2047.“My view is that, as long as we insist on the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, with the in-depth implementation of the principle and ample understanding, which fits the interests of Hong Kong citizens, then there is sufficient reason to believe that ‘one country, two systems’ will be practiced smoothly in the long term, and will not be changed after 2047,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam told lawmakers at a question-and-answer session at the city’s Legislative Council on Thursday.The comments are some of Lam’s most detailed statements on the long-term political future of the former British colony, which was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 on the promise that Beijing would leave its capitalist economy and political freedoms untouched for 50 years. They echoed those made by China’s government in recent years.During a 2017 visit to the financial hub marking the anniversary of its handover, President Xi Jinping said he hoped for the “smooth and long-term successful practice” of “one country, two systems,” according to Hong Kong’s pro-China newspaper Wen Wei Po.Uncertain FutureAnxiety and fear about Hong Kong’s political future under an increasingly authoritarian administration in Beijing have fueled seven months of violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, initially triggered by since-scrapped legislation over extraditions to the mainland.Once the 50-year time period expires in 2047, China is under no obligation to continue permitting Hong Kong to keep separate freedoms -- including a free media and the right to protest -- that make the city distinct from the mainland. Protesters and pro-democracy lawmakers have frequently accused China of undermining the promises the country’s leaders made to Britain before the handover in 1997 and envision a bleak future beyond 2047, in which Hong Kong is treated like any other Chinese city.Some pro-establishment lawmakers have argued that violent protests in favor of greater democracy are likely to make Beijing feel threatened, and less likely to continue guaranteeing Hong Kong’s separate freedoms after 2047.Luo Huining, the new director of China’s Liaison Office in the city, said Wednesday that Hong Kong’s people should place their hope in “one country, two systems.”If the system is implemented well, “Hong Kong will win development opportunities and earn room for growth,” he said. If it isn’t, “there will be non-stop conflicts and chaos.”To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen Leigh, Adrian KennedyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:16:00 -0500
  • Lev Parnas Reveals Why He Turned on Trumpworld

    Golocal247.com news

    In an interview with The Daily Beast, Lev Parnas—an ex-associate of Rudy Giuliani’s who’s at the heart of the impeachment scandal—said he’s determined to keep speaking out about his work in Trumpworld on Ukraine despite the backlash. Parnas sat with Rachel Maddow for an MSNBC interview that aired Wednesday, and then with CNN’s Anderson Cooper for one early Thursday. In his conversation with Maddow, he said President Donald Trump knew all about his efforts to pressure Kyiv to give him political favors. And he said Giuliani told Ukrainian leaders that Parnas specifically spoke on the president’s behalf. The comments drew attention from Capitol Hill, and Democratic congressional investigators have pointed to them as good reason for the Senate to call witnesses in its impeachment trial of Trump. In another portion of the interview with Maddow that aired late Thursday, Parnas likened Trump to a “cult leader” and said he was “more scared of our own Justice Department” than criminals.He went on to claim that he’d “fired” lawyers connected to Trump after getting the feeling that they “tried to keep me quiet.” Parnas told The Daily Beast that his former friends’ reaction to his arrest has strengthened his resolve to speak out. Parnas said that after he and his associate Igor Fruman were arrested at Dulles Airport on Oct. 9 and charged with campaign-finance violations, he was disappointed with Giuliani’s silence. He said Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing—a Trump-friendly husband-and-wife legal team with deep and longstanding ties in Washington’s conservative legal world—also kept mum about their relationship with him. That silence, he said, left him feeling betrayed. “I felt like my family left me,” he said.He noted that the trio rarely shy away from defending controversial clients and allies on TV. But in his case, Parnas said, they were silent. “Knowing everything about me, knowing that this was probably a hit job, they all just clammed up,” he said. He noted that the president also disavowed knowing him, despite pictures of them together at multiple events. And he said he’d hoped to cooperate with congressional investigators as soon as they asked for his help. Toensing, diGenova, and Giuliani did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Trump said on Thursday afternoon that he does not know Parnas and does not “know what he’s about.” Earlier this week, Giuliani—who was shown to be in close contact with Parnas in text messages released by House Democrats this week—dismissed Parnas as a “proven liar,” claiming his decision to provide documents to congressional Democrats was a bid for attention. While Parnas has provided a trove of documents detailing his and Giuliani’s dealings with Ukrainian officials, he also has come under scrutiny for a past that is checkered with legal and financial troubles. The White House pointed to that past on Thursday to dismiss Parnas’ credibility. “This is a man who owns a company called Fraud Inc., so I think that’s something that people should be thinking about,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News. In addition to charges of violating campaign-finance laws, Parnas has repeatedly been hit with lawsuits accusing him of failing to pay rent or live up to his end of various business deals. As recently as 2016, he was ordered by a federal judge to pay more than $500,000 to a family trust after he borrowed money for a movie that never ended up being made. It is not clear if Giuliani was aware of Parnas’ past business troubles when he teamed up with him to seek kompromat on Joe Biden in Ukraine, but Giuliani himself did consulting work for Parnas’ Fraud Guarantee firm in 2018. —Justin Baragona contributed reporting 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.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 18:59:37 -0500
  • Qatar further eases restrictions on migrant workers' exit

    Qatar said on Thursday it had scrapped restrictions on leaving the country for nearly all migrant workers as part of reforms answering accusations of exploitation especially in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup. The measure removes exit visas for hundreds of thousands of domestic workers left out of earlier reforms - mainly from Asian nations like Nepal, India and the Philippines - whom rights groups said were left open to abuse by being excluded. Unions and activists have documented labor exploitation, dangerous conditions and deaths of workers building stadiums and infrastructure for both the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the upcoming event in Qatar.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 06:46:11 -0500
  • Judge postpones sentencing hearing for ex-Trump aide Flynn

    A federal judge on Thursday postponed the sentencing of former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn, two days after Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan did not immediately rule on Flynn's request. In his bid to withdraw his plea, Flynn said the Justice Department had reneged on its deal with him by recommending that he be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison for lying to the FBI.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 12:18:30 -0500
  • Texas carries out first US execution of 2020

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    Texas on Wednesday carried out the first execution of the year in the United States, putting to death by lethal injection a man convicted of killing his wife 15 years ago because she wanted a divorce. John Gardner, 64, was sentenced to death in 2006 for killing his fifth wife, who had left him after multiple incidents of physical violence and filed for divorce. Tammy Gardner died two days later.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 20:40:59 -0500
  • North Korea Fact: Trillions of Dollars in Wealth Is Sitting Below the Surface

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    The reclusive regime sits on $10 trillion in minerals.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 02:33:00 -0500
  • Ukrainian PM offers to resign after tape criticizing the president is released

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    Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk submitted his resignation on Friday after an audio recording suggested he had criticized the president, but then appeared to suggest in comments to Reuters that he might stay in his job.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 08:10:57 -0500
  • Researchers Discover Five New Exoplanets in Our Cosmic Backyard

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    Meet 'Cold Neptune,' a newly discovered exoplanet that redefines the word 'cold.'

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:41:13 -0500
  • The Trump administration threatened 25% tariffs on European cars if Britain, Germany, and France didn't play ball on Iran

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    Trump previously used the threat of tariffs on European cars to extract additional investment into the US from its automakers.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 08:15:00 -0500
  • Brazil Looks to India as Trade Ties with Argentina Deteriorate

    (Bloomberg) -- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is set to visit India next week, aiming to boost trade with a rapidly growing market as ties with neighboring Argentina deteriorate.With the Asian nation expanding around 7% a year over the past decade, Brazil sees a huge potential for its exports of food and commodities, according to Marcos Troyjo, the special secretary of foreign trade and international relations at the Economy Ministry.“International experience shows us that people eat more and invest in infrastructure when their income doubles,” Troyjo said in an interview in Brasilia.Why in India, 5% GDP Growth Is Cause for Alarm: QuickTakeBrazil sees a chance to increase its $7 billion in annual bilateral trade with India to $25 billion in the next few years. With the South Asian giant doubling its per capita income in the last 10 years and set to overtake China in terms of population in the next decade, India represents a massive potential market for Brazil as it opens its economy to the world, Troyjo said.Argentine RowsBrazil’s plans to deepen its relationship with India come as its ties with neighboring Argentina deteriorate.While 2019 saw the two economies work together to push for a trade deal between the Mercosur customs union and the European Union, relations have soured since the election of Bolsonaro’s ideological opposite, Alberto Fernandez.With both the new Argentine government and many lawmakers in the EU lukewarm about the agreement, its future is unclear.“We are aiming for a greater integration of Brazil into the world economy,” Troyjo said. “What we are going to do with Mercosur is in line with this. But all the signs that we have seen in the last few weeks have been bad.”Read more: Implement EU-Mercosur Trade Deal Swiftly, Says BolsonaroBrazil would not tolerate any foot-dragging on the part of its Mercosur partners, he added. “We cannot allow, as in the past, to travel at the speed of a convoy, where everyone’s speed is determined by the speed of the slowest vehicle.”Davos MessageBefore the trip to India, the economic team, including Troyjo and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos.Their message to the potential investors at the Swiss resort will be that Brazil has managed to reform its pension system, in contrast to those countries that are still increasing their spending on old-age benefits.Brazil is swimming against the tide, Troyjo said, that is the great difference between the country and the rest of the world.“We have a huge stock of liquidity in the world and a lack of investment in infrastructure,” he said. “We want to tackle this great paradox.”While Brazil is also looking to develop its relationship with China, this will not extend to the signing of a trade deal. Instead Brasilia wants to see the EU-Mercosur deal finalized in order to make the country more attractive for the Chinese.Troyjo said that the signing of the first phase of a U.S.-China agreement is a welcome development and should have a positive impact on Brazil. According to Troyjo, at this moment in time what the country needs most is a reduction in the level of global uncertainty in order to move ahead with economic reforms.“It’s best to do this when the skies are blue than in the middle of a rainstorm,” he said.To contact the reporters on this story: Martha Beck in Brasilia at mbeck96@bloomberg.net;Simone Iglesias in Brasília at spiglesias@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Robert Jameson, Bruce DouglasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:42:39 -0500
  • Lara Trump is making fun of Joe Biden's stutter

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    Apparently Lara Trump didn't get the message about former Vice President Joe Biden's stutter.Trump, who's married to President Trump's son Eric, decided to take a low blow at Biden during a Women for Trump event in Iowa on Thursday night. "I feel kind of sad for Joe Biden," she said, because "I'm supposed to want him to fail at every turn, but every time he comes on stage or they turn to him I'm like 'Joe can you get it out? Let's get the words out Joe.'"> Lara Trump on the Dem field/debate "I feel kind of sad for Joe Biden...I'm supposed to want him to fail at every turn, but every time he comes on stage or they turn to him I'm like 'Joe can you get it out? Let's get the words out Joe.' ...The problem is that's their front runner" pic.twitter.com/oJgXRkIHbJ> > — Adam Brewster (@adam_brew) January 17, 2020Lara Trump probably should've heard by now that Biden worked to overcome the "debilitating stutter" he had as a child — a lesson former Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders learned when she mocked him for the same thing less than a month ago. Or perhaps she should've just followed first lady Melania Trump's "be best" advice and avoided sinking that low in the first place.More stories from theweek.com Ukraine gives Trump the corruption investigation he asked for Eminem drops a surprise album and music video advocating new 'gun laws in America' Trump again denied knowing Lev Parnas. So Parnas' lawyer posted more robust proof.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:08:00 -0500
  • The Best Compact Fitness Equipment Under $300

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

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 12:56:52 -0500
  • Guatemala sweeps up migrant group, returns them to border

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    Guatemalan police accompanied by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents swept up the majority of a group of some 300 migrants Thursday, loaded them on buses and took them back to the Honduran border, effectively dashing their plans to travel together in a “caravan” with hopes of reaching the United States. Praying and singing songs, the group of 300 migrants — adults, teens and young children — had set out from a shelter in Entre Rios under rainy skies before dawn and walked about six hours before stopping in the town of Morales to eat and rest. There they were challenged by police who asked for their entry documents, and nearly all had crossed into Guatemala irregularly and didn’t have such documentation.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:02:59 -0500
  • Aide Accused of Murdering Former Arkansas State Senator Offered ‘Gold’ From Jail for Hit on Ex: Prosecutors

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    A woman awaiting trial for allegedly killing a former Arkansas state senator was hit with new charges Tuesday after she promised fellow inmates she would give them “gold and silver” to murder the victim’s ex-husband and his new wife, prosecutors said. Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, who pleaded not guilty to several charges in the June murder of former State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, was slapped with two counts of soliciting to commit murder and two counts of solicitation to commit tampering with physical evidence in connection with the elaborate plot she allegedly tried to orchestrate from prison.The former campaign staffer for Collins-Smith has been behind bars since June 14—10 days after the 57-year-old Republican was found fatally stabbed and wrapped in a blanket under a tarp at the end of her Pocahontas, Arkansas, driveway. Former Arkansas State Senator’s Shooting Death Investigated as ‘Homicide’Authorities at the time said O’Donnell was caught on video removing Collins-Smith’s home surveillance cameras on May 28, 2019—the last day the politician was seen alive—but have not elaborated on the details of the murder due to a gag order. O’Donnell, 49, faces the death penalty on the original murder charges and is being held without bond in Jackson County. “These newest charges further cement in our minds that the police have arrested the right person. Rebecca O’Donnell’s threats are being treated very seriously but have not deterred our faith in what we are committed to: justice for Linda,” the family of Collins-Smith said in a Wednesday statement to The Daily Beast. “Thank you all for your continued support, prayers and well wishes.”According to several jailhouse informants, O’Donnell allegedly tried to hire two fellow inmates to stage a murder-suicide at the home of the lawmaker’s ex, former state Judge Phil Smith, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the Jackson County Circuit Court on Tuesday. During a Nov. 7 interview, one of the inmates told an Arkansas State Police special agent that O’Donnell wanted her to “shoot or hang Mr. Smith” and include a “suicide note” that the 49-year-old had handwritten, the affidavit states. The same inmate was then told to pack a bag to make it seem like his new wife “was in the process of leaving him,” the affidavit states.Prosecutors allege O’Donnell told other inmates that “Phil Smith needed to be killed” so that “charges would be dropped off her.” In exchange for the hits, the inmates were told they could take a bag of “gold and silver” from Smith’s home—which investigators said had been appraised to be worth between $20,000 and $30,000 during his divorce.O’Donnell, in addition to working on Collins-Smith’s campaign, had served as a witness in the couple’s acrimonious divorce, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.They Were Hired to Murder a Man’s Ex-Wife, But Accidentally Killed Her Sister: SheriffThe former campaign staffer also allegedly tried to enlist the inmates to go to Randolph County Jail to blow up her 2005 Honda Civic so she could “destroy any evidence” that could be used in her murder trial because “police had planted stuff in her truck,” the affidavit states. On top of that, she allegedly asked two inmates to kill a judge and prosecutor connected to her murder case.The prosecutor, Henry Boyce, was taken off the case in December without citing a reason. “My family’s faith in Becky is unwavering. We cannot imagine the evidence will actually substantiate these allegations. The allegations defy believability. I won’t even comment on the informant’s extensive criminal history but instead will wait to see if the state produces credible evidence at trial,” Tim Loggains, O’Donnell’s fiancé, said a statement. One inmate told police that while she never considered killing Smith, she was worried “a more gullible” inmate might. The three other inmates who reported O’Donnell also stated they refused the murder requests.Maryland Millionaire Daniel Beckwitt Found Guilty of Murder in 2017 Death of Man Who Helped Dig Bunker TunnelsO’Donnell’s defense attorney, Lee Short, denied the allegations in a statement to ABC News, casting doubt on the inmates’ credibility, insisting they had an incentive to offer information for a reduced punishment. Short did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.“It’s not surprising at all—inmates do it all the time,” Short said. “In high-profile cases, especially homicides, people tend to seek opportunities to improve their situations by giving statements against people.”Collins-Smith was first elected to the state senate in 2014 but lost her re-election bid in 2018. Prior to her time in the Senate, the lawmaker served in the statehouse of representatives from 2011 to 2013. While she was elected as a Democrat, Collins-Smith switched parties just months after taking office, citing a change in “ideals.”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.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 13:51:07 -0500
  • Fires, then floods: How much can a koala bear?

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    A week ago, koalas at an Australian wildlife park were in the path of raging bushfires. On Friday, they were soaking wet and being carried to safety from flash floods. Months of drought that have contributed to Australia's catastrophic bushfire season have this week given way to huge downpours in some of the blaze-ravaged areas.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:53:25 -0500
  • UK expands Hezbollah asset freeze, targets entire movement

    Britain expanded the scope of its asset-freezing measures against Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah on Thursday to cover the entire organization as well as its military wing. The finance ministry move follows Britain's decision last year to classify the whole group a terrorist organization due to its destabilizing influence in the Middle East. The heavily armed Shi'ite group was established in 1982 by Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 06:59:36 -0500
  • Royal Caribbean blames 'reckless' grandfather in toddler Chloe Wiegand's death

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    "His actions... were reckless and irresponsible and the sole reason why Chloe is no longer with her parents," Royal Caribbean said in court documents.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:48:54 -0500
  • Norway Government Crisis Brews Over ISIS Prisoner Return

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    (Bloomberg) -- Norway’s government risks splitting after a coalition partner threatened to pull its support over the repatriation of a woman who joined Islamic State in Syria.The anti-immigration Progress Party threatened to abandon the Conservative-led administration in the next few weeks if a number of demands aren’t met. Such a move would deprive Prime Minister Erna Solberg of her majority in parliament, and possibly even topple the government.“We’ve had enough,” Finance Minister and Progress leader Siv Jensen told reporters on Wednesday evening, after meeting with lawmakers and party executives. “We will define some very clear demands to Prime Minister Erna Solberg and the Conservative Party. It will be up to her to take them seriously or not.”Jensen’s threat follows a government decision to repatriate a Norwegian woman charged with joining a terrorist organization. The woman has two children, one of whom is critically ill. The Progress Party was only willing to bring back the children. The situation echoes similar debates in other European countries over how to handle nationals caught fighting for ISIS.It’s not the first time that a conflict has erupted between Norway’s government parties, which hold different views on key issues such as immigration, climate change and the Nordic country’s vast oil industry.The coalition has ruled with the support of the centrist Liberals and Christian Democrats since 2013, before the two parties joined the government in 2018 and 2019, providing Solberg with a majority.Since the 2017 election, the four parties have lost much of their popular support, with the average of national polls in January compiled by pollofpolls.no indicating they will lose power in 2021 when Norwegians next vote. The Progress Party is down to about 10%, compared to 15% in the 2017 election.Progress has been forced into a compromise on key issues for too long and the party now needs “clear wins” in government policy, Jensen told state broadcaster NRK on Thursday. The party will probably present a list of demands to Solberg in the course of the day, but the list won’t be made public and Jensen declined to provide details.Jensen also declined to say whether the government could continue to hold power without her party if it quit. The Conservative Party leads the coalition with 45 seats in Parliament, Progress has 27 and the Liberals and Christian Democrats eight each, giving the government a slim majority in the 169-strong assembly.(Updates with comments from Progress leader and finance minister Jensen from third paragraph)\--With assistance from Jonas Cho Walsgard.To contact the reporter on this story: Mikael Holter in Oslo at mholter2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Hanfi Brögger at tbrogger@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 03:53:28 -0500
  • Pelosi angers GOP by using 30 different personalized pens to sign Trump's 'sham' impeachment articles

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    Nancy Pelosi used dozens of customized, signed pens to sign different parts of her signature on Trump's impeachment articles before handing them out as collectibles at the signing ceremony on Wednesday — a move that angered many Republicans.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 15:22:12 -0500
  • A Delta pilot may have dumped jet fuel on schoolkids because of poor communication with air traffic control

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    FAA investigators are looking into why the Delta flight crew dumped fuel even though they told air traffic control at LAX that they wouldn't.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 21:25:12 -0500
  • Report: Israeli home demolitions in east Jerusalem spiked

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    Israeli authorities demolished homes in Palestinian areas of east Jerusalem at a significantly higher rate in 2019 than the previous year, according to an Israeli advocacy group. In a new report, Ir Amim said 104 housing units were demolished in 2019, compared() to 72 units in 2018. Aviv Tatarsky, the Ir Amim researcher who wrote the report released Wednesday, said the group found that only 7% of housing units advanced by city planners last year were for Palestinian neighborhoods.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:00:52 -0500
  • Ex-Trump Aide Michael Flynn Tries to Withdraw Guilty Plea

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    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn accused prosecutors of pressuring him to lie under oath and told a judge he wants to withdraw his guilty plea to the charge he lied to federal agents.Flynn “exercised his right to move to withdraw his plea of guilty because the government has engaged in bad faith and vindictive conduct,” breaching a plea deal made when Flynn first conceded the charge in late 2017, defense attorney Sidney Powell said in a statement Wednesday morning, calling her client “innocent.”Late Tuesday, Powell filed papers with U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington seeking the plea withdrawal and asking for a postponement of Flynn’s Jan. 28 sentencing. Earlier this month, prosecutors asked the court to impose a jail term as long as six months, claiming Flynn had stopped cooperating with them. The U.S. had previously been content with a probationary sentence.It’s very hard to withdraw a guilty plea, said Stephen Braga, who chairs the white-collar criminal defense practice at Bracewell LLP. In court, Flynn twice admitted his guilt and acknowledged he knew what he was doing and wasn’t under pressure when he entered his plea.Read More: Prosecutors Attack Flynn’s ‘Extraordinary Reversal’ on His Guilt“The primary difficulty in establishing a substantial claim of innocence for a defendant who has pled guilty is the fact that the defendant has already admitted his guilt under oath in the plea proceeding before the very same judge who is now asked to rule upon the motion to withdraw,” Braga said.Former Chicago federal prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer said Flynn is probably playing to an audience of one. The president can pardon him.“If you’re looking for a pardon, the success of this argument doesn’t really matter,” said Cramer, now a managing director with Berkeley Research Group LLC.“I intend to have him exonerated or case dismissed,” Powell said in an email. “PERIOD. I want THE TRUTH.”Powell previously tried, unsuccessfully, to get the case against her client dismissed for prosecutorial misconduct.Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., after Trump won the 2016 presidential election and before he took office. While Trump made Flynn his first national security adviser, that assignment lasted just three weeks before reports that Flynn had made misleading statements about his actions prompted his ouster.Flynn was initially set to be sentenced in December 2018, but that proceeding went awry after his initial defense counsel suggested he’d been tricked by the agents who questioned him, prompting Sullivan to ask the retired general anew whether he was guilty. Flynn affirmed that he was.Read More: Flynn Should Get Jail, U.S. Says in TurnaboutThe punishment date was then postponed so Flynn could complete his cooperation with prosecutors, who were preparing their case against a former Flynn business partner accused of illegally lobbying on behalf of Turkey.According to Powell, with whom Flynn replaced his original legal counsel in June, in the course of preparing for that trial against Bijan Kian, prosecutors demanded Flynn admit to knowingly signing a false Foreign Agents Registration Act form.“He rightly refused to lie for the government, and his new counsel would not allow him to do so, nor allow the government to bully him into acquiescence,” his lawyers wrote.Flynn asked the judge to delay his sentencing to Feb. 27. The government doesn’t oppose the delay, he said. It’s unclear whether the judge will agree.In 2018, the government had recommended Flynn get probation based on his cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. In a filing last week, prosecutors said actions and comments by Flynn and his lawyer since his last sentencing hearing in 2018 “negate the benefits of much of the defendant’s earlier cooperation.” They said they no longer believed he deserved credit for accepting responsibility for his actions.The case is U.S. v. Flynn, 17-cr-232, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).(Updates with Powell’s comment in second section)To contact the reporters on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net;Andrew Harris in federal court in Washington at aharris16@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter JeffreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 15:50:33 -0500
  • Wealthy CEOs complain about feeling 'unsafe' because of homeless people in San Francisco

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    A major healthcare conference in San Francisco this week has sparked a debate about the California city’s homeless crisis as wealthy executives and investors complain of feeling 'unsafe'.The city rakes in $51m (£39m) each year from the annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference despite growing concerns about the city’s homeless population among attendees of the healthcare industry’s leading conference, according to Bloomberg News.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 12:01:42 -0500
  • These Are the Crazy High-Tech Weapons America Would Fight World War III With

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    Better to deter than to actually fight.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:59:00 -0500
  • Russia: Iran was spooked by reports of U.S. F-35s when it downed airliner

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that Iran's accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner last week occurred at a time when Tehran was spooked by reports of advanced U.S. stealth fighters in the area. Iran's downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, which killed all 176 people aboard, has created a crisis for the Islamic Republic's clerical rulers who have faced days of protests after the Iranian military admitted it had shot down the plane accidentally. Lavrov, speaking at his annual news conference in Moscow, called the incident a human error and said he was not trying to excuse anyone for what happened.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 09:18:09 -0500
  • Delta plane slides off taxiway amid winter storm; airlines issue travel advisories into weekend

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    Airlines are issuing travel waivers on account of a winter storm headed for much of the northern U.S. this weekend.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:09:46 -0500
  • A 14-year-old boy died after being trapped in a chimney where his lungs were unable to expand and contract

    Golocal247.com news

    Police had been looking for the Ohio boy for nearly a month. Compressive asphyxia can also occur at overcrowded concerts and sporting events.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 12:07:49 -0500
  • Sealed Epstein Docs Name ‘Persons of Means’ in Sex Abuse Case

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    A federal court in New York is preparing to release more sealed documents in a 2015 defamation suit filed by Virginia Giuffre, a victim of dead sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, against his alleged madam, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.But first, the court will conduct an individualized review of the pleadings that would give attorneys for Maxwell, Giuffre, and mysterious parties identified as John Does 1 and 2, the opportunity to weigh countervailing factors, such as privacy, that would limit public access.As part of the review process, other secret “non-parties” to the case who are named in the documents—including other alleged victims, and people accused of having sex with Giuffre—will need to be notified ahead of the unsealing and have the option to object. After those objections are filed, legal teams for Maxwell and Giuffre will have a chance to file their own oppositions.Epstein Used Database to Track ‘Numerous’ Underage Girls ‘Held Captive’ at His Virgins Islands Hideaway: SuitOn Thursday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska suggested reviewing the sealed motions in the now-settled case on a rolling basis, in groups of five.Maxwell’s lawyer, Laura Menninger, told the court that some of the non-parties are “persons of means or otherwise have counsel,” while “others live outside of the country or don’t have means” to enlist counsel to file their objections under seal. Menninger asked for “alternatives” to submit their objections via letter.Meanwhile, Sigrid McCawley, Giuffre’s attorney, expressed concerns over a document dump that would portray Giuffre in a bad light. She said the only pleadings Maxwell has agreed to unseal are those that “would be negative to my client.”McCawley said it would be unfair to release those documents—which wouldn’t need review because there’s no countervailing interests—without other sealed court papers that would perhaps paint a fuller picture of the case. But Judge Preska disagreed, saying there would be “no justification to withholding the documents” from the public.After the proceeding, Menninger ducked into an elevator, avoiding questions from a Daily Beast reporter who asked whether she’d seen or heard from Maxwell. Since Epstein’s arrest in July 2019, Maxwell has disappeared from the public eye.“Virginia is very pleased that this process is starting and that the court is taking seriously the release of these documents,” McCawley told reporters outside the federal courthouse. “It’s always been her position that there should be public access to these documents as we’ve seen as recently as yesterday in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They filed a complaint outlining this over-20-year history of [Epstein’s] sexual abuse of young females.”As The Daily Beast reported, the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands filed a lawsuit on Wednesday that accuses Epstein and his inner circle of trafficking girls as young as 11 years old, as recently as 2018.“It’s been Virginia’s mission to expose that abuse, and we’re hopeful that through the court’s review process that will occur and these documents will get released,” McCawley said, adding that the Virgin Islands case highlights that Epstein’s sexual abuse of girls “was going on all over the world, for many, many years.”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.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 12:34:07 -0500
  • Passengers were terrified when an engine on their United flight failed after takeoff

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    No one was hurt in the frightening incident, and passengers were flown on a later flight on a different plane.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:08:24 -0500
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