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  • Trump security adviser unveils new U.S. sanctions to pressure Cuba, Venezuela news

    U.S. national security adviser John Bolton announced a series of new sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela on Wednesday as the Trump administration sought to boost pressure on Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and the countries that support him. Bolton, in a speech to an association of veterans of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, said the United States was adding five names linked to Cuba's military and intelligence services to its sanctions blacklist, including the military-owned airline Aerogaviota.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 14:32:13 -0400
  • After Notre Dame, support for torched black churches swells news

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The crowdfunding campaign to raise money for three African American churches gutted by arson in Louisiana began a week ago, but donations surged after flames engulfed the roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and the outcry provoked a conversation about the disparate reactions to the tragedies.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 19:20:44 -0400
  • Ocasio-Cortez backs boycott of New York Post over cover attacking Ilhan Omar news

    The freshman Democrat voices her support for a boycott of one of her hometown newspapers.

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:48:42 -0400
  • Young woman obsessed with Columbine found dead after frantic manhunt news

    The body of Sol Pais, a student from Surfside, Florida, was found by authorities about 40 miles (64 km) west of Columbine High School, at about 10:30 a.m. local time, said Dean Phillips, special agent in charge of the Denver office of the FBI. Pais was found alone in a wooded area of Clear Creek County and appeared to have shot herself with the pump-action shotgun she had purchased after arriving in Colorado from Miami earlier this week, Phillips said at a news conference hours later.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:43:40 -0400
  • Mueller report: What will it say about the Trump campaign and Russia's efforts to sway the 2016 election? news

    Until special counsel Robert Mueller's report is revealed, the charges he filed - and didn't – offer the only detail of the Russia probe's findings.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 19:35:00 -0400
  • View Photos of the Refreshed 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 SUV and Coupe

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    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 16:45:00 -0400
  • Boeing conducts final test flight of 737 MAX with software fix news

    Boeing has conducted a final test flight of a 737 MAX model with an updated anti-stall system prior to its certification by aviation authorities, the aerospace manufacturer said Wednesday. CEO Dennis Muilenberg tweeted a video where he said the test flight was carried out on Tuesday, adding that test pilots have completed 120 flights totaling more than 203 hours of airtime with the software fix for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). Investigators have zeroed in on the system as a factor behind the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes in October and in March respectively, killing nearly 350 people in total.

    Thu, 18 Apr 2019 01:08:17 -0400
  • EU threatens to tax $20 billion of US goods over Boeing aid news

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has drawn up a list of $20 billion worth of U.S. products it could tax in an escalating feud over plane industry subsidies, the EU's executive commission said Wednesday.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 09:57:58 -0400
  • Amazon to pull plug on China retail operations: report news

    Amazon plans to close down its online retail operations that cater to consumers in China in an apparent admission of defeat to local e-commerce rivals such as Alibaba and, a report said on Thursday. The US e-commerce pioneer will maintain other operations in China such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kindle e-books and cross-border teams that help ship goods from Chinese merchants to customers abroad, Bloomberg News said, citing unidentified people familiar with the plans. An Amazon spokesperson did not explicitly confirm plans to throw in the towel on domestic e-commerce, but said the company was looking to focus more on cross-border sales.

    Thu, 18 Apr 2019 03:15:32 -0400
  • Pete Buttigieg: Outrage over anti-gay protestors dressed as 2020 candidate 'whipping Jesus on a cross' news

    Pete Buttigieg has been confronted by anti-gay hecklers along the campaign trail this week, with demonstrations taking a bizarre turn at an Iowa rally. A notorious anti-abortion activist dressed as the Indiana mayor began whipping a man wearing a costume of Jesus Christ near a Marshalltown campaign stop Wednesday morning, a day after that same protestor attempted to interrupt another event held by Mr Buttigieg.That man, Randall Terry, can be seen in a video captured by freelance Getty Images video producer Marcus DiPaola donning a “Mayor Pete” sign around his neck as he whips the other demonstrator, who is holding a cross on his back. A third protestor dressed as the devil can be heard shouting on a loudspeaker, “Yes, more blood, Peter!” and “Every vote is a lash on the back of Christ.” Mr Buttigieg has remained notably calm throughout each of the heckling attempts, receiving attention for his thoughtful responses to the issue of his sexuality and how it plays into voters opinions of him. His audiences have also typically kicked in with support, drowning out the noise with chants and cheers.When Mr Terry began shouting at the mayor's Des Moines rally Tuesday night, Mr Buttigieg responded, “The good news is, the condition of my soul is in the hands of God."“But the Iowa caucuses are up to you,” he added, pointing to the crowd. The mayor also harkened back to his own religious views during a separate heckling event at another Tuesday rally.As a heckler shouted claims about Mr Buttigieg supporting “the murder of unborn babies,” the 2020 candidate joked that “coffee after church gets a little rowdy sometimes.” “That gentleman believes that what he is doing is in line with the will of the creator,” Mr Buttigieg said, as the man was escorted out of the room by security. “I view it differently. We ought to be able to view it differently.”Mr Terry is a controversial figure, described as an “attention seeker” who travels cross country to participate in spectacles like the Wednesday morning demonstration. The anti-abortion group he previously founded, called Operation Rescue, reportedly cut all ties with him nearly 18 years ago and considers him too radical to have any sort of relationship.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 12:55:12 -0400
  • Notre Dame's Bell Towers Would Have Fallen Without Swift Action, Paris Fire Officials Say news

    Firefighters who rushed to Notre Dame after flames engulfed the cathedral were focused on saving its famed bell towers

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:56:03 -0400
  • Driver of car and 6 victims hit in North Philadelphia all being investigated, police say news

    Philadelphia police are saying arrests could potentially be on the way for some of the 6 people who were hit by a speeding Buick in North Philadelphia Tuesday.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 12:56:18 -0400
  • Man accused of tossing boy off Mall of America balcony ordered held without bond news

    In his first court appearance since Friday's incident, when he allegedly dropped the boy nearly 40 feet (12 meters), Emmanuel Aranda was charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder, Hennepin County Attorney's office spokesman Chuck Laszewski said. Prosecutors had asked for bail to be set at $2 million, but Hennepin Country District Court Judge Jeannice Reding reserved her decision on the request, ordering Aranda held in lieu of $2 million bond until a May 14 hearing, Laszewski said. Aranda, 24, who lives in Minneapolis, did not enter a plea, Laszewski added.

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 19:38:00 -0400
  • Putin to Meet North Korea's Kim in Russia in April, Kremlin Says news

    Confirmation of the visit follows speculation that Kim would soon reach out to a long-time ally after failing to get sanctions relief during his last nuclear talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in February. The Kremlin statement gave no date or location for the meeting, though there have been reports it could take place next week as Putin travels to China. The visit will be the North Korean leader’s first to Russia since taking power in 2011 and comes after Kim gave a lengthy speech in which he said he would give the U.S to the end of this year to come up with new proposals for future talks.

    Thu, 18 Apr 2019 07:17:16 -0400
  • Porsche Collection Destroyed in Explosion news

    A large explosion rocked Durham, North Carolina on 10 April 2019, something that sadly claimed the life of one individual and injured 15. The building itself also contained one of America’s largest Porsche collections according to the Charlotte Observer. The rather unassuming red brick building didn’t boast about the treasures within, but video from the Charlotte Observer revealed a huge hole in the roof and the charred remains of what appears to be a 550 Spyder amongst other less identifiable wreckage.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 08:56:27 -0400
  • 'Operationally suitable': Federal Aviation Administration backs training on Boeing's 737 Max revisions news

    The Flight Standardization Board's preliminary report recommends training on the controversial anti-stalling system for all 737 Max pilots

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 11:39:44 -0400
  • Apple, Qualcomm settle bitter dispute over iPhone technology news

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple and mobile chip maker Qualcomm have settled a bitter financial dispute centered on some of the technology that enables iPhones to connect to the internet.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:31:46 -0400
  • Democrats condemn attorney general's plan for rollout of Mueller report news

    Attorney general has sought to ‘put his own spin’ on special counsel’s report, say lawmakers before report’s release * Mueller report released – live updates * Support the Guardian’s independent journalism and make a contributionJerry Nadler, chairman of the House judiciary committee, at the press conference. Photograph: Frank Franklin II/APOn the eve of the long-anticipated release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller on Russian tampering in the 2016 election and alleged Trump campaign involvement, Democrats accused the attorney general, William Barr, of trying to “cherry-pick” and “put his own spin” on the conclusions of the investigation.Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House judiciary committee, appeared with colleagues at a press conference in New York City late Wednesday to protest against Barr’s plan for rolling out a redacted version of the Mueller report.Barr is scheduled to hold a 9.30am press conference on Thursday. Nadler tweeted on Wednesday that the justice department informed him that Congress would receive the report around 11am or noon, after which it would be posted online.That plan amounted to an effort by Barr to put up a smokescreen to obscure the true findings of the report, Nadler charged.“Now it appears that the attorney general intends to once again put his own spin on the investigative work completed by the special counsel and his team,” Nadler said.“The fact that the attorney general is not releasing even the redacted report to Congress until after his press conference will again result in the report being presented in his own words, rather than in the words of special counsel Robert Mueller.“The central concern here is that Attorney General Barr is not allowing the facts of the Mueller report to speak for themselves, but is instead trying to bake in the narrative about the report to the benefit of the White House.”Nadler said he would subpoena the full report “in very short order” and said he assumed it would be useful to call Mueller and members of his team to testify before Congress.The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, argued Americans deserved to see the truth, “not a sanitized version of the Mueller Report approved by the Trump Admin”.“AG Barr has thrown out his credibility”, she added.> AG Barr has thrown out his credibility & the DOJ’s independence with his single-minded effort to protect @realDonaldTrump above all else. The American people deserve the truth, not a sanitized version of the Mueller Report approved by the Trump Admin.> > — Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 17, 2019Democratic House committee leaders followed by asking Barr to cancel his scheduled morning address. “This press conference, which apparently will not include Special Counsel Mueller, is unnecessary and inappropriate, and appears designed to shape public perceptions of the report before anyone can read it”, they wrote.“[Barr] should let the full report speak for itself. The attorney general should cancel the press conference and provide the full report to Congress, as we have requested”, they added.The justice department also plans to provide a “limited number” of members of Congress and their staff access to a copy of the Mueller report with fewer redactions than the public version, according to a court filing Wednesday.The nearly 400-page report is expected to reveal what Mueller uncovered about ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that fell short of criminal conduct. It will also lay out the special counsel’s conclusions about formative episodes in Trump’s presidency, including his firing of the FBI director James Comey and his efforts to undermine the Russia investigation publicly and privately.The report is not expected to place the president in legal jeopardy, as Barr made his own decision that Trump should not be prosecuted for obstruction. But it is likely to contain unflattering details about the president’s efforts to control the Russia investigation that will cloud his ability to credibly claim total exoneration.And it may paint the Trump campaign as eager to exploit Russian aid and emails stolen from Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign even if no Americans crossed the line into criminal activity.The report’s release will be a test of Barr’s credibility as the public and Congress judge whether he is using his post to shield the president who appointed him.Trump announced Barr’s press conference during a radio interview Wednesday before the justice department did. Trump also said he might take questions about the report after its release.Barr will also face scrutiny over how much of the report he blacks out and whether Mueller’s document lines up with a letter the attorney general released last month. The letter said Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government but he found evidence on “both sides” of the question of whether the president obstructed justice.Barr has said he is withholding grand jury and classified information as well as portions relating to continuing investigations and the privacy or reputation of uncharged “peripheral” people. But how liberally he interprets those categories is yet to be seen.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 20:55:58 -0400
  • 20-year-old college student falls 100 feet off cliff to her death news

    A 20-year-old college student plummeted 100 feet to her death off a cliffduring a school trip last weekend

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:21:29 -0400
  • Notre Dame's oldest stained-glass rose windows survived; other relics moved just in time news

    Art and architecture lovers around the world, and millions of Roman Catholics, feared the worst in a savage fire that consumed much of Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris.

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 18:40:01 -0400
  • The Royal Navy Wants Robotic Submarines (Here's Why That Matters) news

    The U.K. Ministry of Defense in April 2019 launched a $3.3-million competition to begin developing a large, robotic submarine.The contest could lead to the acquisition of an operational autonomous sub for the Royal Navy -- and could help the British fleet partially to fill the undersea gap resulting from deep cuts to its sub force.The ministry asked industry by June 2019 to submit proposals for an extra-large unmanned underwater vehicle, or XLUUV.“The Royal Navy says that contract will have two stages, a one-year long research, design and refit stage and a testing and trialing stage,” U.K. Defense Journal explained. “In the latter stage it is expected that the system will be tested in representative environments for extended periods; the sea trials in stage two may be up to two years long.”The government’s request for proposals sketched three different operational scenarios for the possible, future robo-sub.In the covert intelligence-gathering role, the XLUUV “is tasked to gather covert intelligence of traffic transiting in a maritime operational area,” according to the RFP.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:13:00 -0400
  • Dozens of doctors in Appalachia charged in opioid fraud bust news

    Sixty people, including 31 doctors, were accused of illegally prescribing opioid drugs in exchange for cash and sexual favors in the rural, mountainous region stretching from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Alabama and Louisiana. “The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history, and Appalachia has suffered the consequences more than perhaps any other region,” Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 16:46:58 -0400
  • Iran's Rouhani calls on Mideast states to 'drive back Zionism' news

    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani called on Middle East states on Thursday to "drive back Zionism", in an Army Day tirade against the Islamic republic's archfoe Israel. Speaking flanked by top generals before troops began their annual march-past, Rouhani also sought to reassure the region that the weaponry on display was for defensive purposes and not a threat.

    Thu, 18 Apr 2019 05:09:57 -0400
  • Trump offers condolences, assistance to France's Macron after Notre-Dame fire: White House news

    President Donald Trump during a phone call on Tuesday expressed condolences to French President Emmanuel Macron over the Notre-Dame fire that devastated the Parisian landmark and offered U.S. assistance in rehabilitating the cathedral, the White House said. "Notre Dame will continue to serve as a symbol of France, including its freedom of religion and democracy," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 16:22:24 -0400
  • See 2020 Toyota Highlander Photos

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    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:01:00 -0400
  • North Korea sends hit squads after defectors from its secret police news

    North Korea has dispatched teams to neighbouring China to track down and kill, if necessary, as many as seven members of the Ministry of State Security who have fled in a snowballing series of defections, according to dissident media.  The crisis in the ranks of North Korea’s secret police agency can be traced back to immediately after the failure of the Hanoi summit between Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, and US President Donald Trump in late February, reported the Daily NK, citing reports from its network of undercover “citizen reporters” in North Korea and China.  In early March, three MSS officials based in the Chinese city of Shenyang concluded that the secret bank accounts that they were using under fake Chinese names had been compromised and they were under surveillance.  The three men emptied the accounts of “significant amounts of money” that they were reportedly charged with using to procure technology and other items that are banned under United Nations sanctions and disappeared.  A number of other agents of the MSS - widely considered the most brutal unit in the North and responsible for ensuring that defectors are caught and punished, as well as operating the regime’s network of concentration camps - have also since disappeared in China, according to officials of South Korea’s intelligence agencies.  North Korea stepped up its search for the men in mid-March after a senior MSS official based in Pyongyang fled with his family through the Chinese border city of Dandong. The official apparently had little choice but to escape out of concern that he would be held responsible for the defections of his subordinates in China.  The MSS has put together a team from its headquarters in Pyongyang and dispatched it to Liaoning Province, along with agents from the Reconnaissance General Bureau and operatives already in China.  “The Reconnaissance General Bureau agents were ordered ‘not to return’ until the defectors are caught and the agents should ‘kill them if they can’t be caught’ “, the media outlet quoted one of its sources in Pyongyang as saying.  The disappearance of officials widely considered to be the trusted elite in North Korean society, along with the defection of a number of diplomats in recent months, hints at growing disaffection with those charged with propping up Mr Kim’s regime.

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 23:33:12 -0400
  • Warnings, watches issued as strong storms enter Southeast news

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Forecasters warned about tornadoes and other violent weather Thursday as a front that unleashed twisters and hail in the lower Midwest moved into the storm-weary Southeast.

    Thu, 18 Apr 2019 13:59:56 -0400
  • Pete Buttigieg’s Abortion Extremism Hurts His Religious Appeal news

    With every passing day, it seems we see yet another piece about South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg’s progressive Christianity. His faith is going to shake the race. He’s going to challenge the GOP monopoly on “God talk.” Here, for example, is the opening paragraph of an NBC News analysis posted yesterday afternoon:> Religious conservatives who have long been a reliable voting bloc for Republicans are grappling with a new challenge in Pete Buttigieg: how to respond to a Democratic presidential candidate who is leaning into the discussion about faith and its role in political life.I’ll agree that there are religious conservatives who are “grappling” with a challenge from Buttigieg, but that challenge is theological and cultural, not political. Buttigieg’s religious arguments have triggered important online debates about the differences between mainline and Evangelical Christianity, about when religious teachings should influence public policy, and about how to interpret the history of the gay-marriage debate.But religious conservatives are not grappling with the key political question — whether any meaningful number of Evangelicals or conservative Catholics would cross the aisle to cast a ballot for Mayor Pete. The reason is simple. Buttigieg is a pro-choice extremist, and no pro-choice extremist will ever meaningfully compete for the conservative Christian vote.In fact, in at least one key way, Buttigieg’s record on abortion is even worse than that of his Democratic peers. He is of course in lockstep agreement with them on support for late-term abortion, and he made that clear last month on Morning Joe:> .@PeteButtigieg explains his support for late-term abortion bills in New York and Virginia: > > ”When we’re talking about some of those situations covered by that law … the involvement of a male government official like me is not helpful.”> > -- Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) March 31, 2019But he’s done what many of them have not — he’s actually blocked a crisis-pregnancy center from opening at its chosen location. He not only supports abortion rights, he’s taken action against law-abiding Americans who merely wanted to make the case for life.Last April, Buttigieg vetoed a rezoning plan that would have permitted a crisis-pregnancy center to open next door to a proposed abortion clinic. In his statement justifying the veto, Buttigieg said, “I don’t think it would be responsible to situate two groups, literally right next to each other, in a neighborhood, that have diametrically opposed views on the most divisive social issue of our time.”And so, given the conflict, he chose to privilege the abortion clinic’s location over the pregnancy center. Thankfully, the center found a new location across the street from the proposed clinic — a location that didn’t require a rezoning vote. But that does not excuse or justify Buttigieg’s veto. He favored abortion rights over pro-life speech, and he likely violated the Constitution in doing so.While Buttigieg, to his credit, did not demonize his opponents in the South Bend dispute ( “Many people that I respect and admire and appreciate have very passionate and very opposite views on what is the right thing to do,” he said of the dispute), actions speak louder than words. And this action echoes a dangerous Democratic trend in pro-choice governance: the attack against pro-life pregnancy clinics.Across the United States, progressive legislatures have passed laws aimed at crisis-pregnancy centers, including a California law the Supreme Court struck down just last summer. Buttigieg hasn’t gone as far as California, which actually required pro-life pregnancy centers to promote state-funded free and low-cost abortions. But he had an opportunity to fully respect the constitutional rights of his pro-life opponents, and he chose not to do so.Many young Evangelicals, including young Evangelical activists, are divided over matters such as same-sex marriage. Some believe Obergefell v. Hodges was wrongly decided, others support legal recognition of same-sex marriage so long as the state doesn’t interfere with the church’s ability to define marriage according to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. Others support same-sex marriage constitutionally and theologically.These same young Christians are often appalled that their older brothers and sisters in the faith have so easily overlooked Donald Trump’s multitude of sins. But they will not support politicians who support legal protections for late-term abortions. They won’t. The will not support politicians who don’t go beyond “respecting” pro-life Americans to also protecting their rights to free speech with the same vigor that they protect the First Amendment rights of pro-choice Americans.In the summer of 2016, I had hours of conversations with anguished Evangelical activists. They did not like Donald Trump. They could not believe the hypocrisy of some pastors defending a man whom they’d condemn if he had a “D” by his name. But they also could not believe that the Democrats wouldn’t compromise at all on abortion, not even in the third trimester. More than one person told me of this issue, “If only they’d moderate a little, I’d consider crossing the aisle. But they won’t, so I can’t.”Those words will still be true in 2020, and while Buttigieg’s lack of overt hostility to pro-life citizens is welcome — and conversations about America’s competing Christian world views are interesting — he has zero appeal to religious conservatives so long as he holds to the Democratic party line on the right of a woman to hire a doctor to kill a viable, living unborn baby. There is nothing to “grapple” with. There is no “challenge.” There are lines that Christian conservatives must not — and will not — cross.

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 14:53:22 -0400
  • Notre Dame Alarm Raised 23 Minutes Before Blaze Was Detected news

    LUDOVIC MARINPARIS—An alarm was raised at Notre Dame at 6:20 p.m. on Monday night—23 minutes before the structure was engulfed in flames—but officials found no sign of a fire. Firefighters who responded to a second alert raced to the scene but were then unable to tame an inferno that ripped through the 12th century cathedral for the next 9 hours.Paris public prosecutor Rémy Heitz announced on Tuesday that a full investigation would uncover how a massive fire was allowed to gut the cathedral. “What we know at this stage is that there was an initial alarm at 6:20 p.m., followed by a procedure to verify this but no fire as found,” Heitz explained. “Then, there was a second alarm at 6:43 p.m. and at that point a fire was detected in the structure.”Fallen debris from the burnt out roof structure sits near the altar inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Christophe Morin/Bloomberg via Getty“The investigation is going to be long and complex,” he added. “We are in the process of interviewing witnesses.” Investigators have identified and interviewed some of the construction crew who had been working on the €6 million ($6.8 million), four-year renovation project, which began last April. The restoration of the spire, which crumbled within the first hour of the blaze, was the first phase of a larger, 20-year renovation project on the rest of the cathedral. According to Heitz, some five different construction companies were involved in the ongoing restoration of the cathedral’s iconic spire. The work was being overseen by Le Bras Frères, which specializes in the restoration of historic monuments. Prior to the start of the Notre Dame project, the company had already worked on several of France’s historical churches, including those in Amiens, Reims, and Poitiers. Meanwhile, the government has launched a national call for donations to repair the cathedral. French billionaires led the way in pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in the reconstruction effort: Tycoon François-Henri Pinault announced that he would donate €100 million. On Tuesday, the family of his arch-rival, Bernard Arnault, who owns the luxury group LVMH, announced a €200 million donation. Others raised the total to nearly $700 million, including $50 million from the City of Paris.President Emanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the Notre Dame within five years, he said during a national address Tuesday night.Doubts still remain about the integrity of the Gothic stone building. Two-thirds of the timber roof is gone—it had been crafted from more than 13,000 oak trees, an entire forest reduced to kindling. Preliminary images of the devastated interior reveal a gaping hole where the 300-foot wooden spire once stood and smoke rising from the ashes of burning pews.* * *Miracle in the cathedral* * *French Culture Minister Franck Riester said that most of the priceless artworks in the building had been saved. “The main structure has been saved but there is still a lot of instability,” Riester told a local radio station. “The situation is still precarious. The two belfries and the works were saved, including the treasure, thanks to the courage of the Paris fire brigade.”Some of the artifacts, including the cathedral’s medieval Grand Organ, were slightly damaged, but not beyond repair. “All night I was crossing my fingers that the cornerstones wouldn’t fall on the instrument,” Notre Dame’s organist, Vincent Dubois said. “It's a miracle and we are delighted.”When the devastating fire broke out, firefighters and employees of French Culture Ministry formed a human chain to rescue as many of the cathedral's priceless artifacts and treasures as possible. “When a fire occurs at a cultural site, a plan to save its treasures is immediately put in place,” Paris Fire Brigade commander, General Jean-Claude Gallet, told local French television station BFMTV. “It's not only necessary to fight the fire, but also to preserve the works of art.” Their efforts paid off, and several iconic artifacts, including the Crown of Thorns purported to have been worn by Jesus Christ during the crucifixion– along with what is believed to be portion of the cross and an original nail–were safely evacuated from the building. The blessed sacrament, a tunic worn by Louis the 13th, and several paintings, including a 17th-century work by French painter, Lubin Baugin, were rescued.  The interior of the Notre-Dame Cathedral is seen through a doorway following a major fire yesterday on April 16, 2019 in Paris, France. Dan Kitwood/Getty“These treasures were saved,” Notre Dame spokesperson André Finot told FranceInfo. The artifacts were first transported to a safe place in the city’s nearby Hôtel de Ville, then later moved to the Louvre Museum for safe-keeping. The Rose Windows – the immense round stained glass windows over Notre Dame's three principal portals – also escaped the flames without major damage. The building’s legendary twin bell towers survived as well, as did Nicolas Coutou's 18th-century marble masterpiece ‘La Pieta’ sculpture behind the church’s main altar. Sixteen bronze statues surrounding the collapsed spire are still intact thanks to miraculous timing rather than divine intervention. The figures, depicting the 12 apostles and four evangelists, were removed from the roof just days before the fire as part of the extensive renovation. Still, not everything escaped the fire. A number of large oil paintings that could not be removed from the high walls sustained damage and will be restored at the Louvre, according to Le Monde. Other religious treasures, including a separate piece of the Crown of Thorns, as well as relics of Saint-Denis and Saint-Geneviève are gone forever. All three were stored inside the copper Gallic rooster that crowned the spire that collapsed about an hour into the inferno.  * * *A different kind of attraction* * *On Tuesday, the plaza in front of the cathedral, usually bisected with a long line of tourists waiting for the doors to open, was closed as firefighters continued their work. Fire hoses snaked outside and a cherry picker extended from the back of a red truck to one of the damaged towers. “This is a very meaningful spot for me,” said Heidi Waterfall, an American living in in Paris. “I feel a strong spiritual power when I go inside. I feel peace and joy.” The South Dakota native had watched in stunned silence, tears rolling down her face, as the cathedral burned and then she heard a chorus she will never forget, the strains of people singing the Hail Mary. Whenever friends visit, the family takes them to see the cathedral. “My middle son always grumbled to go, but last night he said, ‘I’d give anything to go back one more time’,” she said.Tourists snapped photos of the blank space between the towers where the famous spire once stood. Many of them had seen it topple the night before as the fire raged. Along the left and right banks of the Seine, people stopped to take in the scene as charred rose windows towered above the rows of flowering trees that never lost their new pink blossoms.Daylight shines through the fallen roof structure of Notre Dame Cathedral following the fire in Paris, France, on Tuesday, April 16, 2019.Christophe Morin/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesThat the tragedy happened during Easter week was particularly painful for Rev. Aidan Troy, who was scheduled to join a holy Mass on Wednesday night at Notre Dame and who stood with the masses and watched the landmark burn. “This is the most poignant week of the Christian year,” he said. The loss of the city’s main cathedral will be a disappointment for some 400 believers set to be inducted into the Catholic church with rites on Easter, many of them before the altar at Notre Dame.   Father Troy, the staff priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Paris, said he noticed a shift in the mood today. “Last night was devastation and shock and this morning, people seem to be rising,” he said. He said he hoped he would live to see the next chapter of the cathedral that has endured so many over the ages. “Certainly the coming generations will see it,” he said. Victor Hugo, who helped propel Notre Dame to international fame through his 1831 book The Hunchback of Notre Dame, famously described the cathedral as a “vast symphony in stone.” Sigmund Freud said that the building had a ”majestic presence.” It is at once both a symbol of Catholicism and French culture.“You can destroy Notre Dame,” Monsignor Michel Aupetit said Monday night. “But you can’t destroy the soul of Paris.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 15:11:50 -0400
  • Lori Loughlin, husband Mossimo Giannulli plead not guilty in college admissions scam news

    Loughlin and Giannulli said in court documents they waived their right to appear in court for an arraignment and plead not guilty.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 14:20:25 -0400
  • Brit Hume: Democrats are beginning to admit that there's a crisis on the border news

    Are Democrats dividing on immigration and border security issues? Analysis from Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 15:08:53 -0400
  • Iran Rouhani says floods revealed 'vicious' nature of US news

    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that the United States' reaction to floods that killed dozens of people had revealed Washington's "vicious" nature. At least 76 people have died after torrential rainfall which has also caused billions of dollars worth of damage since March 19. Iran's Red Crescent has repeatedly complained that US banking sanctions re-imposed last year make it impossible to receive donations from outside the country.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 09:50:51 -0400
  • Israeli president tasks Netanyahu with forming new government news

    In office for the past decade, Netanyahu won a fifth term despite an announcement by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in February that he intends to charge the prime minister in three corruption cases. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing. "At a time of great turmoil in our region, we have managed not only to maintain the state's security and stability, we have even managed to turn Israel into a rising world power," Netanyahu said at the nomination ceremony after President Reuven Rivlin gave him the mandate to form a new government.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 14:41:24 -0400
  • UPDATE 3-Schlumberger posts profit drop, sees international spending rising

    Oilfield services provider Schlumberger NV on Thursday forecast rising international and offshore exploration spending this year, after posting a 20 percent drop in first-quarter profit due to weak North American demand. The oilfield services sector bellwether said it expects a 7 to 8 percent increase in investments by oil producers in markets outside North America, citing a 20 percent increase last quarter in offshore rig counts and growing exploration activity in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

    Thu, 18 Apr 2019 07:24:58 -0400
  • 2020 Nissan GT-R Adds Track-Ready Upgrades and 50th Anniversary Edition news

    Godzilla loses weight, learns new tricks, and turns 50.

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 19:00:00 -0400
  • Portugal says all 29 dead in bus crash were German news

    LISBON, Portugal (AP) — All the 29 people killed in a tour bus crash on Portugal's Madeira Island were German, Portugal's foreign ministry confirmed Thursday.

    Thu, 18 Apr 2019 08:30:57 -0400
  • Is This Bank Chasing Away Conservatives? news

    I have been a Chase Bank customer for years. Who knows how much longer it’ll be? Will the company’s thought police come for me next? How about you? If you are a non-leftist who does business with the financial giant owned by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., you need to ask questions and get answers.On Tuesday, investigative journalist James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas team released a disturbing new video on the runaround that Chase officials gave Texas conservative entrepreneur Enrique Tarrio about his canceled account. Big business may very well be enabling America’s very own version of the Chinese social-credit system in which political dissent is flagged, shunned, punished, and eradicated.First, some background:Tarrio is a young, peaceful, Afro-Cuban freethinker and chairman of the Proud Boys organization. In February 2019, the Texas Trump supporter received a letter from Chase Bank informing him that “after careful consideration,” the financial institution could “no longer support” his banking account. The notice followed a hit piece against minorities who support the president by The Daily Beast, a reliable echo chamber for the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center smear machine.Tarrio was subsequently kicked off Chase’s payment processor, which he used to sell patriotic and pro-Trump T-shirts. Next, he was deplatformed from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Airbnb, FirstData, Square, Stripe, and PayPal before losing his bank accounts. When I asked on Twitter in February why we can’t have just one financial institution that doesn’t cave to social-justice warriors, the official Chase Twitter account tweeted me back:“Hi Michelle, this article is inaccurate. We did not close his personal account. We do not close accounts based on political affiliation.”I pointed out that Chase’s letter clearly stated that the company had closed his account. “So if not for political reasons,” I asked, “why, ‘after careful consideration,’ did you close his account?” The social-media manager of Chase’s corporate Twitter account, previously so eager to spill the tea, replied: “For privacy reasons, we can’t say more.”Thanks to Project Veritas, we now know more. Undercover audio and video exposed how: * One Chase employee blamed “clerical” issues for Tarrio’s account cancellation. * Another stated: “I see nothing that indicates any reason why the account should be closed. I don’t see any outstanding transactions or anything ridiculous.” * Another explained: “Chase is not involved with any like, you know, alt-right people or anything.” Those with “no moral character” are people that “the bank usually doesn’t get involved with in any business relationships, period.” * Several repeated a company line in Tarrio’s mysterious file: “Decision is not reversible.”Others who received Chase shutdown notices so far in 2019: conservative Rebel Media contributor Martina Markota and U.S. Army combat vet and vocal Trump supporter Joe Biggs. Were Markota’s and Biggs’s removals “clerical” errors or unfounded, or were they based on an ideological litmus test disguised as a “moral character” assessment?More questions arise:How exactly is J.P. Morgan Chase’s $500,000 donation last year to the SPLC left-wing operatives being put to use?Why did the company embrace a known defamation racket whose stated mission is to “destroy” its political enemies on the right?What comment does Chase have now that SPLC’s top leaders have been purged amid internal accusations of intolerance and discrimination within the walls of the notorious Poverty Palace?Does Chase keep tabs on high-profile conservative customers’ political speech on social-media platforms?Is Chase operating from the same playbook as Paypal, which is booting off conservatives in consultation with the SPLC? One of its most recent victims: Luke Rohlfing, a young reporter for, who had exposed how the payment processor was allowing Open Borders Inc. heavyweight Pueblo Sin Fronteras to raise money for illegal-immigrant caravans conspiring to break our immigration laws -- even though Paypal’s own terms of service state clearly that users may not engage in any activities that “violate any law, statute, ordinance, or regulation.”Tarrio warns of the speech-squelching pattern emerging across Silicon Valley and on Wall Street: “First we get silenced on social media, then Paypal, then I get debanked. It’s a very dangerous trend.”As for Chase Bank, I sent all my questions to chief communications officer Patricia Wexler, who challenged the authenticity of one of the employees recorded by Veritas (O’Keefe showed proof of the Chase New York media relations number dialed and had audio of the employee identifying himself as a Chase rep) and ignored the substance of the report.Evasion and denial are surefire ways to lose business. Is it Chase Bank or Chase Away Bank? Inquiring customers would like to know.© 2019 Creators.comEditor's Note: This article has been emended since its initial posting.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 06:30:56 -0400
  • Notre Dame Cathedral: What you need to know if you're planning to visit Paris news

    The Notre Dame Cathedral fire is finally out − but the impact on tourism to the church, and Paris itself, remains to be seen.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 11:39:36 -0400
  • 13 Outdoor Products That Will Help You Come in Under Budget

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

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 11:19:12 -0400
  • Ola Bini: Wikileaks collaborator and Assange ally accused of plotting to blackmail Ecuador president faces 'threats in jail', parents say news

    The parents of a Swedish programmer who was an early ally of Julian Assange and Wikileaks and who has now been accused of trying to blackmail Ecuador’s president, is facing threats in jail, his parents have claimed.Ola Bini, 36, was arrested last Thursday in Ecuador, hours after Mr Assange was detained by police in London who entered the Ecuadorian embassy. Mr Assange was charged with skipping bail by a London judge, while the US charged him with conspiring with whistleblower Chelsea Manning to hack a US computer. Defenders of Mr Assange say the US is trying to punish the Wikileaks founder for exposing embarrassing and damaging information about Washington’s actions, including the behaviour of its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.Prosecutors in Ecuador, have said they intend to charge Mr Bini, a longtime Wikileaks defender, with seeking to blackmail Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno, who turned against Mr Assange and invited the British authorities to enter the embassy last week and arrest him.On Tuesday, Mr Bini’s parents, Dag Gustafsson and Gorel Bini, professed their son’s innocence and said they would remain in Ecuador until he was released. “We want to say that Ola is not feeling safe, because of some threats inside,” Mr Gustafsson told reporters.His wife added: “Right now, he’s ok. But he’s worried.”Last week, Ecuador’s interior minister Maria Paula Romo, told local media the Swedish coder, who has long worked with social justice groups, had been arrested for “investigative purposes”.“For several years now, one of the key members of this WikiLeaks organisation and a person close to Mr Julian Assange has lived in Ecuador, and we have sufficient evidence that he has been collaborating with the destabilisation attempts against the government,” she said.According to the Associated Press, she added: “It’s up to the justice system to determine if he committed a crime. But we can’t allow Ecuador to become a centre for piracy and spying. That period in our history is over.”Ms Romo said Bini had travelled at least 12 times to meet with Assange at the London embassy. She said he was also in Venezuela earlier this year at around the same time as a close aide to Mr Moreno’s former mentor turned arch enemy, Rafael Correa. Mr Correa, a former president who frequently criticised the US, had initially offered asylum to Mr Assange.

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 15:19:00 -0400
  • Dr. Qanta Ahmed: Rep. Omar is a disgrace to Islam news

    Council on Foreign Relations member Dr. Qanta Ahmed weighs in on Rep. Ilhan Omar's controversial comments and her role as a representative of the Islamic faith.

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 22:45:23 -0400
  • Robert Mueller's report set to be released amid row over attorney general's 'spinning' of findings news

    After nearly two years of waiting, America will get some answers straight from Robert Mueller - but not before President Donald Trump’s attorney general has his say. The Justice Department on Thursday is expected to release a redacted version of the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference and Mr Trump’s campaign, opening up months, if not years, of fights over what the document means in a deeply divided country. Even the planned release of the nearly 400-page report quickly spiralled into a political battle on Wednesday over whether Attorney General William Barr is attempting to shield the president who appointed him and spin the report’s findings before the American people can read it and come to their own judgments. Mr Barr will hold a 9.30 am (2.30pm UK time) news conference to present his interpretation of the report’s findings, before providing redacted copies to Congress and the public. The news conference, first announced by Mr Trump during a radio interview, provoked immediate criticism from congressional Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Mr Barr had "thrown out his credibility & the DOJ’s independence with his single-minded effort to protect" Mr Trump. And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said: "The process is poisoned before the report is even released." Did the Trump campaign collude with Russia in 2016? | The four investigations "Barr shouldn’t be spinning the report at all, but it’s doubly outrageous he’s doing it before America is given a chance to read it," Mr Schumer said. A Justice Department official confirmed Mr Barr’s plan to speak and answer questions about his "process" before the report’s public release. He will be accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the investigation after Mueller’s appointment in May 2017. Mr Mueller and other members of his team will not attend, special counsel spokesman Peter Carr said. After the news conference, the report will be delivered to Congress on CDs between 11 am and noon and then be posted on the special counsel’s website, said the official. Mr Barr formulated the report’s roll-out and briefed the White House on his plans, according to a White House official. The White House declined to comment on reports that it had been briefed on the contents of Mr Mueller’s report beyond what Mr Barr has made public. At a later date, the Justice Department also plans to provide a "limited number" of members of Congress and their staff access to a copy of the Mueller report with fewer redactions than the public version, according to a court filing on Wednesday. Profile | Robert Mueller The report is expected to reveal what Mueller uncovered about ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that fell short of criminal conduct. It will also lay out the special counsel’s conclusions about formative episodes in Trump’s presidency, including his firing of FBI Director James Comey and his efforts to undermine the Russia investigation publicly and privately. The report is not expected to place the president in legal jeopardy, as Mr Barr made his own decision that Trump shouldn’t be prosecuted for obstruction. But it is likely to contain unflattering details about the president’s efforts to control the Russia investigation that will cloud his ability to credibly claim total exoneration. And it may paint the Trump campaign as eager to exploit Russian aid and emails stolen from Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign even if no Americans crossed the line into criminal activity. The report’s release will be a test of Barr’s credibility as the public and Congress judge whether he is using his post to protect Mr Trump. Mr Barr will also face scrutiny over how much of the report he blacks out and whether Mr Mueller’s document lines up with a letter the attorney general released last month. The letter said Mr Mueller didn’t find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government but he found evidence on "both sides" of the question of whether the president obstructed justice. Mr Barr has said he was withholding grand jury and classified information as well as portions relating to ongoing investigation and the privacy or reputation of uncharged "peripheral" people. But how liberally he interprets those categories is yet to be seen. Democrats have vowed to fight in court for the disclosure of the additional information from the report and say they have subpoenas ready to go if it is heavily redacted. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said on Wednesday he would "probably find it useful" to call Mr Mueller and members of his team to testify after reading the version of the report Mr Barr releases. Mr Nadler also criticised the attorney general for trying to "bake in the narrative" of the report to the benefit of the White House. Late Wednesday, Mr Nadler joined the chairs of four other House committees in calling for Mr Barr to cancel his news conference. But Doug Collins of Georgia, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, defended Mr Barr and accused Democrats of "trying to spin the report." Mr Collins said Mr Barr had done "nothing unilaterally," saying he had worked with Mr Rosenstein and Mr Mueller’s team "step by step." Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 23:34:12 -0400
  • Comedian Zelenskiy keeps Ukraine presidential poll lead news

    KIEV (Reuters) - Comic actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a political novice who plays a fictional president in a popular TV series, has kept his lead in Ukraine's presidential election race, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday. The poll by research body Reiting showed Zelenskiy on 57.9 percent of votes and incumbent Petro Poroshenko on 21.7 percent. Reiting polled 3,000 voters in all regions, except annexed Crimea, from April 12 to 16. The previous poll made by Reiting in April 5-10 gave Zelenskiy 61 percent of votes while Poroshenko received 24 percent. ...

    Thu, 18 Apr 2019 04:43:23 -0400
  • US North Korea envoy in Moscow as Russia plans for Kim-Putin talks news

    The US special envoy for North Korea was due in Moscow on Wednesday as the Kremlin said it was preparing for possible talks between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. Media reports said the first summit between the two leaders could come as early as next week. "Active preparations for a potential meeting are underway," Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said in comments reported by news agencies.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 09:24:29 -0400
  • The Latest: FBI says armed woman 'infatuated' with Columbine news

    LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — The Latest on lockdowns at Columbine High School and other Denver-area schools (all times local):

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:38:54 -0400
  • Notre-Dame's famed rose window spared but blaze harms priceless artworks news

    Notre-Dame's famed stained-glass rose windows and most of its many religious relics appeared to have escaped the worst of Monday's inferno as well, easing fears for the fate of the vast trove of artworks in the 800-year-old gothic cathedral. Among the most cherished articles to make it out unscathed was the "Sainte Couronne" (holy crown), made of braided reed brought to France from Constantinople in the 12th century. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted a picture of heavy-set candlesticks stacked in the safety of nearby Paris City Hall.

    Tue, 16 Apr 2019 16:15:47 -0400
  • New York Auto Show: Here's what Lincoln's new Corsair SUV offers luxury drivers news

    Debuting at the New York auto show, the 2020 Lincoln Corsair compact SUV is aimed at young and female buyers.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 11:28:17 -0400
  • Verizon just made it more expensive to activate or upgrade a phone in-store news

    Verizon appears to be incentivizing consumers to make purchases online rather than at one of its brick-and-mortar retail stores, as CNET reports that the mobile carrier is lowering activation and upgrade fees on its site and in its My Verizon app from $30 to $20 starting this Thursday. Alternatively, if you prefer a "full-service experience" at a Verizon store, you'll now have to pay $40 to activate a line or upgrade to a new device.CNET's report doesn't include many details about this new policy, and as The Verge points out, Verizon's fees often go up or down depending on a variety of factors, such as if you're on a prepaid or monthly plan, or if you're activating a new line or just upgrading to a new phone. Unless Verizon sends out a news release ahead of this purported price change, we'll have to wait until later this week to see how it will be implemented.Provided that you are willing to go through with the process of activating a line or upgrading to a new device on the Verizon website or on the My Verizon app, the price is actually lower at Verizon than at its competitors. AT&T charges $25 to bring a new phone over to its network (or $45 for a two-year plan, which only applies to certain phones), Sprint charges $30, and T-Mobile claims that it doesn't have an activation fee at all, but will still make you pay $25 for a SIM starter kit (which you will need to activate your phone on their network).So, while charging an addition $10 for a "full-service experience" at a brick-and-mortar store might be ludicrous, the price cut of the activation and upgrade fee for online customers is a welcome one.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:58:42 -0400
  • These carrot cake cookies with cream cheese frosting will be a hit at Easter brunch news

    Welcome to Best Bites, a twice-weekly video series that aims to satisfy yournever-ending craving for food content through quick, beautiful videos for theat-home foodie

    Thu, 18 Apr 2019 10:42:35 -0400
  • Why Isn't American Express Accepted Everywhere?

    It has a lot to do with the fees credit card companies charge merchants when you make a purchase. Some merchants choose to not accept cards that charge higher swipe fees than others, like American Express. While the notion that American Express swipe fees are significantly higher than other credit card companies' swipe fees may be a bit of a myth, the fact is American Express has a lower acceptance rate than other card networks.

    Wed, 17 Apr 2019 09:35:10 -0400
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