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Trump impeachment hearings: 4 takeaways from Day 3 of public testimony
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 20:30:09 -0500

Trump impeachment hearings: 4 takeaways from Day 3 of public testimonyThe inquiry into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine continued with testimony from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Jennifer Williams, Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison.


PHOTOS: Hong Kong police storm university held by protesters
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 14:26:15 -0500

PHOTOS: Hong Kong police storm university held by protestersPolice breached a Hong Kong university campus held by protesters early Monday after an all-night siege that included firing repeated barrages of tear gas and water cannons. Anti-government protesters have barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days.


Seller of bullets to Las Vegas gunman pleads guilty to ammo licensing offense
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 17:12:24 -0500

Seller of bullets to Las Vegas gunman pleads guilty to ammo licensing offenseDouglas Haig, 57, of Mesa, Arizona, became the first and only person arrested and charged in connection with the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre, which ended when the gunman, Stephen Paddock, killed himself. Haig told reporters following his arrest early last year that none of the surplus military ammunition he sold to Paddock in September 2017 was ever fired during the killing spree, which ranks as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.


Son of former German president stabbed to death in Berlin
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 02:28:28 -0500

Son of former German president stabbed to death in BerlinThe son of former German president Richard von Weizsaecker was stabbed to death while he was giving a lecture at a hospital in Berlin where he worked as a head physician, police said Wednesday. A 57-year-old German man is in custody after he jumped up from the audience at the Schlosspark-Klinik and attacked Fritz von Weizsaecker with a knife on Tuesday evening. Von Weizsaecker died at the scene from a knife wound to the neck despite immediate attention from colleagues, said Martin Steltner, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors.


A Catholic priest condemned a teen's suicide at his own funeral. Now, his mom is suing
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 09:04:29 -0500

A Catholic priest condemned a teen's suicide at his own funeral. Now, his mom is suingThe complaint filed in Wayne County on behalf of Linda Hullibarger said that Rev. Don LaCuesta questioned whether her son, Maison, would go to heaven.


Is This Prince Andrew’s Death Rattle? U.S. Epstein Document Cache Could Sink Beleaguered Prince
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 09:16:46 -0500

Is This Prince Andrew’s Death Rattle? U.S. Epstein Document Cache Could Sink Beleaguered PrinceDan KitwoodPrince Andrew is named in a cache of secret legal documents detailing explosive new allegations against Jeffrey Epstein that could be unsealed by a U.S. judge before the end of the year.The revelation is just one of many fresh blows to have landed on Andrew, leaving him reeling in the aftermath of his disastrous BBC interview.Inside Jeffrey Epstein’s Creepy Parties With Prince AndrewAndrew is facing growing calls to voluntarily co-operate with the FBI and is being dropped by sponsors and charities, fearful of damage-by-association after a BBC interview in which he said he didn’t regret his friendship with the billionaire pedophile, suggested a notorious image of him with his arm around Virginia Giuffre Roberts was fake, and bizarrely claimed he doesn’t sweat. In another hammer-blow for Andrew, Britain’s former Home Secretary told LBC radio she was left “slack-jawed” after she says Andrew made racist comments about Arabs, including an unspecified remark about camels, during a state banquet for the Saudis in 2007. On Monday, the palace was forced to deny Andrew used the n-word in discussions with a government adviser. The Daily Telegraph reports Andrew could face further damaging claims about his friendship with the dead financier in the coming weeks, as a U.S. judge ponders whether to unseal more than 3,000 pages of new evidence about Epstein’s alleged crimes.The documents formed part of a defamation lawsuit filed in 2015 (which was ultimately settled out of court) by Giuffre Roberts against the billionaire’s alleged former “madam,” the British heiress Ghislaine Maxwell. They include depositions from 29 people, including a number of new witnesses and even Epstein himself, the Telegraph reports.Andrew is believed to be among hundreds of people named in the new documents who will be formally notified before the end of the year, to give them a chance to respond to the allegations if the papers are unsealed.The Telegraph reports that a description of the sealed documents says they refer to “a range of allegations of sexual acts involving Plaintiff (Giuffre Roberts) and non-parties to this litigation, some famous, some not; the identities of non-parties who either allegedly engaged in sexual acts with Plaintiff or who allegedly facilitated such acts.”The Telegraph says it has seen court records in which Maxwell seeks to block the release of the material, arguing that it comprises “thousands of pages containing confidential, sensitive, and private information about persons and unsubstantiated allegations... submitted to the Court for no valid purpose.” One of the many unproven theories as to why Andrew agreed to do the interview circulating this week is that he hoped to burnish his own image ahead of further allegations emerging.Giuffre Roberts has claimed repeatedly that she was brought to London by Epstein to have sex with the Queen’s middle son when she was age 17, and that an encounter took place at Maxwell’s home in the super-posh area of Belgravia. Andrew said it “simply didn’t happen” and that on the day in question he was at a Pizza Express with his daughters.Andrew said he went to the chain restaurant between 4 and 5 p.m. and said he then spent the evening at home with his children because his ex-wife was away and they had an agreement that one of them should always be at home. However, pictures have now emerged of both Andrew and Sarah Ferguson being overseas in separate destinations at other times while their children were back home in Britain.Pictures have also emerged of Andrew sweating profusely, contradicting his claim that a PTSD-type condition prevented it, and another claim that he never wore casual clothes in London, made to try and cast doubt on the veracity of the photograph of him with his arm looped around the waist of Giuffre Roberts, has also been revealed as false.   The fresh U.S. legal threat came as Andrew faced calls to give a formal statement to the FBI from an unnamed woman who appeared with celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred to say that she was launching her own case against Epstein’s estate for allegedly abusing her at the age of 15. She said that the prospect of meeting Prince Andrew was used by Epstein to try and lure her to his Caribbean island.Epstein Victim Files New Lawsuit Against Estate, Claiming He Raped Her at Age 15The Jane Doe said Andrew and “any others who are close to Epstein should come forward and give a statement under oath on what information they have... I think he should make arrangements to speak to law enforcement as soon as possible.” She added that coming forward would “help survivors” and that Andrew could “set an example.” Back in the U.K., Andrew’s world continued to crumble as it was revealed that KPMG will not renew its lapsed sponsorship of his Pitch @ Palace business entrepreneurship program, and drug firm AstraZeneca said it was reviewing its participation.Standard Chartered bank said it won’t be renewing its sponsorship of the initiative when it ends in February, and the organization has removed a webpage boasting of its list of supporters.Andrew also faces being cut loose from charities of which he is patron. The Outward Bound Trust, which also has the prince’s daughter Beatrice as a trustee, is holding a special meeting this week that could see Andrew ditched.Students at Huddersfield University have launched a campaign for Prince Andrew to resign as chancellor, with a social-media campaign under the hashtag NotMyChancellor.It has also emerged that Giuffre Roberts filmed a BBC interview before Andrew gave his, and this may now be re-recorded in the light of Andrew’s claims.A Sky News poll, meanwhile had more bad news for Andrew—saying that just 6 percent of the public believed his account of his friendship with Epstein. 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.


China signs defense agreement with South Korea as U.S. angers Seoul with demand for $5 billion troop payment
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 19:54:03 -0500

China signs defense agreement with South Korea as U.S. angers Seoul with demand for $5 billion troop paymentThe defense ministers of South Korea and China have agreed to develop their security ties to ensure stability in northeast Asia, the latest indication that Washington’s longstanding alliances in the region are fraying.


Philippine police say will arrest anyone flouting vaping ban
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 06:35:10 -0500

Philippine police say will arrest anyone flouting vaping banPhilippine police were ordered Wednesday to arrest anyone caught vaping in public, just hours after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced he would ban e-cigarettes. The abrupt prohibition, revealed by Duterte late Tuesday adds to a growing global backlash against a product once promoted as less harmful than tobacco smoking. Duterte, a former smoker, called the devices "toxic" and said vaping introduced "chemicals" into the user's body.


Syracuse University has suspended all fraternity activities for the rest of the semester after a black student said a group of students accosted her and called her a racial slur
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 15:23:45 -0500

Syracuse University has suspended all fraternity activities for the rest of the semester after a black student said a group of students accosted her and called her a racial slurThe student newspaper reported that a black female student was called the N-word while walking on campus Saturday night.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for ousting White House adviser Stephen Miller as a 'white supremacist'
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 21:01:02 -0500

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for ousting White House adviser Stephen Miller as a 'white supremacist'Ocasio-Cortez described Miller’s presence as one of the more “disturbing” aspects of the Trump administration. She is among many Democrats who have called for Miller’s removal.


7 Amazing Facts About Jaguars, One of the World's Coolest Cats
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 18:04:00 -0500

7 Amazing Facts About Jaguars, One of the World's Coolest Cats


Warren tries to escape shadow of Medicare for All as crucial debate looms
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 15:57:54 -0500

Warren tries to escape shadow of Medicare for All as crucial debate loomsIs Elizabeth Warren past her peak? Reading all the hot takes online, you’d almost think so. And so with Wednesday’s Washington Post/MSNBC debate looming, and with the Iowa caucuses a mere two and a half months away, has the time come to downgrade Warren’s chances of winning the nomination? The short answer is not quite yet. Going forward, Warren’s fate depends on whether she can put behind her the thing that’s been weighing her down for weeks now: her own awkward handling of Medicare for All.


India Army to Cut Sniper Rifle Orders by About 70%
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 04:35:44 -0500

India Army to Cut Sniper Rifle Orders by About 70%(Bloomberg) -- The Indian Army plans to buy just 1,800 state-of-the-art sniper rifles and 2.7 million rounds of ammunition -- less than a third of its total requirement -- driven by budgetary constraints and the need to speed up deliveries, people with knowledge of the matter said.The military pruned its original requirement of 5,720 sniper rifles and 10 million rounds of ammunition, which would have cost $140 million, to prioritize spending and advance the purchase of more modern equipment, they said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public.Indian Army spokesman Aman Anand said he had no comment to offer on the change in procurement plans.The Indian armed forces have 450,000 infantry soldiers, of whom only half go into ground battle and an even smaller number of them use sniper rifles to take out specific enemy targets through precision firing.The move is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $250-billion modernization plan for the Indian defense forces, as the infantry soldiers continue to face the brunt of deadly attacks in disputed border areas such as Kashmir and the northeast.Plans to buy new equipment from global manufacturers, however, has been hit by bureaucratic delays and the Modi government’s desire to meet the needs of the armed forces through the domestic industry under his ‘Make in India’ initiative, a key plank to boost local defense manufacturing and woo his core supporters.The 1.3 million-strong Indian Army’s previous efforts to buy 5,720 sniper rifles in a process that began in Feb. 2018 was scrapped in July this year after four vendors, including the U.S.-based Barrett, Indonesia’s PT Pindad and Russia’s Rosoboronexport, failed to meet technical requirements, such as technology transfers for manufacturing the ammunition by local industry.Through the new bid to buy a smaller quantity of 8.6 mm sniper rifles and .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition, India wants to overcome the hurdles in first identifying the vendor to buy them in a fast-track mode, before placing future orders for 4,000 more sniper rifles.To contact the reporter on this story: N. C. Bipindra in New Delhi at nbipindra@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Muneeza NaqviFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


'Vicious, senseless': Patrick Frazee gets life sentence for killing fiancée, burning body
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 10:12:54 -0500

'Vicious, senseless': Patrick Frazee gets life sentence for killing fiancée, burning bodyKelsey Berreth was last seen with her infant daughter on a grocery store video on Thanksgiving Day 2018. Her body was never found.


Convicted ex-PM Sharif leaves Pakistan for medical treatment in London
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 01:47:18 -0500

Convicted ex-PM Sharif leaves Pakistan for medical treatment in LondonLAHORE, Pakistan/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif left Pakistan on Tuesday in an air ambulance to seek medical treatment in London, his party said, a month after the three-time premier was released on bail from a seven-year prison sentence for corruption. Sharif, 69, was accompanied by his younger brother and personal physician, leaders of his Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Party said. Despite the convictions for corruption, Sharif remains popular among many Pakistanis, and his health has dominated newspaper front pages and TV channels in recent weeks.


MSNBC Host: GOP Hinting at Vindman Dual Loyalty ‘Perhaps Inspired’ by Fox News
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 13:04:13 -0500

MSNBC Host: GOP Hinting at Vindman Dual Loyalty ‘Perhaps Inspired’ by Fox NewsMSNBC host Nicolle Wallace laced into Republicans for not-so-subtly implying during Tuesday’s impeachment hearings that National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman could have dual loyalty. The GOP’s line of questioning, the MSNBC host suggested, was inspired by pro-Trump hosts at Fox News.During a break in Tuesday's testimony, Wallace asked MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake about counsel Steve Castor questioning Vindman about a Ukrainian official asking him if he’d be interested in becoming Ukraine’s minister of defense. Vindman is a Ukrainian-born American citizen who emigrated to the United States when he was a child.After Haake said the Republicans were trying to portray Vindman—an Iraq War veteran who earned a Purple Heart—as “disgruntled and perhaps having dual loyalty,” Wallace said they needed to be more “blunt” about this.“It’s a reprehensible line of questioning,” she exclaimed, “but it is one that they were perhaps inspired by some of the president’s favorite programs.”Specifically pointing to a Fox News segment last month in which pro-Trump host Laura Ingraham and former Bush administration official John Yoo speculated that Vindman committed “espionage” and could be a double agent, Wallace added that since this is “out there” they “should out it.”“This is a smear campaign against Lieutenant Colonel Vindman,” Wallace said. “It is active. It is live, and today it spilled out in this public hearing.”MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley, meanwhile, agreed with Wallace while going even further in repudiating the implication that Vindman was disloyal to the United States.“What’s implied in all this that hasn’t been as explicit is he’s Jewish,” Wiley noted. “And at the time [his family] fled the Soviet Union, Jews had extreme discrimination against them.”“They were fleeing persecution,” she continued. “Synagogues all over the United States had signs that said free Soviet Jewry. That’s what he represents, and yet, and yet he has to signal publicly that his father did not make a mistake in bringing him to the U.S. when he was three years old.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Prince Andrew to 'step back from public duties for the foreseeable future' over Epstein relationship
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 13:30:22 -0500

Prince Andrew to 'step back from public duties for the foreseeable future' over Epstein relationshipPrince Andrew is stepping back from public duties "for the foreseeable future", following the fallout from an interview about his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. In his statement, the Duke of York said: "It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support. "Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission." The Duke added: "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. "I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. "Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required." Prince Andrew asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future Credit: Royal Communications The Prince had been under increasing pressure to resign his patronages and leadership roles with BT the latest company to pull out of an entrepreneurship scheme set up by the Duke. Finance giants KPMG and Standard Chartered had already announced that they would not be renewing their sponsorship of another entrepreneurial scheme run by the Duke called Pitch@Palace. One sponsor told the Telegraph: “It is the sponsors’ view that the programme itself can survive with a new patron, but only with a new patron.” The Duke of York's grilling by Newsnight's Emily Maitlis on Saturday night continues to generate shock waves on both sides of the Atlantic. The British royal is now facing renewed calls to tell US prosecutors about his friendship with Epstein, who died in prison where he was awaiting a sex trafficking trial.  Prince Andrew denies allegations that he had sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre and said he could not recall meeting her at all.


Meet What Could be The U.S. Navy's Ultimate Weapon (As in a New Destroyer)
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 03:11:00 -0500

Meet What Could be The U.S. Navy's Ultimate Weapon (As in a New Destroyer)Navy Flight III Destroyers have a host of defining new technologies not included in current ships.


Trump turns 'very routine' physical into attack on media
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 14:55:52 -0500

Trump turns 'very routine' physical into attack on mediaPresident Trump lashed out at the media Tuesday over reporting about his sudden trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last weekend.


A Saudi Arabian princess and rights activist who 'fell off the radar' in late 2018 is reportedly detained under house arrest with 24/7 surveillance
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 05:47:50 -0500

A Saudi Arabian princess and rights activist who 'fell off the radar' in late 2018 is reportedly detained under house arrest with 24/7 surveillanceSources close to Princess Basmah told Deutsche Welle that Saudi authorities stopped her travelling to Europe for urgent medical care in December 2018.


Israel strikes Iranian targets in Syria after rocket attack
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 22:55:30 -0500

Israel strikes Iranian targets in Syria after rocket attackIsrael said it struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria on Wednesday in a “wide-scale” operation in response to rocket fire on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights the day before. Syrian state media only reported that two civilians were killed. The exchange of fire along the increasingly tense frontier comes as Iran and its allies face blowback across the region, with mass protests against Tehran-aligned governments in Lebanon and Iraq, as well as demonstrations in Iran itself over a recent hike in fuel prices.


South Africa Opposition Leader Says He’s Ready to Work With Ramaphosa
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 09:12:38 -0500

South Africa Opposition Leader Says He’s Ready to Work With Ramaphosa(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterSouth African President Cyril Ramaphosa knows what needs to be done to rescue the beleaguered economy but has to deal decisively with the people in his own party who are obstructing progress, according to the leader of the biggest opposition party.Ramaphosa has announced plans to restructure the indebted state power utility, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., and has spoken of the need to cut government costs and improve efficiency at state-owned companies. He has hit a wall of opposition from his labor union allies and has been regularly contradicted by senior members of the ruling African National Congress.“The enemies of growth don’t sit across from him, they sit behind him in Parliament,” John Steenhuisen, the newly elected leader of the Democratic Alliance, told reporters Tuesday at Bloomberg’s office in Johannesburg. “Our party stands ready to reach across the aisle.”Steenhuisen said an economic policy paper presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Aug. 27 was “shot down” by Ramaphosa’s allies even though it was the clearest document he’d seen from government in a decade. He bemoaned the indecision over how to run South African Airways, where workers are on strike.“Shut it down. The state has no business running airlines,” he said. “We’ve got to stop throwing huge amounts of money into this inefficient airline.”Monday’s surprise appointment of the chief executive officer of a packaging company as Eskom’s top executive was described as “odd” and destined for failure unless he’s allowed to reorganize the company.To contact the reporter on this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: John McCorry at jmccorry@bloomberg.net, Pauline Bax, Chris KayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


A California nanny promised children would be 'safe' in his care. He instead used them in porn videos, authorities say
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 12:08:55 -0500

A California nanny promised children would be 'safe' in his care. He instead used them in porn videos, authorities sayA former California nanny will serve 30 years in federal prison for filming child pornography with at least 5 victims in his care, authorities said.


Kashmir shutdown caused losses of more than $1 billion, trade body says
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 03:32:31 -0500

Kashmir shutdown caused losses of more than $1 billion, trade body saysEconomic losses in Kashmir have run well over a billion dollars since India revoked its autonomy and statehood in August, the main trade body in the Himalayan region said, adding that it planned to sue the government for damages. India turned its erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into a federally-controlled territory, tightening control in a shock move it said would rein in militancy in the region also claimed by neighboring Pakistan, and promote its development. It estimated economic losses ran into least 100 billion rupees ($1.40 billion) by September, but now exceeded that, said Nasir Khan, its senior vice president.


American Airlines admitted a mid-air accident that knocked out 2 flight crew and forced an emergency landing was not caused by spilled soap
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 07:59:12 -0500

American Airlines admitted a mid-air accident that knocked out 2 flight crew and forced an emergency landing was not caused by spilled soapOn October 21 a flight from London to Philadelphia was forced to land in Dublin, Ireland, when two staff members were knocked unconscious.


Lieutenant Colonel Vindman refuses to answer question that could out whistleblower
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 11:00:57 -0500

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman refuses to answer question that could out whistleblowerDuring Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman's testimony at a public hearing in the House's impeachment inquiry, he declined to answer questions from Ranking Member Nunes about who he may have told about the July 25 phone call.


Russia's TU-22M3 Backfire Bomber Has A New Supersonic Missile (And The Navy Is Worried)
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 18:30:00 -0500

Russia's TU-22M3 Backfire Bomber Has A New Supersonic Missile (And The Navy Is Worried)A formidable strike capability.


Nikki Haley Used System for Unclassified Material to Send ‘Confidential’ Information
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 05:01:05 -0500

Nikki Haley Used System for Unclassified Material to Send ‘Confidential’ InformationJohn Lamparski/GettyNorth Korea had just tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting Alaska, and the Trump administration was scrambling to react. But it seems Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, had lost her password for classified communications. That’s why on that fraught July 4, 2017, she was typing away on her BlackBerry 10 smartphone, sending “confidential” information over a system meant only for unclassified material. Haley was in a rush as she headed to her office—“On my way in”—shooting emails back and forth with top aides who’d been with her since she was governor of South Carolina. She needed to make a statement, and they were drafting it for her. “Let’s clean this up,” she writes after looking at some of the copy. “Pretty this up for me,” she says.The next day we discover what the problem is with her communications. “Can’t find my password for the high side,” she writes.The stylistic suggestions and the apparent explanation for using less secure messages was in a trove of emails recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the watchdog organization American Oversight.But most of the content is blacked out—and the redactions note various classification criteria as exempt from FOIA requests, including the B1 category: “classified national defense and foreign relations information”; 1.4(B) “foreign government information”; and 1.4(D) “foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.”Nikki Haley: Trump and I Ratcheted Up the Crazy for U.N. NegotiationsFor an administration obsessed with security lapses others have committed, and for a still-rising star in the Republican Party, this could be more than a little embarrassing.“The American public has heard for years what the standard is for senior State Department officials mishandling classified information in their emails,” says Austin Evers, executive director at American Oversight, a self-described “nonpartisan, nonprofit ethics watchdog… investigating the Trump administration.”“Ambassador Haley may have found it inconvenient to update her password,” Evers told The Daily Beast, “but, as we all know, ‘convenience’ is not an acceptable reason to skirt information security rules. She should be held to the same standard as everyone else.”Asked for comment, a spokesperson for Haley requested to see the emails in question and then did not respond further.Since 2015 at least, when investigations of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email use became a major issue, Donald Trump and the Republicans have made references to her emails a constant refrain. In 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, Trump famously called on Russia to help him find missing Clinton emails. Then-FBI Director James Comey called Clinton’s practices “extremely careless,” but not worthy of a criminal prosecution, and his brief reopening of the case just before the election may have contributed substantially to her loss.Now almost three years into the Trump presidency, his administration and his congressional defenders are still fixated on Clinton’s supposed lapses. They use the issue as a knee-jerk riposte to the many accusations leveled at Trump, including mishandling classified material. Indeed, the rampant whataboutism has made “but her emails” an inside joke inside the Beltway. But the Trump obsession won’t go away. The Washington Post reported in September this year that State Department investigators had notified scores of present and former State Department staffers whose communications were found in Clinton’s unsecured emails that they “have been identified as possibly bearing some culpability” for “security incidents” as the content of those emails is examined and classified ex post facto.Unlike Clinton, Haley did not use a private email account exclusively, and did not use one to send the emails in question. She left her Cabinet post in the administration last year when she resigned as UN ambassador. She is currently pushing her new book, With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace, pitching herself as one of Trump’s great defenders amid widespread speculation she is looking to replace Vice President Mike Pence on the 2020 ticket and eventually make a run for the presidency in 2024.In July 2017, the issue Haley and her staffers were discussing over the State Department’s OpenNet system for unclassified communications was the clear and present danger of nuclear war with North Korea. “There was no time to waste,” Haley writes in her book. “The missile launches were ongoing and the regime’s capabilities were increasing with each launch.” Precisely because of the crisis atmosphere, Haley’s use of OpenNet for classified communications could be of serious concern. State Department communications often are targeted by hackers, and the Russians, Chinese, Iranians—and North Koreans—have some of the most effective. In September 2018, State acknowledged there had been what it described as “activity of concern in its unclassified email system.” The hack supposedly affected fewer than 1 percent of users and involved personal information, according to the State Department alert notice published by Politico. But the most successful hacks, of course, are the ones that go undetected, and the system’s vulnerability is a matter of record.Nikki Haley: Top Trump Aides Tried to Recruit Me to Help Subvert the PresidentAfter the frantic events of July 4 and 5, 2017, Pyongyang would test more ICBMs, including one capable of carrying a nuclear warhead anywhere within the continental United States. In early September, Pyongyang tested a hydrogen bomb. President Trump would threaten North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with “fire and fury” and dismiss him as “Rocket Man.” Kim would keep on testing missiles and testing Trump, until Kim was satisfied he could threaten major American cities with a nuclear attack. The situation grew dire indeed until Trump embraced the idea of a summit and claimed the problem was solved. Certainly tensions abated. But so far, North Korea has kept its nukes and its ICBMs.One of the emails obtained by American Oversight shows that on July 5, 2017, as Haley continued to communicate on the OpenNet system, and as she was addressing the Security Council, former Georgia Congressman and House Speaker Newt Gingrich sent a message to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Gingrich struck a Strangelovian note. If North Korea could not be coerced, “We may need a war surviving strategy,” he wrote, including “nuclear attack survival systems.” As Haley tells the story of the United Nations Security Council negotiations for tough new sanctions against North Korea, she first cajoled the Chinese into backing them, partly to avert what seemed to be Trump’s threats of a catastrophic war. In her book, she says this was a ruse. Trump was just pretending to be a madman, she claims, even though she told the Chinese, “I can’t promise you the president won’t act on his own if you don’t work with us.” Haley’s approach to the Russians was a little different, and she gives the impression in her book that she shamed them into support of North Korea sanctions. But according to the emails obtained by American Oversight, on Monday, July 10, 2017, Haley started arranging to share intelligence with Russia about the July 4 North Korean missile test: “I will try and reach out to Russia wed [Wednesday] and see if they want it. Would aim for the end of the week.”What happened next? The Haley emails released so far don’t tell us. But Russia, if you’re listening …Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Chinese bishop 'on the run' after refusing to join state-sanctioned church
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 06:52:40 -0500

Chinese bishop 'on the run' after refusing to join state-sanctioned churchA Catholic bishop in China is believed to be on the run from state security after refusing to bring his church under a government-sanctioned religious association. Guo Xijin, 61, has fled the custody of state agents and has gone into hiding, reported Catholic Asia News, a website, and cannot be immediately reached for comment.  Mr Guo is part of a group of bishops that many religious and human rights experts feared would be persecuted after the Vatican inked a deal with Beijing last year on the ordaining bishops.  China has long insisted that it approve appointments, clashing with absolute papal authority to pick bishops. The agreement broke that standoff, and could help pave the way for formal diplomatic ties, but also stoked worries that the Chinese state would have too much power to regulate religion.  Since Communism took hold in China, there have been in practice two Catholic churches - one sanctioned by the government, and an underground one loyal to the Vatican, and it remains unclear what would happen to bishops who refused to fall in line with the government. China’s officially atheist Communist Party – has engaged in a widespread crackdown on religion in the last few years. Authorities have banned Arab-style onion domes on mosques and other buildings – even if merely decorative. The UN estimates more than a million Muslims have been detained in chilling “re-education” camps, where former detainees have told The Telegraph they were subject to physical torture, psychological intimidation and political indoctrination. The government has shut down churches not sanctioned by the Party, detaining priests and members of various congregations. And houses of worship, including Buddhist temples, are now mandated to have pictures of Xi Jinping, the leader of the Party.  Chinese authorities claim that people have freedom of religion – provided that they worship in state-sanctioned temples, churches, and mosques. The government has said that all religious believers must “be subordinate to and serve the overall interests of the nation and the Chinese people,” making it explicit that they must also “support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.”


Protest-hit Iran says 'enemy conspiracy' defeated
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 11:30:24 -0500

Protest-hit Iran says 'enemy conspiracy' defeatedIranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday the country's people had defeated an "enemy conspiracy" behind a wave of violent protests and were celebrating their victory. Rouhani blamed the deadly unrest on "anarchists" who took to the streets "based on a plot that the region's reactionary, the Zionists and Americans hatched", referring respectively to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US. The demonstrations erupted in sanctions-hit Iran on Friday, hours after the price of petrol was raised by as much as 200 percent.


10 Things We Want to Leave Behind in the 2010s
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 11:40:00 -0500

10 Things We Want to Leave Behind in the 2010s


How to Overcome Losing 600,000 People a Year
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 16:00:28 -0500

How to Overcome Losing 600,000 People a Year(Bloomberg Opinion) -- You know times are hard in provincial South Korea when the guy selling walkers and hearing aids can only make ends meet by day trading. Ho Cheol Lee, 52, keeps his eyes on flashing stock quotes while his shop, crammed with wheelchairs, canes and other equipment for seniors, sits empty. Lee has run the store for roughly two decades, and his plight shows just how dire things have become. Few of his neighbors make enough money sticking to their day jobs, he says, and many have turned to selling beauty products door-to-door or scouting workers to tend the nearby garlic fields. This is life in Uiseong, a county in the middle of the country that’s at risk of disappearing because of declining birthrates and an aging population, according to state research institute the Employment Information Service. Uiseong is emblematic of the demographic crisis that’s emptying rural areas across the country, with almost half the population now living in the Seoul metropolitan region. Saddled with the prospect of a shrinking workforce, the outlook for South Korea’s economy is dismal: Gross domestic product growth will struggle to hit 2% this year. Caught in two trade wars — between the U.S. and China, as well as its own with Japan — this export-dominated economy needs fresh drivers. Replenishing its population by introducing programs that encourage child-rearing and loosen immigration restrictions would be a start.   At about 51 million people, Korea's overall headcount is still inching higher. But by 2050, the population will shrink to about 44 million. From then on, the nation will shed more than 600,000 people a year, estimates Youngtae Cho, director of the Population Policy Research Center at Seoul National University. The fertility rate sunk to below 1 child per woman last year, the lowest among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. By contrast, Japan's is a relatively hale 1.43.In the go-go decades between the 1960s and the mid-1990s, Korea had the opposite problem. Policies were aimed at curbing family expansion as part of an anti-poverty drive. At that time, the rise of manufacturing and development of large industrial conglomerates, or chaebol, pushed GDP growth to an average of about 10% a year. South Korea became an “Asian tiger.”Yet policy paralysis meant too little was done before the pendulum swung too far. Now, on the main street of Uiseong, the challenge is right in front of you. A banner at a traffic roundabout urges onlookers to marry North Koreans. Another, with a photo of a pregnant woman, reminds passersby that freelancers and self-employed female workers can benefit from government stipends for expecting mothers. A church hall contains a busy office, staffed by government social workers, that supports brides from Southeast Asia who wed lonely farmers unable to find a local mate. Uiseong’s efforts are laudable, but government programs like these have done little to address the commonly cited barriers to having children. The cost of living, particularly in urban areas, is astronomical; meanwhile the brutal competitiveness of the education system and a work culture that has traditionally placed a premium on long hours leaves little time for family-rearing. Last year, President Moon Jae-in reduced the maximum work week to 52 hours from 68, though not all firms are covered by these restrictions. Back in Seoul, officials appear more focused on addressing a cyclical slowdown than the broader shift in economic and social life. The Bank of Korea is on its way to zero interest rates and fiscal taps are being opened to buttress slowing activity. Yet only policies that create more people have a prayer.That’s why immigration has to be part of the solution. Foreigners make up about 3.7% of South Korea's population, according to an OECD report in January. While that’s low by global standards, the good news is that this proportion is growing fast. During a recent cross-country trip, I noticed that few of the servers at restaurants were local. Vietnamese, Chinese and South Asians took orders and whisked food to tables. “Without foreigners, work won't get done,'' Lee, the shop owner, explained. “Korean young people won't do it; the few that are left here don't want to do physical work.”Many immigrants work in manufacturing, construction and retail, filling gaps left by aging locals. The risk is that foreigners get hemmed into low-paying jobs. Korea has attracted a lot of students from abroad in the past decade, but only 15% of graduates remain. More needs to be done to retain this talent.Seoul National University’s Cho ranks demographics as a bigger threat than North Korea's nuclear arsenal. The North isn't predictable, he says. The population crisis is the opposite: entirely predictable, foretold by data years ago. What's required now is a policy aimed at expansion. It's every bit as vital, even more so, than defending against Kim Jong-un.Elaine He contributed to this article.To contact the author of this story: Daniel Moss at dmoss@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Daniel Moss is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian economies. Previously he was executive editor of Bloomberg News for global economics, and has led teams in Asia, Europe and North America.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Dreaming of traveling to Australia? Qantas offers $100 flights — but you have to book fast
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 14:55:31 -0500

Dreaming of traveling to Australia? Qantas offers $100 flights — but you have to book fastQantas has $100 flights to Australia from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago, but seats and dates are limited.


NASA just detected water vapor on a moon of Jupiter — yet another clue that Europa's hidden ocean could hold alien life
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 07:15:00 -0500

NASA just detected water vapor on a moon of Jupiter — yet another clue that Europa's hidden ocean could hold alien lifeAlien life could be hidden in the salty ocean below Europa's surface. An upcoming NASA spacecraft will hunt for more clues.


Turkey says about 100,000 Syrians left Istanbul since early July
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 06:17:44 -0500

Turkey says about 100,000 Syrians left Istanbul since early JulyTurkey's Interior Minister said on Wednesday that around 100,000 Syrians living without approval in Istanbul had left it since early July, when the government set a deadline for Syrians not registered in the city to leave for other provinces. As sentiment towards Syrian refugees among Turks began to sour in recent years, authorities said Syrians not registered in Turkey's largest city should return to the provinces in which they are registered by Oct. 30, or face forced removal. Turkey hosts some 3.6 million refugees who fled the eight-year-old civil war, more than any other country.


Russia Has Captured A U.S. Tomahawk Missile In Syria (And Is Planning Countermeasures)
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 17:00:00 -0500

Russia Has Captured A U.S. Tomahawk Missile In Syria (And Is Planning Countermeasures)What does this mean for America?


Nancy Pelosi Is Already Attacking the Legitimacy of the 2020 Election
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 06:30:13 -0500

Nancy Pelosi Is Already Attacking the Legitimacy of the 2020 Election‘Nancy Pelosi just stated that ‘it is dangerous to let the voters decide Trump’s fate.’ @FoxNews In other words, she thinks I’m going to win and doesn’t want to take a chance on letting the voters decide. Like Al Green, she wants to change our voting system. Wow, she’s CRAZY!” tweeted Donald Trump Tuesday.Well, not exactly. Trump’s tweet quotes a Fox News reporter summarizing Pelosi’s position, not the speaker’s statement verbatim. Left-wing Twitterverse, of course, was immediately able to jump all over the president’s clumsy wording and act as if the substance of his contention was wholly untrue. It wasn’t.In her Dear Colleague letter pushing back against Republican anti-impeachment talking points, Nancy Pelosi wrote this: “The weak response to these hearings has been, ‘Let the election decide.’ That dangerous position only adds to the urgency of our action, because the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections.” Is he?If a Republican had suggested that a presidential election was a “dangerous” notion, he would have triggered around-the-clock panic-stricken coverage on CNN and a series of deep dives in The Atlantic lamenting the conservative turn against our sacred democratic ideals.What Pelosi has done is even more cynical. She’s arguing that if Democrats fail in their efforts to impeach Trump -- and, I assume, remove him from office -- then the very legitimacy of the 2020 election will be in question before any votes are cast.Though most liberals have long declared the 2016 contest contaminated, as far as we know, absolutely nothing -- not even the most successful foreign efforts in “interference” or “meddling” -- damaged the integrity of the election results. Notwithstanding the belief of over 60 percent of Democrats, precipitated by breathless and often misleading media coverage, not one vote was altered by Putin, nor was a single person’s free will purloined by a Russian Twitter bot or Facebook ad.And, contra Pelosi’s implication, whatever you make of Trump’s request from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s shady son, not one voter will be restricted from casting a ballot for whomever they please in 2020. In truth, voters will know more about the inner workings of Trump’s presidency than they have about any other administration in memory. Maybe they care, maybe they don’t, but that’s not up to Pelosi.Rather than safeguarding the integrity of our elections, Democrats have corroded trust in them. Post-2016 calls for increased control over speech on the Internet, for instance, pose a far greater danger to American freedoms than anything our enemies at the Kremlin could cook up. And if the contention is that the only truly legitimate election is one that is free of any attempts to mislead voters, as seems to be the case, then we might as well close up shop. Because the presence of unregulated political rhetoric is a feature of a free and open society. We will never be able to, nor should we aspire to, limit discourse.It shouldn’t be forgotten, either, that this habit of injecting doubt into the electoral process is nothing new. For the past 20 years (at least), Democrats have shown a destructive inability to accept the fact that a bunch of voters simply disagree with them. If it’s not “dark money” boring into their souls, it’s gerrymandering, special interests, confusing ballots, voter suppression, crafty Ruskies or the Electoral College. Democrats can’t lose on the merits. Someone, somewhere, has fooled the Proles into making bad decisions.All that said, it is Pelosi’s constitutional prerogative to try to impeach Trump for any reasons she sees fit, even if her goal is only to weaken the political prospects of her opponent. No, it isn’t a “coup,” but it’s certainly not a constitutional imperative, either. It’s a political choice.In the end, the presidency happens to be one of the things we do decide via elections. That will almost surely be the case when it comes Trump, and Pelosi knows it. And when Trump isn’t removed by the Senate, and if the results don’t go the way Pelosi hopes, she’s preemptively given Democrats a reason to question the legitimacy of yet another election.


Ex-girlfriend seeks to avoid testifying at hate crime trial
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 14:05:28 -0500

Ex-girlfriend seeks to avoid testifying at hate crime trialA California college student wants to be excused from testifying at the murder trial of an ex-boyfriend charged with a hate crime in a black student’s fatal stabbing on the University of Maryland’s campus. Sean Urbanski’s former girlfriend, Kim Stringer, says he mistakenly believes she would testify that Urbanski, a 24-year-old white man, had no racial animus that would motivate him to commit a hate crime. Stringer doesn’t have any relevant testimony that would assist Urbanski’s defense, her attorney, Timothy Maloney, wrote in a court filing last week.


Ukraine Pol: I Was Joking When I Asked Vindman To Be Our Defense Minister
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 13:25:00 -0500

Ukraine Pol: I Was Joking When I Asked Vindman To Be Our Defense MinisterAndrew Caballero-Reynolds/GettyDuring impeachment hearings on Tuesday morning, the lead Republican counsel pressed Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman on an offer he’d received to take the position of defense minister in Kiev. The line of questioning seemed designed to raise doubts about Vindman’s allegiance to the U.S. right as he was testifying about his concerns over President Donald Trump’s efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on his domestic political rivals. But a former top national security official in Ukraine told The Daily Beast that he was “joking” when he offered Vindman the post and never actually had the authority to make such an offer.Oleksander Danylyuk, the former Chairman of the National Security and Defence Council in Ukraine, said he only remembers speaking with Vindman once about the defense minister position. He said it he and Vindman had engaged in a light-hearted conversation about how the two used to live close to one another in the former Soviet Union. It was then that Danylyuk jokingly told Vindman that he should take the defense minister job in Ukraine. “We both smiled and laughed,” Danylyuk said. “It was clearly a joke.” Danylyuk said he wouldn’t have been able to seriously offer Vindman the position without direct sign off from President Volodymyr Zelensky. MSNBC Host: GOP Hinting at Vindman Dual Loyalty ‘Perhaps Inspired’ by Fox NewsRepublican House investigators consistently questioned Vindman during his public hearing about his interactions with Danylyuk, including whether the former Ukrainian national security official offered him the job of defense minister. “Ukraine's a country that's experienced a war with Russia,” said GOP counsel Steve Castor. “Certainly, their Minister of Defense is a pretty key position. For the Ukrainians—President Zelensky, Mr. Danylyuk—to bestow that honor on you, at least asking you, that was a big honor, correct?”Vindman said that Danylyuk had suggested he take the job three times but that he “immediately dismissed” the offers and reported the encounters to his superiors at the National Security Council. Vindman also noted that Danylyuk might have been joking when they spoke about the position.Danylyuk left his post in Ukraine in September. But during his time in the Zelensky administration he worked closely with U.S. officials, including former National Security Advisor John Bolton, on U.S.-Ukraine relations. Danylyuk was present for a July 10 meeting at the White House with Bolton, Vindman and other White House and State Department officials, including U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordan Sondland. He also met with Vice President Pence in Warsaw in August and pushed for the U.S. to quickly release U.S. military aid to the country.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.


Maria Ressa: "Our dystopian present is your dystopian future"
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 05:15:20 -0500

Maria Ressa: "Our dystopian present is your dystopian future"Ressa was among a group of journalists recognized by Time magazine as 2018's Person of the Year


One Million Brexit Coins Melted Down After Johnson Misses Deadline
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 06:39:02 -0500

One Million Brexit Coins Melted Down After Johnson Misses Deadline(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.The U.K. has used the seven-sided 50 pence coin to celebrate national achievements ranging from the London Olympics of 2012 to the work of children’s author Beatrix Potter.Now about one million of the distinctive coins minted to mark the U.K.’s planned divorce from the European Union on Oct. 31 are being melted down. The Royal Mint acted after Prime Minister Boris Johnson requested a delay until Jan. 31.As Bloomberg revealed in October, some of the coins had already been made when Johnson wrote to the EU asking for a Brexit extension. But the extent of his government’s over-confidence was only fully revealed on Tuesday.A spokeswoman for the mint confirmed around one million Oct. 31 Brexit coins were made and will now be destroyed. The response came after a freedom of information request by the Daily Telegraph newspaper. She wouldn’t comment on the cost of the production and destruction of the coins, but the price will ultimately be borne by taxpayers.In 2007, a 50 pence piece was produced to celebrate 100 years of the boy scout movement, bearing the legend “be prepared.” Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid and the Treasury may have taken that advice too literally.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Adam BlenfordFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Half of Indiana's school districts close, thousands of teachers demand better pay on Red for Ed Action Day
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 16:36:43 -0500

Half of Indiana's school districts close, thousands of teachers demand better pay on Red for Ed Action DayMore than 15,000 people are expected to flood downtown Indianapolis on Tuesday for what could be the largest Statehouse rally in more than 20 years.


Wealth-tax opposition is rooted in the era of American slavery, 2 economists say
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 15:34:26 -0500

Wealth-tax opposition is rooted in the era of American slavery, 2 economists sayArguments against taxing wealth are rooted in the rhetoric used by southern slaveowners to protect their fortunes during the era of American slavery.


A hospital and clean water - China on the charm offensive in Sri Lanka
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 21:56:05 -0500

A hospital and clean water - China on the charm offensive in Sri LankaThe hospital, specialising in kidney-related diseases, is helping China gain popular support in a country where its mega-projects have added to rising debt and raised concerns about excessive economic and political leverage.


India Wants the F-21, but Is It Really Just an Old F-16?
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 21:00:00 -0500

India Wants the F-21, but Is It Really Just an Old F-16?Worth the cost?


Judge: Democrats must give Trump ‘contemporaneous’ notice if they seek his N.Y. tax returns
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:26:18 -0500

Judge: Democrats must give Trump ‘contemporaneous’ notice if they seek his N.Y. tax returnsA federal judge late Monday ordered House Democrats to notify President Donald Trump contemporaneously if they seek his state tax returns from New York, and barred the Democrats from receiving any records for 14 days after a request so the court can decide whether it's lawful. D.C. District Judge Carl Nichols rejected Trump's request for advance notice from Democrats if they decide to use a recently passed New York law to obtain the president's state returns. Nichols said his ruling would "place this matter in roughly the same procedural posture as the typical subpoena case, while treading as lightly as possible on the separation of powers and Speech or Debate Clause concerns raised by" House Ways and Means Committee Democrats.


Judge refuses to expunge record of officer in fatal shooting
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 17:26:52 -0500

Judge refuses to expunge record of officer in fatal shootingA white former Chicago police officer who was acquitted of fatally shooting an unarmed black woman failed Tuesday to get his record expunged by a judge. Dante Servin had asked that his records tied to the 2012 death of Rekia Boyd be stricken from police and court databases. In rejecting the request, Cook County Circuit Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. noted a not-guilty verdict doesn’t always mean a defendant is innocent.


Isil leaders with 'vast amounts of cash' planning comeback in Turkey, Iraq spy chief claims
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 08:27:52 -0500

Isil leaders with 'vast amounts of cash' planning comeback in Turkey, Iraq spy chief claimsSenior Islamic State members with access to “huge” amounts of money are in Turkey and plotting a comeback, an Iraqi spy chief has warned. Lieutenant General Saad al-Allaq, head of Iraq’s Military Intelligence, claimed in an interview with CNN that Iraq has given Ankara dossiers on nine alleged leaders of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), including top financiers for the terror group. The general said senior Isil figures known as "emirs" have access to vast reserves of cash and were forming new cells in Turkey. He claimed many of them had managed to escape from Isil’s final patch of territory in Baghouz, eastern Syria, after bribing Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to reach Idlib in the north-west. From there, he said, they crossed the border to Gaziantep in southern Turkey. "Some of its important leadership fled north, I mean in the direction of neighbouring countries and into border areas like Gazientep," Lt. Gen. Allaq said. US Special Forces, figures at lower right, moving toward compound of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi  Credit: Department of Defense  "They have secretly crossed into these areas from the Syrian-Turkish border - top leaders who have money. They crossed with the help of smugglers by paying large amount of money and have secretly entered Turkish territory." He added: "Those elements who are right now in Turkey play a key role in the recruitment of fighters and terrorists." CNN was shown Iraq’s arrest warrants for the nine men, who are described as bomb makers. Lt. Gen. Allaq said the men were "among the best bomb makers that Isis ever had." Lt. Gen. Allaq, who rarely gives interviews, said Iraq had intelligence that Isil leaders were planning jailbreaks of its supporters held in prisons and camps across Syria and Iraq. Isil members are led away to be questioned by coalition forces after surrendering, near Baghuz, eastern Syria Credit: Sam Tarling  Turkey told the US network they were looking into the allegations. He said a new Isil mission code-named "Break Down the Fences" intended to storm jails where their followers were being held and try to replenish its manpower. Several high-profile Isil figures and their family members have been discovered in recent weeks in or near Turkey. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group’s leader, was found hiding three miles from the border of Turkey in the Syria village of Barisha in Idlib, where he was killed in a US raid on October 26. Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, Isil’s spokesman, was killed the following day several miles away near the town of Jarablus, which is under Turkish administration. Turkey then announced arrests it had made of Baghdadi’s relatives, who had apparently been hiding in the country.


Special envoy Kurt Volker says 'most people' didn't see the distinction between Burisma and investigating former Vice President Biden
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 17:04:42 -0500

Special envoy Kurt Volker says 'most people' didn't see the distinction between Burisma and investigating former Vice President BidenSpecial envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker said during questioning that "others didn't see the distinction" between Burisma and investigating former Vice President Biden.


Malaysians Do Singapore’s Dirty Work While Foreigners Do Theirs
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 00:29:27 -0500

Malaysians Do Singapore’s Dirty Work While Foreigners Do Theirs(Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Malaysians are crossing the straits to do Singapore’s dirty work for better pay, while relying on foreign labor to do similar work for them.More than half a million Malaysians across all sectors opt to work in the city-state as the pay is about five times the amount offered by neighboring countries, Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said in a parliamentary reply Tuesday. That’s what makes them willing to take on even “3D work” -- dirty, dangerous, difficult -- that Malaysian companies are finding difficult to hire locals to do.The trend has left the country’s plantations and manufacturers sourcing workers from abroad, creating what Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng called an “addiction to low-skilled foreign labor.” The construction industry alone has only been able to hire one-third of the 1.2 million workers it needs, according to the Master Builders Association Malaysia.Malaysia seeks to tackle the problem by giving monthly wage incentives of as much as 500 ringgit ($120) to workers who get hired locally and up to 250 ringgit for their employers. That’s aimed at reducing the number of foreign workers by 130,000 over five years.The builders association isn’t optimistic the move will fully resolve the labor issues.“The measure won’t be too effective in reducing the number of foreign workers, as many foreign workers are employed in jobs which Malaysians are not keen to compete or participate in,” Master Builders Association Malaysia said.To contact the reporter on this story: Anisah Shukry in Kuala Lumpur at ashukry2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Yudith Ho at yho35@bloomberg.net, Michael S. ArnoldFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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