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Trump says sending 'armed soldiers' to US-Mexico border
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 11:04:30 -0400

Trump says sending 'armed soldiers' to US-Mexico borderPresident Donald Trump said Wednesday the US is sending armed soldiers to the southern border after Mexican soldiers recently "pulled guns" on US troops. Trump appeared to be referring to an April 13 incident in which Mexican troops reportedly questioned and pointed their weapons at two US troops conducting surveillance on the border.


Self-styled citizen border patrol abandons New Mexico camp: police
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 18:28:38 -0400

Self-styled citizen border patrol abandons New Mexico camp: policeSUNLAND PARK, N.M./TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) - An armed group that has been stopping migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border honored a request to leave their camp in New Mexico on Tuesday and appeared to be heading home, the local police chief said. The group's leader Larry Hopkins appeared in court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Monday to face firearms charges following his arrest on Saturday by the FBI. Sunland Park, New Mexico, Police Chief Javier Guerra said the group left their campsite outside the town following a request by the Union Pacific Railroad, which said they had trespassed on its land.


Sri Lanka bombings: ISIS and local terrorists at work, but much still murky about attack
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 19:19:45 -0400

Sri Lanka bombings: ISIS and local terrorists at work, but much still murky about attackTwo terrorist groups – one small and obscure, the other sizable and well-known – are at the center of the Sri Lankan attacks.


Bernie Sanders Got It Right on CNN: Felons Ought to Be Allowed to Vote
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 05:21:31 -0400

Bernie Sanders Got It Right on CNN: Felons Ought to Be Allowed to VotePhoto Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyIn their CNN town halls Monday night, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg disagreed on whether current prisoners should be able to vote. Sen. Kamala Harris refused to endorse a plan for expanding the franchise to incarcerated people, but supported voting rights for former prisoners.Sanders was specifically asked about Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and “those convicted of sexual assault.” What sane person would want them to vote? Our political system is already run by crooks. Do we want to add murderers and rapists too?In European history dating to Roman times, criminals could be stripped of their legal personality after committing a crime. They could not sign contracts or own property. They were outlaws, banished from the city walls. John Locke and other political theorists argued that criminals broke an implicit social contract: a rule-breaker should lose the right to make rules for others. But Locke lived in a time when only white, male, wealthy landowners could vote. Today, the right to vote is enshrined in democratic constitutions and international treaties. In American history, many states’ exclusions of those with a criminal record from voting date to the post-Civil War period and were clearly aimed at denying the franchise to African Americans. Criminal justice reform advocates argue that suffering a Medieval-style “civil death” dehumanizes prisoners, prevents their reintegration into society, and perpetuates inequalities in our political system. We should not assume that prisoners are less knowledgeable about politics than those outside of prison—that’s a pretty low bar, after all. Encouraging prisoners to feel involved in the political process can have real benefits too. Isolating prisoners from the political process during and after their incarceration further stigmatizes and isolates them, and that can encourage reoffending.Prisoners lose many of their rights when they go to prison. They can’t serve on a jury from a prison cell, or own guns; both of those are probably reasonable proscriptions. They probably should not own guns. But prisoners do not lose all their rights in prison. They are entitled to practice their religion and can challenge the conditions of their confinement. Taking away prisoners’ liberty is already a heavy punishment. Allowing them to cast an absentee ballot is not an unreasonable privilege.The most important consequence of allowing prisoners to vote is that it would remove the incentives for “prison gerrymandering.” In most U.S. states, prisoners are counted by the census based on where they are incarcerated, not where they are registered to vote. Because most large prisons are in sparsely populated rural areas, prison complexes have an important effect on gerrymandering. Many prisoners are racial minorities or people who live in urban areas, which means these places lose voting population, while more conservative areas gain nonvoting population. This advantages Republican congressmen in places like upstate New York, who benefit from inflated populations for redistricting purposes, but have nothing to fear at election time. Prisoner disenfranchisement therefore contributes to a structural disparity that causes Congress and state legislatures to be more conservative than the public at large.While many states are in the process of revising their laws to allow ex-prisoners to vote, voting by current prisoners only exists in Maine, Puerto Rico, and Vermont—the latter represented by Sanders in the U.S. Senate. In addition, the trend across the developed world is to allow at least some prisoners to vote. The supreme courts of South Africa, Canada, and Israel have legalized voting for at least some prisoners. The European Court of Human Rights has also rejected blanket prohibitions on prisoner voting, though it has allowed exceptions.The policy options are far broader than a single audience question would suggest. In Germany, prisoners can vote unless they were convicted of terrorism or political violence, an exception that would encompass Tsarnaev’s marathon attack. Other European countries prevent violent criminals, those serving lengthy or life sentences, or war criminals from voting. Exceptions for crimes of dishonesty or fraud might be reasonable as well. In a few countries, only those convicted of misdemeanors can vote, rather than felonies.These are policy debates we should be willing to have. Even if we allowed only persons serving misdemeanor sentences in local jails to vote, this alone might add nearly 300,000 voters to the rolls. Prisoner voting is already underway in some states and developed countries, so it is hardly a revolutionary position. Overbroad restrictions on voting help ensure that politicians select their own voters, rather than voters electing their own politicians.Andrew Novak is Assistant Professor of Criminology Law and Society at George Mason University.Read more at The Daily Beast.


Demoted and sidelined: Google walkout organizers say company retaliated
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 18:25:52 -0400

Demoted and sidelined: Google walkout organizers say company retaliatedStaff who organized mass protests say in internal letter their roles were changed after November 2018 demonstration Workers protest against Google on 1 November 2019 in Mountain View, California. Photograph: Noah Berger/AP They helped to organize an unprecedented global protest that saw tens of thousands of Google employees walk off the job in November 2018. Now two Google employees, Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton, are alleging that Google is retaliating against them and other employee activists. “Google has a culture of retaliation, which too often works to silence women, people of color, and gender minorities,” reads a letter from Whittaker, Stapleton and 10 other employees that was published internally on Monday and seen by the Guardian. “Retaliation isn’t always obvious. It’s often confusing and drawn out, consisting of icy conversations, gaslighting, project cancellations, transition rejections, or demotions. Behavior that tells someone the problem isn’t that they stood up to the company, it’s that they’re not good enough and don’t belong.” Stapleton, a nearly 12-year veteran at Google, wrote that two months after the walkout, she was demoted, had a previously approved project cancelled, and was “told to go on medical leave, even though I’m not sick”. “Only after I hired a lawyer and had her contact Google did management conduct an investigation and walked back my demotion, at least on paper,” she wrote. “While my work has been restored, the environment remains hostile and I consider quitting nearly every day.” Whittaker, who co-founded the AI Now Institute, wrote that after Google decided to scrap its AI ethics council, she was told that her “role would be changed dramatically”. “I’m told that to remain at the company, I will have to abandon my work on AI ethics and the AI Now Institute,” she wrote. Neither Whittaker nor Stapleton responded immediately to a request for comment. The letter was first reported by Wired. A Google spokeswoman said that the company has already investigated these cases and determined there was no retaliation. “We prohibit retaliation in the workplace, and investigate all allegations,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “Employees and teams are regularly and commonly given new assignments, or reorganized, to keep pace with evolving business needs. There has been no retaliation here.” Google employees have been at the forefront of a wave of tech worker activism that has swept the industry over the past year. Employee-organized protests have taken aim both at the company’s business decisions – such as its work for a Department of Defense drone project or plans to build a censored search engine for China – and its treatment of employees and contractors. The November walkout was sparked by a New York Times report that revealed that a former executive, Andy Rubin, had received a $90m severance package despite being forced out over an allegation that he had forced a female employee to perform oral sex. The report unleashed a flood of anger and frustration among Google employees who had faced harassment or discrimination. In Monday’s letter, the organizers say that they “collected over 350 stories” during the walkout, and discovered a “sad pattern”: “People who stand up and report discrimination, abuse, and unethical conduct are punished, sidelined, and pushed out. Perpetrators often go unimpeded, or are even rewarded.” The organizers are planning to host a Retaliation Town Hall for workers on Friday. They have reserved conference rooms and plan to live stream the discussion internally. Have you experienced retaliation for workplace activism in the tech industry? Contact the author: julia.wong@theguardian.com or julia.carrie.wong@protonmail.com


View Photos of the 2019 Lexus LS500h Hybrid
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 14:05:00 -0400

View Photos of the 2019 Lexus LS500h Hybrid


Delphi murders: Here's what we know about unsolved killings of two teen girls in Indiana
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 17:16:02 -0400

Delphi murders: Here's what we know about unsolved killings of two teen girls in IndianaIt's been more than two years since the Delphi murders. Here's what we know now about the unsolved killings of Abigail Williams and Liberty Germany.


Mars lander picks up what's likely 1st detected marsquake
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 17:06:48 -0400

Mars lander picks up what's likely 1st detected marsquakeCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's InSight lander has picked up a gentle rumble at Mars, believed to be the first marsquake ever detected.


New school dress code for parents leaves many outraged
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 08:09:06 -0400

New school dress code for parents leaves many outragedBanned items include sagging pants and shorts, pajamas of any kind, shower caps, hair rollers and revealing clothing.


Armed militia on US border 'training to kill Hillary Clinton, George Soros and Barack Obama'
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 13:20:00 -0400

Armed militia on US border 'training to kill Hillary Clinton, George Soros and Barack Obama'The head of a far-right New Mexico militia group known for detaining undocumented families at gunpoint has been accused of claiming to train a group to assassinate Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and billionaire Democratic donor George Soros.The accusations follow after Larry Mitchell Hopkins, a 69-year-old who lives in a borer town near El Paso, was arrested on charges of possession of firearms and ammunition. He had previously been convicted in 2006 on charges and firearm possession.The FBI now claims that Mr Hopkins told witnesses during a 2017 investigation that his militia was planning to assassinate the three Democratic figures, according to Reuters.Mr Hopkins’ militia group is called the United Constitutional Patriots, which has a Facebook page claiming it is composed of “Americans that believe in the constitution and the rights of every American that will stand up for there[sic] rights in unity and help keep America safe”.The group detained some 200 migrants as they crossed the US-Mexico border last week seeking asylum. Many of those detained by the militia were reportedly Central Americans, according to the New York Times.The group is said to have detained some 5,600 migrants in the past 60 days alone.The group that Mr Hopkins leads in southern New Mexico is one of many militia groups that have been operating on the US-Mexico border for years, with the stated goal of stopping or slowing illegal US immigration flows.Civil rights groups and immigrant advocates have criticised the tactics, and claim that these militia groups illegally detain migrants and kidnap them by impersonating law enforcement.Allegra Love, the executive director of the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, a group that provides free legal services to immigrants, told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the militias are outrageous.“We don’t need citizens confronting them at gunpoint,” Ms Love said, referring to migrants seeking asylum in the United States and coming from violent nations like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.


UPDATE 2-PG&E get approval to pay employees $350 mln to meet safety goals after wildfires
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 19:18:41 -0400

UPDATE 2-PG&E get approval to pay employees $350 mln to meet safety goals after wildfiresPG&E Corp can pay employees up to $350 million in bonuses this year to spur them to help meet the bankrupt California power provider's safety goals to prevent wildfires, a judge said on Tuesday. PG&E's management has said the company needs to implement the bonus plan to carry out tasks such as clearing trees and branches around power lines to avert contact that triggers wildfires. While the maximum cost of the plan is $350 million, PG&E has said it expects the likely cost will be around $235 million.


Two Muslim brothers were Sri Lanka hotel suicide bombers: sources
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 07:18:52 -0400

Two Muslim brothers were Sri Lanka hotel suicide bombers: sourcesMuslim brothers carried out two of the hotel suicide blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, part of a wave of bombings that killed more than 320 people, police sources told AFP Tuesday. The sons of a wealthy Colombo spice trader were among suicide bombers who hit three churches and three luxury hotels, investigators said. The brothers, whose names have not been revealed, were in their late twenties and operated their own "family cell", an investigation officer said.


Kim Jong-un arrives in Russia for summit with Putin as US nuclear talks remain in limbo
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 05:28:41 -0400

Kim Jong-un arrives in Russia for summit with Putin as US nuclear talks remain in limboNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in the Russian city of Vladivostok on Wednesday for a summit he is likely to use to seek support from Russian President Vladimir Putin, as Pyongyang's nuclear talks with Washington remain in limbo. The armoured train carrying Kim on his first official visit to Russia pulled into the quayside station in Vladivostok, on the Pacific Ocean, a few hours after crossing from North Korea into Russia. After a brief delay while the door of Kim's carriage was lined up with a red carpet laid out on the platform, the door opened and a smiling Kim stepped out. A red carpet was rolled out to meet Kim's train Credit: Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov Earlier, at a stop on the border, Kim told Russian state television he was hoping for useful and successful discussions with Putin. "I hope that we can discuss concrete questions about peace negotiations on the Korean peninsula, and our bilateral relations," he said through an interpreter. Kim will sit down for talks with Putin on Thursday at a university campus on an island just off Vladivostok. It will be the first summit between the two leaders, and the standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear programme will top the agenda, according to a Kremlin foreign policy aide. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Russia for a meeting with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday Credit: Alexander Safronov/TASS via Getty Images The meeting comes two months after a summit in Vietnam between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump ended in failure, leaving the North Korean leader looking elsewhere for international support and relief from sanctions. For Putin the summit is an opportunity to show that Russia remains a major global player despite being under sanctions itself over its intervention in Ukraine and allegations that it meddled in U.S. elections. But analysts predicted that Kim is unlikely to emerge from the summit with any substantial promises of sanctions relief. The meeting is likely to focus more on showing camaraderie. Kim was pictured smiling as he stepped off the train Credit: Alexander Safronov/TASS via Getty Images Vladivostok is located a few hours from the Russian-North Korean border by rail, Kim's preferred mode of international transport. On arrival in the city, the North Korean leader reviewed an honour guard of Russian troops in a square in front of the train station, with bodyguards looking on. He removed his black fedora while a military orchestra played first the North Korean national anthem, then the Russian anthem. After officials from the Russian and North Korean delegations exchanged handshakes, Kim climbed into a black limousine and drove off. About 10 North Korean security guards in black suits jogged alongside the vehicle for about the first 100 metres (yards) of its journey. Bodyguards surrounded Kim's limousine Credit: Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP Russian media reported that Kim would be heading to Russky island, linked by bridge to the mainland part of Vladivostok, where the summit will take place and where he is also expected to be staying. Artyom Lukin, a professor at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, said Kim would want to be seen as a world leader who has international interlocutors besides Washington, Beijing or Seoul. "As for Russia, the Putin-Kim summit will reaffirm Moscow's place as a major player on the Korean peninsula. This meeting is important for Russian international prestige," Lukin said. Putin held a summit in 2002 with Kim Jong-un's father and predecessor, Kim Jong-il, who also met in 2011 with Dmitry Medvedev, the Putin lieutenant who was then Russian president.


Trump’s Iran Sanctions Are a Risk Worth Taking
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 13:15:08 -0400

Trump’s Iran Sanctions Are a Risk Worth TakingAfter months of debate inside his administration, President Trump has finally decided to further tighten sanctions on Iran. Iran hawks have for months been urging the president to end the waivers that granted eight nations to continue importing Iranian oil, the Islamist regime’s main source of foreign cash. In doing so, Trump is taking a substantial risk. But it is one worth taking.The fallout from the move could lead to a substantial hike in oil prices this summer. It could also greatly complicate relations with China -- Iran’s largest remaining customer for oil -- just as the administration nears the end of complicated trade negotiations with Beijing. And Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz and thereby shut down the shipping of oil to the West from its enemies on the Arabian Peninsula, which could potentially lead to the sort of war scenario that Trump most wants to avoid.These are strong reasons for caution. Yet far from a foolhardy gamble, Trump’s decision is the most sensible choice available to him.Why did Trump do it? He knows that the sanctions he re-imposed after pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action have had a powerful impact on Iran. As the New York Times recently reported, the sanctions, contrary to the predictions of Trump’s critics, have had a devastating impact. Among those most feeling the pinch from the austerity imposed by American restrictions on commerce with Iran are the terrorist groups that it funds.The sanctions, reports the Times, have created an economic crisis for Tehran, causing it to cut down on the money it spends funding both terrorists and the barbarous Assad regime it helped prop up via military intervention in the Syrian civil war. Even Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently conceded that U.S. sanctions have hurt the ability of his Iranian masters to fund his group’s misdeeds.The Obama administration lifted sanctions and gave to companies and countries thousands of waivers that permitted them to do business with Iran, despite U.S. laws that forbade such conduct. The Trump administration has tried both to shut down legal methods of commerce with the ayatollah’s regime and to ferret out illegal scams. Last month, the Treasury Department announced that it had disrupted a billion-dollar currency-trading scheme that Tehran used to help fund the military adventures of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).But so long as Iran was still able to count on China, India, Japan, Turkey, Italy, Greece, South Korea, and Taiwan to buy its oil, it could fund terror and work to achieve its goal of regional hegemony. Proceeds from oil sales also allowed these brutal theocrats to keep the restive Iranian people from threatening the regime.With the Iranian economy tanking, this is the right moment for the U.S. to tighten the noose around Tehran and send a signal to our European allies, who, valuing their own financial interests more than the collective security of the West, have continued to trade with Iran using “special-purpose vehicles.” The administration’s goals — to force Iran to cease its ballistic-missile tests, end its support for terrorism, roll back its effort to create a land bridge to the Mediterranean, and renegotiate the disastrous nuclear agreement that gave it a legal path to a bomb — remained out of reach so long as the waivers stood.Trump is particularly sensitive to rising gas prices and has tweeted about the need for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf State allies to increase oil production. This would help cushion the impact of ending Iran’s exports. Luckily, these states regard restraining Iran as essential to their own security.As for China, there are reasons to cut off its financial trickery, which allow it to evade American sanctions. Even if Trump makes concessions to China in return for their cooperation on Iran, this will be a decision worth making.Iran’s talk about menacing the shipping traffic in the Gulf is more worrisome. But this is far from the first time Tehran has made such threats. And though the downsides of a confrontation should not be underestimated, the Iranian regime has always been extremely cautious when it comes to confronting a superior military power like the United States.In any case, allowing Iran to engage in such commerce only strengthens the regime. Obama enriched Iran by unfreezing assets and ending sanctions. That put weapons and money in the hands of Hezbollah and the IRGC. It also helped other terror groups such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Houthis in Yemen create more grave threats to regional security. Obama’s media “echo chamber” was certain that a unilateral re-imposition of sanctions wouldn’t accomplish anything.Yet the first stage of re-imposed sanctions has begun to work. If Trump is to finish the job, gas-price hikes, Chinese threats, and Iran’s latest bluffs shouldn’t hold him back now that the ayatollahs’ backs are really up against the wall.


Washington poised to become first state to allow eco-friendly 'human composting'
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 21:56:22 -0400

Washington poised to become first state to allow eco-friendly 'human composting'Washington is expected to become the first state to legalize an environmentally-friendly burial alternative that turns bodies into soil within weeks.


Two more defendants agree to plead guilty in college admissions bribery case
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 14:10:24 -0400

Two more defendants agree to plead guilty in college admissions bribery caseA former women's soccer assistant coach at USC and another parent have agreed to plead guilty in the nation's college admissions bribery case.


Samsung delays folding phone launch after breaking issues
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 22:30:21 -0400

Samsung delays folding phone launch after breaking issuesSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Samsung is pushing back this week's planned public launch of its highly anticipated, $2000 folding phone after reports that reviewers' phones were breaking.


JPMorgan's Bob Michele Says ‘Enjoy the Ride’ as Risk Assets Rally
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 10:52:58 -0400

JPMorgan's Bob Michele Says ‘Enjoy the Ride’ as Risk Assets RallyThe chief investment officer at JPMorgan Asset Management said money managers are sitting on too much cash and should be boosting their allocations to high-yield assets after the Federal Reserve’s dovish pivot. The firm is putting its weight behind emerging markets as investors from BlackRock Inc. to Fidelity International warn of a break in the rally.


Iranian parliament labels entire US military as terrorist
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 06:26:19 -0400

Iranian parliament labels entire US military as terroristTEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that labels all U.S. military forces as terrorist, state TV reported, a day after Washington ratcheted up pressure on Tehran by announcing that no country would any longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if it continues to buy Iranian oil.


NASA probe records first likely 'marsquake' detected on red planet
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 17:31:32 -0400

NASA probe records first likely 'marsquake' detected on red planetNASA's robotic probe InSight has detected and measured what scientists believe to be a "marsquake," marking the first time a likely seismological tremor has been recorded on another planet, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California reported on Tuesday. The breakthrough came five months after InSight, the first spacecraft designed specifically to study the deep interior of a distant world, touched down on the surface of Mars to begin its two-year seismological mission on the red planet. The faint rumble characterized by JPL scientists as a likely marsquake was recorded on April 6, the lander's 128th Martian day, or sol.


Boeing puts cost of 737 MAX crisis at $1 bn
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 10:24:38 -0400

Boeing puts cost of 737 MAX crisis at $1 bnBoeing said Wednesday that its 737 MAX crisis had cost $1 billion in the first quarter as it withdrew its 2019 profit forecast on continued uncertainty about when the grounded jets will fly again after two deadly crashes. The US aerospace giant also cited spending on the software fix and related training, according to an earnings presentation released Wednesday that listed the $1 billion in 737 program costs. The results are the first since the company entered crisis mode with the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet, which along with an October Lion Air crash claimed 346 lives.


Isil claims Sri Lanka attack as prime minister says there are militants with explosives on the run
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 11:35:39 -0400

Isil claims Sri Lanka attack as prime minister says there are militants with explosives on the runSri Lanka's prime minister has warned there are more explosives and militants "out there" after the Easter suicide bombings that killed 321 people. Ranil Wickremesinghe made the comment Tuesday at a news conference, and said some officials will likely lose their jobs over intelligence lapses surrounding the attack. His warning came as Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terror attack on its official Amaq news agency. The group posted an image of seven masked attackers and the unmasked ringleader, Zahran Hashim, in front of its black flag. In a statement the men were named as Abu Ubaida - thought to refer to Hashim - Abu Khalil, Abu Hamza, Abu al-Baraa, Abu Muhammad, Abu Abdulla and Abu al-Mukhtar. Isis's official news agency, Amaq, posted this image of eight attackers, including the previously identified Zahran Hashim (centre) Sri Lanka's defence minister on Tuesday declared the attacks were retaliation for a recent attack on mosques in New Zealand, adding that two domestic Islamist groups were believed to be responsible. Ruwan Wijewardene’s comments were made as the South Asian island held its first mass funeral for about 30 of the victims of Sunday’s serial suicide bombings in three high profile churches and three luxury hotels. Sri Lankan intelligence has named the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday attacks as Moulvi Zahran Hashim, an extremist local cleric who incited his followers to violence with fiery sermons on his social media channels. CCTV video shows suspected suicide bomber entering St Sebastian's Church in Negombo Isil's brief statement said they targeted “nationals of the Crusader alliance and Christians”, but made no specific reference to the New Zealand mosque attacks. At the same time, AFP agency reported that two Muslim brothers carried out two of the hotel suicide blasts. The brothers, sons of a wealthy Colombo spice trader, blew themselves up as guests queued for breakfast at the Shangri-La and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the capital Colombo. The brothers, whose names have not been revealed, were in their late twenties and operated their own "family cell", an investigation officer said. A suspected suicide bomber carries a backpack on a street in Negombo, Sri Lanka The Sri Lankan government revealed in 2016 that 32 Sri Lanka Muslims had travelled to Syria to join Isil. “All these (Muslims) are not from ordinary families. These people are from the families which are considered as well-educated and elite,” Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, the country’s Justice Minister told parliament. said, adding that the government was aware of some foreigners coming to Sri Lanka to spread what he called Islamic extremism. A Syrian national was also arrested on Tuesday. It was not yet clear if he played a role in the attacks. Read more | Sri Lanka attacks Mr Wijewardene told the Sri Lankan parliament the massacre was carried out by the obscure local National Thawheed Jamaath group along with another group called the JMI, an apparent reference to a little-known radical Islamist group in India called the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen. Some experts have pointed out that the sophisticated nature of the attacks suggest that they would have required preparation that began before the Christchurch atrocity. Little is known about JMI, other than reports it was established last year and is affiliated to a similarly named group in Bangladesh. "The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch," said Mr Wijewardene. A suspected suicide bomber carries a backpack on a street in Negombo, Sri Lanka Fifty people were killed in shooting attacks on two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on March 15, and horrific footage of the bloodbath was livestreamed on social media channels. The Sri Lankan authorities are still investigating how local militants gained the training and equipment to carry out an assault that is now considered to be one of the worst global terrorist atrocities since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. One theory is that Sri Lankan extremists could have been assisted by returning fighters from Iraq and Syria. It also emerged on Tuesday that Sri Lankan police are holding a Syrian national in custody for questioning over the Easter Sunday attacks. "The terrorist investigation division of the police arrested a Syrian national following the attacks for interrogation," a source told Reuters. Two other officials with knowledge of the investigation confirmed the detention. "He was arrested after interrogation of local suspects," a second source said. Police have now detained 40 suspects in connection with the attack. Sri Lanka attacks - Locator map The first mass funeral took place at St Sebastian church in Negombo, north of Colombo, which was one of the places targeted in Sunday's blasts. A moment of silence was observed at 08:30, to mark the timing of the first bomb on Sunday morning. Flags were lowered to half-mast and people, many of them in tears, bowed their heads in respect.


WWII shipwreck discovered off Australian coast
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 09:00:00 -0400

WWII shipwreck discovered off Australian coastThe SS Iron Crown, an Australian freighter sunk by a Japanese submarine during World War II, has been discovered.


The 2020 Jaguar XE in Photos
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 14:47:00 -0400

The 2020 Jaguar XE in Photos


Cardi B rejects plea deal in strip club brawl case, facing up to one year in jail
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 15:41:41 -0400

Cardi B rejects plea deal in strip club brawl case, facing up to one year in jailCardi B rejected a deal to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count in strip club brawl, even though it would keep her out of jail.


Hillary Clinton: Russian interference 'certainly had an impact' on the 2016 election
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 15:58:45 -0400

Hillary Clinton: Russian interference 'certainly had an impact' on the 2016 electionAmid efforts by President Trump and the White House to downplay the effectiveness of Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election, Clinton said it's clear that Moscow's efforts affected the outcome.


Should Catholics keep their faith? Sex abuse scandals prompt more to personally question ties to church, poll finds
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 13:44:01 -0400

Should Catholics keep their faith? Sex abuse scandals prompt more to personally question ties to church, poll findsAmid the latest spate of allegations of sexual abuse by priests, an increasing percentage of Catholics are re-examining their commitment to the religion, new poll shows.


Military vet Moulton joins 2020 presidential race
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 13:24:26 -0400

Military vet Moulton joins 2020 presidential raceBOSTON (AP) — U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is the latest Democrat to jump in the race for the White House.


UPDATE 5-Occidental offers $38 bln for Anadarko, topping Chevron
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 07:32:54 -0400

UPDATE 5-Occidental offers $38 bln for Anadarko, topping ChevronChevron offered $33 billion, or $50 billion including debt. Occidental's surprise $76-per-share bid followed two earlier proposals. Anadarko shares jumped 12 percent in early afternoon trading to $71.74, well above the $65 per share offered by Chevron.


Last Chance to Earn 100k Marriott Points With Bonvoy Amex Cards
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 09:47:46 -0400

Last Chance to Earn 100k Marriott Points With Bonvoy Amex CardsThe final day to take advantage of 100,000-point offers on the newly christened Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is coming up fast, with new card owners only having until Apr. 24 to earn 100k points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. If you can meet the minimum-spending requirement, now is the time to apply for one of the cards -- especially since we don't know how much lower the welcome bonuses will be after April 24. As a reminder, the introduction of the Bonvoy card branding (which led to new offers like this one) is a result of Marriott combining and retiring its old Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest branding. That combination included merging points and status levels, unifying all the co-branded cards under the Marriott Bonvoy umbrella.Based on a valuation from The Points Guy, 100,000 Marriott points are worth $800 (or 0.8 cents for each point). To get an idea of how far 100,000 points can take you, you could use them for more than 15 nights at a Category 1 hotel, one night at a top-tier Category 8 property like the St. Regis Maldives or transfer your points to one of more than 40 airline partners, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AmexThe Bonvoy Brilliant is the top-of-the-line personal credit card in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio, with a $450 annual fee. It comes with plenty of perks, including: * Up to $300 in Marriott Bonvoy statement credit for each year you're a cardmember year. That credit can be put toward eligible Marriott Bonvoy purchases, including room rates. * You also get a free night award, for properties that cost up to 50,000 points (It's awarded each year after your account anniversary). * Also included is complimentary Marriott Gold elite status, which is the status level that gets you benefits including a 25% points bonus, priority late checkout and upgrades to enhanced rooms. * And you can earn 6x points on Marriott stays; 3x at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines (2x points on everything else).The Bonvoy Brilliant Amex is a great option for Marriott loyalists and even infrequent Marriott guests (and you can read a review summarizing the other highlights about the card here). Marriott Bonvoy Business AmexThe Bonvoy Business Amex, which includes a $125 annual fee, is great for anyone needing a business credit card and who could use some Marriott points. It also offers the following perks: * One free night award, for properties that cost up to 35,000 points, which is awarded each year after your account anniversary. * Complimentary Marriott Silver elite status. And you can earn Gold status after spending $35,000 in a calendar year. * You can also earn 6x points on Marriott stays; 4x at US restaurants, US gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers and US purchases for shipping (2x points on everything else).Check out this earlier review of the Bonvoy Business Amex for more info. Bottom LineApr. 24 is the date to keep in mind if you're looking for more Marriott points and have been eying the Bonvoy Brilliant or Bonvoy Business cards. Don't forget, the cards' benefits include a windfall of points via the welcome bonuses, plus free night awards and lots more that make them a solid deal for almost anyone who wants to sign up.


Japan drops 'maximum pressure' on North Korea from diplomatic book
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 03:18:49 -0400

Japan drops 'maximum pressure' on North Korea from diplomatic bookJapan on Tuesday dropped the push to apply "maximum pressure" on North Korea from its official foreign policy, an apparent softening of Tokyo's position as major powers engage with Pyongyang. "There have been major developments in the situation surrounding North Korea in light of events such as the US-North Korea summits in June last year and February," Suga told reporters.


Check Out This Picture: You Are Looking at the Greatest Aircraft Carrier Ever
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 01:00:00 -0400

Check Out This Picture: You Are Looking at the Greatest Aircraft Carrier EverShortly before USS Enterprise went to the breakers, a new ship bearing the name was laid down; CVN-65, the world’s first nuclear aircraft carrier. The latter USS Enterprise served for fifty years, before decommissioning in 2012. Another USS Enterprise, CVN-80, is scheduled for completion by 2025.In May 1938, the U.S. Navy commissioned the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, the seventh ship to bear the name in American service. The second of three sisters, Enterprise made a central—perhaps the central—contribution to the war effort in 1942. The U.S. Navy began 1942 with six fleet carriers (excluding the small Ranger, which served in the Atlantic). Over the course of the year, Japanese aircraft and submarines would sink four of those carriers and put a fifth (USS Saratoga) out of action for long periods of time. Enterprise fought with distinction in most of the major battles of 1942, and survived to contribute for the rest of the war.(This first appeared several years ago.)In short, USS Enterprise (CV-6) was the finest ship ever to serve in the U.S. Navy.Construction


How Does the Geely Geometry A Measure Up to the Tesla Model 3?
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 10:40:00 -0400

How Does the Geely Geometry A Measure Up to the Tesla Model 3?Is the Chinese automaker capable of making a Tesla Model 3 fighter? We do the math.


Neo-Nazi linked to group who said Prince Harry was a race traitor for marrying Meghan pleads guilty
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 15:41:41 -0400

Neo-Nazi linked to group who said Prince Harry was a race traitor for marrying Meghan pleads guiltyTwo teenage neo-Nazis, linked to a group that called Prince Harry a "race traitor"  for marrying Mehgan Markle, are facing jail after admitting terror charges. Polish national, Michal Szewczuk, 19, admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism and five of possessing documents that could be useful to a terrorist, when he appeared at the Old Bailey. His co-defendant, Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, had previously pleaded guilty to encouraging terrorism. The charges relate to a neo-Nazi group called the Sonnenkrieg Division, which posted extreme racist material on the GAB social media platform. In one post, a picture of the Duke of Sussex was set against a swastika with a gun pointing at his head and the slogan: "See ya later, race traitor!" The group is an off shoot of the American Atomwaffen Division, which encourages terrorism and worships Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson. Szewczuk, who used an online pseudonym, posted comments that called for the "systematic slaughter" of women.  He also pleaded guilty to five charges relating to the possession of bomb making documents and other extremist terrorist material. At an earlier hearing, prosecutor Jessica Hart described how Szewczuk and Dunn-Koczorowski had shared the Sonnenkrieg Gab account, with both posting from the same account at different times. Judge Rebecca Poulet QC warned both teenagers they could face custody when they return to court for sentencing on 17 June.


Jared Kushner: Russia investigations 'more harmful' than 'a couple of Facebook ads'
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 12:35:35 -0400

Jared Kushner: Russia investigations 'more harmful' than 'a couple of Facebook ads'President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner believes the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election have had “a much harsher impact on our democracy” than the interference itself.


Student sues Apple for $1 billion, claims face-recognition caused false arrest
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 11:47:54 -0400

Student sues Apple for $1 billion, claims face-recognition caused false arrestApple is being sued for $1 billion by a college student who blames the company's facial recognition software for his wrongful arrest.


The Latest: Man recalls death of daughter, wife in blast
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 19:30:51 -0400

The Latest: Man recalls death of daughter, wife in blastCOLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Latest on explosions in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday (all times local):


UPDATE 1-CBS suspends CEO search, fueling Viacom merger expectations
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 18:19:51 -0400

UPDATE 1-CBS suspends CEO search, fueling Viacom merger expectationsCBS Corp on Tuesday said it had suspended its search for a new chief executive and extended the role of its interim CEO Joseph Ianniello until the end of the year, renewing speculation the U.S. media company will seek to merge with peer Viacom Inc. Ianniello, who was previously the company's chief operating officer, became interim CEO in September after the CBS board ousted then-CEO Leslie Moonves over accusations of sexual harassment and assault.


'I'm Sure People Have All Kinds of Labels on Me.' Melinda Gates Reveals Why She Decided to Be Vulnerable in Her New Book
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 14:02:37 -0400

'I'm Sure People Have All Kinds of Labels on Me.' Melinda Gates Reveals Why She Decided to Be Vulnerable in Her New BookThe philanthropist on the hardest story she chose to share, how she thinks about wealth and more


Kamala Harris Vows to Impose New Gun Limits by Executive Action
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 22:15:02 -0400

Kamala Harris Vows to Impose New Gun Limits by Executive ActionThe California Democrat’s proposals to bypass Congress with actions that include expanding requirements for background checks and revoking licenses for gun manufactures and dealers found to have broken the law would almost certainly face legal challenges. "Upon being elected, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws, and if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action," Harris said Monday night at a town hall event hosted by CNN in New Hampshire, site of the first primary in the 2020 nomination contest.


Johnson & Johnson Heirs List Hudson Valley Estate with Helipad for $13 Million
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 17:12:09 -0400

Johnson & Johnson Heirs List Hudson Valley Estate with Helipad for $13 MillionThe property is a subdivision of the family’s 600-acre estate called Lightning Tree Farm


Ford Is Getting a New Electric Vehicle from Michigan Startup Rivian
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 10:04:00 -0400

Ford Is Getting a New Electric Vehicle from Michigan Startup RivianFord's $500 million investment is another check mark for the startup American electric-truck company.


Official: 6 people died in Texas small plane crash
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 15:29:10 -0400

Official: 6 people died in Texas small plane crashAll six people aboard a small plane died Monday when it crashed while preparing to land in central Texas, authorities said. (April 22)


View Photos of the 211-MPH Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 19:01:00 -0400

View Photos of the 211-MPH Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante


Trump to sanction allies over Iran oil, causing new friction
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 17:43:59 -0400

Trump to sanction allies over Iran oil, causing new frictionThe United States said Monday it would start imposing sanctions on friends such as India that buy Iranian oil, in its latest aggressive step to counter Tehran that could jeopardize US relationships. One targeted country, Turkey, vowed to defy the US demands that sent global crude prices spiraling higher, although President Donald Trump tweeted that his close ally Saudi Arabia would "more than make up" for cuts in Iranian oil. In seeking to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero, the Trump administration is targeting the country's top revenue maker in its latest no-holds-barred move to crush the economy and scale back the clerical regime's influence.


FBI and US military personnel arrive in Sri Lanka to help investigate bombings
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 05:25:59 -0400

FBI and US military personnel arrive in Sri Lanka to help investigate bombingsThe Islamic State claimed responsibility for bombings at churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that killed 359 and injured 500.


Teva stops testing its migraine drug as cluster headache treatment
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 10:34:47 -0400

Teva stops testing its migraine drug as cluster headache treatmentThe drug, known generically as fremanezumab, competes with rival treatments from Eli Lilly & Co and Amgen Inc. Lilly in November received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "breakthrough" status for its migraine drug Emgality in treating episodic cluster headaches. In a late-stage trial, three out of four patients treated with Lilly's drug saw at least a 50 percent reduction in weekly cluster headaches. Teva's decision could be positive for Lilly's drug in differentiating it from its rivals, BMO Capital Markets analyst Alex Arfaei said.


Google self-driving unit Waymo picks Detroit factory site
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 12:28:58 -0400

Google self-driving unit Waymo picks Detroit factory siteDETROIT (AP) — Google's self-driving car spinoff Waymo says it will reopen an axle plant in Detroit to convert conventional vehicles so they can drive autonomously.


Kamala Harris Vows to Tighten Gun Control Laws Through Executive Action If Elected
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 08:01:22 -0400

Kamala Harris Vows to Tighten Gun Control Laws Through Executive Action If ElectedSenator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) said Monday that as president she would unilaterally tighten gun control laws through executive action if Congress did not pass legislation to do so within her first 100 days in office.Harris explained during CNN's town hall event in New Hampshire that she would use her executive authority to require that anyone who sells more than five guns per year conduct a background check on all sales, effectively eliminating their status as a “private seller” in a move that would be vulnerable to legal challenge.“Upon being elected, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws, and if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action,” Harris told the crowd.The former prosecutor's plan would also close the so-called boyfriend loophole by prohibiting dating partners convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun. Currently the law only applies to spouses. The plan also calls for universal background checks and a return to the "assault weapons" ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004.Harris, who recently admitted to owning a gun for self-defense, also plans to eliminate the 2005 Protection of Commerce in Arms Act, which shields gun makers from liability when their products are used in criminal activity. The gunmaker Remington is currently relying on the law to defend themselves from a suit brought by the parents of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.


US stocks lifted to records amid earnings deluge, oil gains again
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:34:25 -0400

US stocks lifted to records amid earnings deluge, oil gains againWall Street stocks surged to fresh records on Tuesday following a plethora of mostly good quarterly earnings that reinforced confidence in the economic outlook.



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