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Turkey and the Russia's Deadly S-400: The Air Defense System That Changed EverythingOn July 12, 2019, Turkey began receiving the first batch of the S-400 deliveries from Russia. Ankara’s aspirant procurement can fundamentally transform the Turkish military strategic posture.Above all, acquiring a game-changing Russian surface-to-air missile (SAM) system will lead to drastic changes in the Turkish Air Force’s concept of operations (CONOPS). Inevitably, a novel operational art revolving around anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) will gradually dominate Turkey’s defense planning. Nowadays, the frenzy of colored maps illustrating projected S-400 kill zones has already caught on with the Turkish press, which has little, if any, knowledge about engagement envelopes and radar coverage in different topographies. Secondly, the S-400 introduces not only new capabilities but an alien strategic culture to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), noting that contemporary Russian air defense understanding is rooted in the Soviet legacy of the late 1970s. Thirdly, at some point, the TAF will have to alter its doctrinal order of battle to digest a strategic SAM capacity efficiently. Finally, amidst possible sanctions, which would unavoidably hit the Turkish defense sector’s ties—not only with American entities but also with Europe—Russia may well become an indispensable arms supplier for Turkey.Would Turkey Establish a SAM-Dominant Air Force?


Posted: July 20, 2019, 5:00 am

Army Recruiters Signed Off On Hundreds of Recruits Who Hadn't Passed a Required Fitness TestOver 300 soldiers were found to have enlisted after either failing a required fitness test, or never taking it at all, according to documents obtained by Army Times.In 2017, the Army was straining to meet its goal of 476,000 active-duty soldiers, meaning the service had to bring in 68,000 recruits. The Occupational Physical Assessment Test was new, and Army Times reports that recruiters implicated in the investigation — 297 of them — "figured the recruits would sort out their fitness levels at basic."According to the report obtained by Army Times, recruiters "perceived that they were under pressure by the mission increase and the requirement to fill training seats during a historically low period of accessions into the Army to ship recruits as quickly as possible."The investigators who looked into the issue also wrote in their report that many of the recruiters "did not fully grasp how to administer the OPAT or the significance of the testing requirements."The investigation involved 38 of the Army's recruiting battalions, excluding only New York City and Richmond, Virginia. Per Army Times, the worst offender was Dallas, Texas, passing through 38 untested recruits who never took the fitness test.Overall there were 318 soldiers who said they either never took the test, or that they failed it; 228 allegations were substantiated, and U.S. Army Recruiting Command spokeswoman Lisa Ferguson told Army Times that "appropriate action was taken in each case."


Posted: July 20, 2019, 12:00 am

Venezuelan teen blinded by police fire still wants to studyA Venezuelan teenager who lost his eyesight when he was hit by police buckshot during a protest said Friday that he wants to continue studying. Wearing reflective sunglasses, 16-year-old Rufo Chacón also spoke about difficult living conditions in his home state of Táchira, where he was injured during a demonstration over a lack of cooking gas early this month. "You see continuous darkness," Chacón told journalists outside the Caracas office of Foro Penal, a human rights group.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 8:50 pm

British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in escalation of Gulf tensions as second ship also veers off courseA British-flagged oil tanker was seized by Iran on Friday night, in a major escalation of tensions along one of the world's most vital oil shipping routes. The Stena Impero had been en route to Saudi Arabia but made an abrupt change of course and began moving towards the Iranian island of Qeshm, according to data relayed by maritime tracking services. The ship “went dark”, meaning its identification system was turned off, at 16:29 UK time and nothing has been heard from her or her 23 crew since. Northern Marine, a Clyde-based subsidiary of the ship's Swedish owner Stena AB, confirmed that a “hostile action” had preceded the vessel's change of course on Friday afternoon. They issued a statement saying it had been “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters.” The ship turned suddenly into Iranian waters Credit: marinetraffic.com/PA Iran's Revolutionary Guards said in a statement that they stopped the tanker at the request of the maritime authority in the Iranian province of Hormozgan on suspicion it has "violated international maritime law", but did not elaborate.  There were also concerns about a second oil tanker, the British-operated, Liberian-flagged Mesdar, which turned sharply north towards Iran's coast, about 40 minutes after the Stena Impero's course shift. There was no immediate word from the Guards about the second tanker or from the operator of the second tanker on what had prompted the change in direction along the vital international oil shipping route. Tracking data showed the Stena Impero was in the same area where a United Arab Emirates-based vessel was detained on Sunday and where a British vessel, the British Heritage, was blocked by Iranian forces earlier this month. A Cobra meeting was held between officials from the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence and other Government departments on Friday night to determine the UK's response. A Whitehall source told the Telegraph of the Stena Impero: "It does look like it has been hijacked. Ships don't follow that pattern. It turned right and straight into Iranian waters. It is really concerning that this has happened. "It looks on the face of it as though the Iranian Revolutionary Guard have boarded and taken a UK-flagged ship. It appears to be linked to events around the Grace 1 tanker." British authorities seized the Iranian Grace 1 supertanker off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4, on suspicion it was carrying crude to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. The fate of the tanker has been at the centre of escalating tensions between the UK and Iran and seen as a pawn in the standoff between the Islamic Republic and the West. Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary, had hinted last Saturday that the UK would release the ship if Iran promised its cargo would not go to the Syrian regime. He said talks between him and counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif had been productive. However, a court in Gibraltar on Friday extended for 30 days the detention of the vessel, which was carrying two million barrels of oil. Revolutionary Guards have been threatening retaliation for its impounding and the move would likely have aggravated an already-tense situation. Tensions have been building for weeks in the Persian Gulf.  On 10 July, a British warship, the HMS Montrose, intervened to drive three Iranian military vessels that were attempting to divert the British Heritage.  Iran seized a Panama-flagged ship on Sunday, it alleges, for “smuggling oil to foreign countries". However, mystery has surrounded the capture as no country has come forward to claim the ship or its cargo. The vessel, however, was only carrying a very small amount and it had been thought Iran had seized it as merely a show of strength. The US then on Thursday claimed to have downed an Iranian drone that had been flying too close to one of its navy ships.  The USS Boxer, an amphibious assault craft, destroyed the drone after it came within 1,000 yards in the Strait of Hormuz, at the entrance to the Gulf However, Iran denied the claims and released footage on state TV to proof it was still in possession of the drone. The latest incidents will only increase fears for security along the Strait of Hormuz, through which almost one-fifth of the world's oil passes. Oil prices rose on Friday night in reaction to the news. After one of the worst performing weeks since May, oil started the day firmer but slipped as the US and Iran continued to trade brickbats. The later rise initially still left it well down on the previous week. Oil was down more than 8pc this week overall when markets in London closed.   Iran has threatened to close the Strait if it cannot export its oil. The Trump administration is trying to block Iran's exports as a way to pressure it to renegotiate the landmark 2015 nuclear deal it abandoned last year. The UK, which is understood to have seized the Grace 1 after a request from the US, is trying - alongside the EU - to keep the accord alive, believing it is the best chance to stop Tehran acquiring a nuclear weapon.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 6:07 pm

EU plans to offer Boris Johnson no-deal Brexit extension: The Guardian"It will be described as a technical delay to save Boris from political embarrassment but then we will have time to find an agreement," a senior EU diplomat told the newspaper http://bit.ly/2xWScq9. Johnson could maintain the stance of being on course to leave EU without an agreement while keeping open the option of coming to a deal with the bloc, according to the proposal cited by the Guardian. EU leaders are discussing steps to be taken in the event Johnson presses ahead with exiting the European Union without a transition deal on Oct. 31, the newspaper said.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 6:02 pm

Ex-NRA Ad Firm: Um, Wayne LaPierre is LyingLucas Jackson/ReutersIn a new filing against the National Rifle Association, lawyers for ad agency Ackerman McQueen suggest that longtime NRA executive Wayne LaPierre is lying about a critical moment in the gun rights group’s recent leadership shake up. At issue is multi-million-dollar litigation between the NRA and its ex-ad firm. In court filings of its own, the NRA has alleged that Oliver North, the groups's former president, was ousted in part because he withheld information from the NRA about payments he took from Ackerman McQueen, which had served as the gun rights group’s primary ad contractor until just months ago. The NRA claims North kept the nature of his deal with Ackerman McQueen a secret from LaPierre and the gun group’s leadership. But in a July 16 filing that was reviewed by The Daily Beast, Ackerman McQueen alleges that LaPierre himself helped negotiate the deal between their firm and North. And they hint that they have documentation to prove it. In a statement, the NRA denied the suggestions. “The facts are clear – Mr. LaPierre and the NRA had no idea that Col. North was negotiating to become an employee of Ackerman McQueen,” said Andrew Arulanandam, managing director of NRA Public Affairs. “And to the extent Col. North was pushing a contrived narrative about Mr. LaPierre and the NRA, he was conflicted. He was an employee of Ackerman at the time he was allegedly scheming with the agency to unseat Mr. LaPierre.”  It’s a messy new chapter in the months-long legal battle between the NRA and the ad firm it used for more than three decades. And it comes as the gun group has jettisoned senior staff and faced revolts from grassroots activists and donors. “LaPierre negotiated the terms of the North Contract directly with Lt. Col. North and a detailed term sheet was sent to AMc [Ackerman McQueen] for completion of the formal agreement,” the filing reads. The NRA’s then-treasurer, Wilson “Woody” Phillips, also reviewed and approved North’s contract with the firm, according to the filing, and the NRA board’s audit committee green-lit the contract as well. “On at least two occasions, counsel for the NRA has reviewed the North Contract,” the filing adds. NRA Pulls the Plug on NRATVAckerman McQueen’s insistence that NRA officials were aware of the contract with North is directly at odds with the contention the NRA made in a suit it filed against the ad agency in April. North was ousted from the NRA that month during the group’s annual meeting and has since accused LaPierre of gross mismanagement and making highly questionable expenditures. The NRA, meanwhile, has alleged that North tried to oust LaPierre in a coup. And in a separate suit in May, it accused Ackerman McQueen of breach of contract by leaking information about both LaPierre and the NRA’s finances. Ackerman McQueen had been a central force behind the NRA’s evolution from a gun rights group to a conservative cultural institution. As part of that mission, the ad firm helped launch and manage NRATV, the NRA’s recently shuttered internet-video arm. The NRA has alleged in court that Ackerman McQueen had refused to share its analytics with the gun group. But In its July 16 filing, Ackerman McQueen claims that the opposite is true. “Two days before the lawsuit was filed, LaPierre was in AMc’s office and was in attendance for the presentation of the NRATV analytics,” it reads. “LaPierre walked out of the meeting.” A spokesperson for the NRA’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The filing indicates that the fight between the NRA and Ackerman shows no signs of losing steam. Earlier this week, longtime NRA director of public affairs Jennifer Baker left the group. And a month ago, the group parted ways with its longtime top lobbyist, Chris Cox. 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.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 5:46 pm

Ramush Haradinaj, Kosovo's 'Rambo' ex-PM and Serbian antagonistRamush Haradinaj, who resigned as Kosovo's prime minister on Friday, is hailed as a hero at home -- where he is nicknamed "Rambo" -- but considered a war criminal by Belgrade, which has long sought to see him behind bars. The controversial 51-year-old, who was a wartime commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), stepped down after being summoned as a suspect by a war crimes court in the Hague. It is the second time he has resigned after being called before a war crimes court over crimes allegedly committed by the ethnic Albanian KLA separatists during the 1998-99 war.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 4:50 pm

US offers $7 mn to find Hezbollah agent wanted for Argentina attackThe United States on Friday offered a $7 million reward to find a Hezbollah operative accused of masterminding a deadly 1994 attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, as it vowed to bring together Latin American nations to fight the militant group. The United States also imposed sanctions on the Hezbollah figure, Salman Raouf Salman, in tandem with Argentina's announcement on the 25th anniversary of the attack that it is designating the Lebanese Shiite movement as a terrorist group. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was visiting Argentina to commemorate the attack and lit a candle at the site of the devastated Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, known by its Spanish acronym AMIA.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 4:35 pm

US weather: Potentially deadly heat wave set to break recordsThe hottest weather in years is stifling two-thirds of the United States, stretching from Texas and Oklahoma northeastward to Maine. The National Weather Service is using strong language to describe the hazards posed by this event.The Weather Service forecast office in Chicago, for example, is calling this “one of the hotter and more humid air masses since 2012.”By the time this event ends by Tuesday, 86 per cent of the Lower 48 states will have experienced high temperatures of at least 90 degrees (32C), and close to 50 per cent will have seen temperatures reach or exceed 95 degrees (35C).On Friday morning, forecasters at the Weather Service forecast office in Philadelphia wrote that this heat wave would be “prolonged, dangerous, and potentially deadly.” Warning of a heat index as high as 115 degrees (46C) on Saturday, forecasters noted: “Heat related illnesses and death can occur in minutes on days such as these in cases of over- exertion or entrapments in hot vehicles. Because of this, extreme caution should be exercised over the weekend with regards to the heat.”Expansive areas of high pressure, with one located over the central states and another out in the western Atlantic will yield near record warmth for multiple days.The heat wave, which comes in the midst of what may turn out to be the hottest month Earth has recorded since instrument records began in the late 19th century, poses a public health threat to tens of millions. In a typical year, heat is the top weather-related killer in the US, beating out tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other weather hazards.Because this event is occurring at the height of summer, it’s difficult to set temperature many all-time hot temperature records. However, the Weather Service still anticipates many records to fall, especially for warm overnight temperatures.This heat wave stands out for the high humidity that is accompanying it, as a vast heat dome helps drive Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean moisture northward.Dew point temperatures, which are a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air, have climbed well into the oppressive humidity category. The high dew points will also prevent overnight low temperatures from falling significantly overnight.Already, in Chicago on Friday morning, the temperature had not fallen below 81 degrees (27C) for the low, which – if it holds through midnight – would break the daily record warm overnight minimum temperature, which was 79 degrees (24C), set in 2011.Such high overnight lows will increase the risk to public health from this hot weather. Heat-related illnesses increase when the human body is not given time to cool off overnight. Heat stress and poor air quality can exacerbate other illnesses and even lead to heat stroke, which can be deadly.The groups most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses include the elderly, chronically ill, children and outdoor workers. Pets are also vulnerable, particularly if they are left in areas without air conditioning and proper hydration.During the day, the humidity levels will combine with air temperatures near the century mark to drive heat index values – which is how hot it feels to the human body – as high as 110 to 115 degrees (43C to 46C), particularly along the East Coast, according to Weather Service forecasts.Along the northern periphery of the heat dome will be what meteorologists refer to as the “Ring of Fire.” This is the battle zone between the heat wave air mass and cooler air to the north. In this area, strong winds in the upper atmosphere can spark severe thunderstorms, including complexes of storms that cause wind damage for hundreds of miles, known as a derecho.The Weather Service is forecasting such an event today across the Great Lakes, for example, with more storms along the heat dome’s periphery throughout the weekend.As the climate warms because of human activities, numerous studies have shown that heat waves such as this one are becoming more common and intense, as well as longer-lasting. It’s one of the most robust conclusions of climate science, since as you increase the global average temperature, the odds of hot extremes increase even faster.According to NOAA data, summer nights have warmed at nearly twice the rate as summer days in the United States, making heat waves a more formidable threat to public health.Climate change attribution studies have shown that global warming has dramatically increased the likelihood of extreme heat events. In fact, one study published in 2019 found the record-breaking summer heat wave in Japan during 2018 “could not have happened without human-induced global warming.”In addition, the National Climate Assessment, published by the Donald Trump administration last year found heat waves are on the increase in the United States and have been since the 1960, though the 1930s still stand out as having the most extreme heat events on record in the US, due to weather variability and land use practices at the time.Washington Post


Posted: July 19, 2019, 4:32 pm

Dozens of whales wash up on Icelandic beachDozens of beached whales have been discovered on a secluded stretch of sand in west Iceland where people rarely tread. The eerie photographs show what appears to be around 20 pilot whales, partially buried in the sand and rotting on Löngufjörur beach. A pilot from Reykjavík took the photographs while ferrying American tourists around the island. The morbid discovery was only made this week by air as the area is inaccessible by car and has few visitors, except the occasional hiker. Edda Elísabet Magnúsdóttir, a marine biologist and whale specialist, told local news website Iceland Monitor that it was hard to confirm when the mammals washed up on the beach. “The most important thing to look at is that these are deep-sea whales, common at the continental margin,” she said.  “They mainly feed on squid, which is why they’re good at diving deep. When they enter shallow waters, most of them have a tendency to become disoriented. They use echolocation for orientation, for finding one another, estimating the depth, and so on. "But a sloping, sandy bottom appears to increase their disorientation. There are numerous examples of them having beached where there is such a sandy, sloping bottom.” She added that pilot whales tend to swim in close-knit groups, which increases the risk of a large number being beached at once. It comes after 145 pilot whales were found stranded on an island in New Zealand, of which half were already dead. The other half had to be put down.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 4:07 pm

Wasp spray leads to 3 deaths in West Virginia after being used as alternative methWest Virginia state police are cautioning residents against using wasp sprayas an alternative form of methamphetamine after three people purportedlyoverdosed


Posted: July 19, 2019, 3:34 pm

How to Diversify a Portfolio With Less Than 5 FundsThe key to investing success is consistency with a diversified portfolio. Sufficient diversification can be achieved in as few as one or two funds. The reason for diversification is simple: When you invest in a wide swath of investments across various sectors, your total investment returns will be steadier, as one asset class drops, the others will shore up returns.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 2:56 pm

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Vietnam says Chinese vessel violated its sovereignty in South China SeaVietnam on Friday accused a Chinese oil survey vessel and its escorts of violating its sovereignty and demanded that China remove the ships from Vietnamese waters. Vietnam and China have for years long been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich stretch of waters in the South China Sea.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 2:49 pm

D-Day flag that flew at Normandy landing gifted to US 75 years later. Trump accepts flag from Netherlands PMThe flag, pierced by German bullet holes, flew aboard one of the landing crafts troops used to storm the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 2:48 pm

National Border Patrol Council official says Rep. Cummings is 'not telling the truth' about migrant facilitiesArt Del Cueto says Rep. Elijah Cummings is 'not telling the truth' about how migrant children are treated at border detention facilities, calls out Congress for not coming up with solutions to fix the crisis at the southern border.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 2:13 pm

Ukraine's president says he backs prisoner swap with RussiaUkraine's president on Friday outlined the details of an impending prisoner swap with Russia, saying that Kiev is willing to release a jailed Russian journalist in exchange for a Ukrainian film director. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's statement comes at the end of the week of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev. The flurry of activity around imprisoned Russians and Ukrainians follows last week's first telephone call between Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:29 pm

Turkish jets strike Kurdish rebels after diplomat's deathTurkey launched airstrikes against Kurdish rebel targets in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, after the killing of a Turkish diplomat there, state-run media quoted Turkey's defense minister as saying on Friday. Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkish jets on Thursday hit the Qandil mountains region in northern Iraq, where the leadership of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, is reported to be based.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:29 pm

Father charged with murder after driving two sons with severe autism off California pierThe father had purchased $6 million in insurance policies to cover his family in the event of an accidental death prior to the incident.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:23 pm

Philippine police seek sedition charges against VP, Duterte criticsPhilippine police have recommended sedition charges against the vice president and other opposition figures, a move slammed Friday as an attempt to stifle dissent under President Rodrigo Duterte. Police allege Vice President Leni Robredo, Catholic Church leaders and opposition politicians plotted to destabilise the Duterte government by implicating him in the narcotics trade. Duterte launched a war against the drug trade when he came into power three years ago.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:14 pm

Here's Trump hating on America. Is it time for him to leave?The president says if Democratic congresswomen criticize the US, they should go elsewhere. But mocking America is one of his own favorite pastimesAt a campaign rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, the president’s attacks against four progressive congresswomen of color culminated in his most overt attack yet. Referring to Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib as “hate-filled extremists”, he continued his tirade to the delight of his supporters.“They’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it,” Trump said to the crowd, who soon erupted into a chant of “send her back”.Yet Trump himself has repeatedly denigrated and criticized America, perhaps more so than any other presidential candidate in recent memory. If he holds himself to his own standards, perhaps it’s time for him to leave and “go back home”?Here are some examples of Trump’s attacks on the US. Make America great againA longtime critic of Obama, Trump has said he came upon his famed slogan the day his predecessor was elected to his second term. The Maga slogan implied that America was no longer great, something he also repeatedly and explicitly stated in much starker terms in the years before and during his run. Speaking to the Washington Post in 2017, he said:> I looked at the many types of illness our country had, and whether it’s at the border, whether it’s security, whether it’s law and order or lack of law and order. Crippled AmericaTrump’s 2015 book, Crippled America, was rife with critical quotes, referring to the country as “this mess” and “Uncle Sucker”, among other things, and took great pains to point out just how weak we had become.> The idea of American Greatness, of our country as the leader of the free and unfree world, has vanished … I couldn’t stand to see what was happening to our great country. This mess calls for leadership in the worst way. American carnageOn the day he took office in 2017, Trump painted a picture of America as a dystopian nightmare.> Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.> > This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. Laughing stockThe idea that criticizing the country is grounds for being dismissed from it would be news to the Donald Trump of the Obama years, when he described our collective humiliation many dozens of times.Stretching back to 2011, he regularly tweeted about which countries and other political bodies were laughing at us and Obama, from Opec to “the mullahs”, Sudan, and, most frequently, China and Vladimir Putin.> US Gov't is on the hook for more than a third of the world's entire debt & we wonder why China & OPEC are laughing all the way to the bank!> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2012> Thanks to @BarackObama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, China has become Canada's biggest oil consumer. China is laughing at us!> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2012> Lets fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us.> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012 Lots of killersWhen asked during an interview with Bill O’Reilly in 2017 about his praise for Putin, Trump said America wasn’t much better. But was Putin was “a killer”, O’Reilly said. Trump replied:> There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent? InfrastructureTrump has not only often referred to the symbolic collapse of America, he’s also pointed out its literal state of disrepair. His speech to the 2016 Republican national convention was a laundry list of things that he found shameful about the country, including our infrastructure. He told the crowd:> Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in third-world condition.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 12:28 pm

UPDATE 1-China's intelligence law looms over EU 5G safeguards -officialThe European Union cannot ignore China's National Intelligence Law, which requires Chinese citizens to support state information-gathering, as Brussels seeks rules for super-fast mobile networks, a senior EU official said on Friday. EU governments are debating ways to protect next-generation mobile networks from any possible Chinese interference, caught between a U.S. demand they shun China's Huawei and growing Sino-European business ties.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 11:50 am

World Bank pulls funding for new state capital in India after Delhi drops supportThe World Bank said on Friday it had withdrawn $300 million of funding for a new capital in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh after the central government dropped support for the project. The Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), that was due to finance $200 million of the project, then said it was reviewing its involvement. The construction of the city, known as Amaravati, is the brainchild of the state's former chief minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, who lost power in elections in May.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 11:45 am

Hong Kong Protesters Who Stormed Legco Seek Asylum in Taiwan: Report(Bloomberg) -- Dozens of Hong Kong protesters involved in the ransacking of the city’s Legislative Council this month have arrived in Taiwan to seek asylum, the Apple Daily newspaper reported.About 30 protesters have already landed in Taiwan, while as many as 30 others -- and possibly more -- are planning to try soon, the Hong Kong newspaper said, citing unidentified people who assisted them.The fleeing activists were part of the group that smashed into the legislature on July 1, the paper said. The people who assisted the protesters told the paper they had been in contact with Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which handles the island’s relations with Beijing, to seek help.The council hasn’t received any formal asylum applications from Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency, its deputy minister Chiu Chui-cheng said in a text message. If Taiwan receives any applications, authorities will handle them appropriately based on existing regulations and the principle of protecting human rights, Chiu added.Read more: Pain From Hong Kong Protests Spreads as Luxury Names Get HitA flight to Taiwan by Hong Kong asylum seekers would be fraught with geopolitical risk. It threatens to raise tensions between the administration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen, a China critic who’s up for re-election in January, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has already faced embarrassment over the global attention paid to Hong Kong’s anti-government protests.Hong Kong’s historic demonstrations over legislation that would allow extraditions to the mainland for the first time have resonated widely in democratically run Taiwan, which China considers a wayward province.Seeking RefugeThe Taiwan Association for Human Rights, a top local non-governmental organization, wouldn’t comment on the case. “We cannot divulge any information regarding any individual case,” said Secretary-General, Chiu E-ling. “If there are individuals who approach us for help, we’ll interview these people and help them get in touch with government officials if that is what they wish.”Earlier: China Drafting Urgent Plan to Resolve Hong Kong Chaos, SCMP SaysProtesters used a metal cart as a battering ram to break their way into the legislative building on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return from British rule, spray-painting slogans on its chamber’s walls and draping a Union Jack-emblazoned colonial flag across the dais.At the time, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam condemned the “extreme use of violence and vandalism” and supported the police’s decision to leave it undefended in the face of a small group of protesters.Emily Leung, a spokeswoman for Lam, referred queries on the report to the Hong Kong police, who declined to comment on Friday.who didn’t immediately respond to a call and an email Friday for comment.(Updates with police comment in final paragraph.)\--With assistance from Ina Zhou, Kari Lindberg and Debby Wu.To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Adela Lin in Taipei at alin95@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 10:27 am

'My entire world was gone': floods devastate northern PakistanNow only jagged rocks and a few damaged homes remain after torrential rains wreaked havoc on the picturesque mountain village in the Laswa Valley. More than 270 people have been killed in recent days across South Asia as monsoon rains deluged large swathes of the subcontinent, flooding waterways and destroying communities. "I was holding the hand of my mother trying to save her, but unfortunately I lost her hand and she was swept away by the floodwater," says Amin Butt, who was visiting his family in Kashmir.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 10:15 am

Earthquakes repeatedly striking proposed US nuclear waste siteRepeated earthquakes could risk releasing deadly radioactivity into the earth if plans for a nuclear waste site in go ahead in Nevada’s desert, the state’s governor has warned.Tens of thousands of tons of highly radioactive used nuclear reactor fuel are due to be transferred from 35 US states to a new facility in the Mojave Desert.The Yuka Mountain nuclear waste repository is set to store this material deep within the earth. But a series of recent earthquakes in the Mojave Desert has raised concerns about the safety of storing radioactive waste at the facility. On 4 July, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake ruptured the earth in the desert, which stretches across the California-Nevada border.The force of the quake cracked buildings, sparked fires, damaged roads and caused several injuries in southern California. It was followed by a 6.4-magnitude temblor two days later.In the wake of the earthquakes, the governor of Nevada Steve Sisolak said he was committed to “fighting any continued federal effort to use Nevada as the nation's nuclear dumping ground".“These significant recent earthquakes so near to Yucca Mountain show one of the many geologic problems with the site as a nuclear waste repository,” he said.Mr Sisolak sent a letter to the energy secretary, Rick Perry, urging him to reconsider the location of the facility.The US government began considering sites for storing radioactive waste that is produced as old nuclear fuel is reprocessed into nuclear weapon materials in 1982.In 2002, Yuka Mountain was designated as the only site in the country to receive the radioactive material. But Nevada has fought the proposed nuclear waste repository at every step, arguing that US government studies downplayed the risk of earthquakes damaging the repository and releasing deadly radioactivity. The project was shelved in 2010 under pressure from then-Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Barack Obama. They said nuclear waste should be stored in a state that wants it. But in March 2019, Mr Perry, the Trump administration's energy secretary, set aside $116m to push forward the project and restart licensing hearings.In governor of Nevada’s letter to Mr Perry, he included the opinions of James Faulds at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and Graham Kent at the seismological laboratory at the University of Nevada.They urged for more research to be conducted into the seismic activity at the Yuka Mountain site. "The Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, which began July 4 and has yet to subside, clearly highlights the importance of such studies," Mr Faulds and Mr Kent said. A recent ranking compiled by the US Geological Survey found Nevada was the US state with the fourth highest level of seismic activity after Alaska, Wyoming and Oklahoma.Additional reporting by AP


Posted: July 19, 2019, 10:01 am

Squeezed by sanctions, Iranians seek day jobs in Kurdish IraqWhen the car pulled up to the curb in Iraq's Arbil, a half-dozen Iranian labourers swarmed around it. Squeezed by US sanctions on Tehran, they were hunting for work across the border. Mostly Kurds themselves, they have sought day jobs in construction and other menial labour in Iraq's northern Kurdish region to make up for the deteriorating economic situation at home.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 9:51 am

13 Philadelphia police officers to be fired following Facebook post investigationThirteen Philadelphia police officers will be fired following an investigation into racist and offensive Facebook posts, Commissioner Richard Ross said.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 9:27 am

Journalist reporting on immigration released from ‘inhumane’ US migrant detention centre after 15 monthsThere were bugs, and the showers were cold. Air conditioning was not available, but the heat was turned on inexplicably.If you didn’t have family in the United States to send money for food, you would go hungry.Those are just some of the conditions Manuel Duran described after he was released from a US immigration detention centre.As a journalist in Memphis, Tennessee, Mr Duran had been reporting on immigration enforcement officials and sordid conditions for more than a decade by the time they took him into custody last year.Now, he says he’s experienced the neglect himself.“I’ve seen the cruelty of the mass detention of immigrants firsthand,” Mr Duran told reporters in Spanish on Wednesday, “and it is unnecessary and inhumane.”Mr Duran, a native of El Salvador, had been working for the Spanish-language news outlet Memphis Noticias.After being released last week from 15 months in detention, Mr Duran, 43, decried what he called the brutal treatment of immigrants by Donald Trump’s administration.Detention centres have faced severe overcrowding in the past several months, prompting outrage and calls for change.Unlike many reporters who focus on immigration, Mr Duran has lived through the detention conditions he covers.Migrants did not get enough food at any of the four facilities where Mr Duran was held, he said at the news conference on Wednesday.They had to buy rations with money sent by their families, and if they didn’t have relatives in the United States, the migrants would go hungry.The holding facilities were infested with cockroaches and spiders, Mr Duran said. At Etowah County Detention Centre in Alabama, he said he had to bathe with cold water from hoses for two months.The air conditioner was being repaired for most of the spring, Mr Duran said, and the heat was turned on at one point, making it difficult to sleep.“I’ve seen the disastrous effect of Trump’s anti-immigrant policy,” Mr Duran said. “I’ve seen working men, businessmen, who have lived their whole lives in this country and who haven’t committed crimes crying and longing to reunite with their families.”Mr Duran alleged that ICE had singled him out for detention because he was a journalist from El Salvador.His attorneys at the Southern Poverty Law Centre also argued in a court document that law enforcement had arrested and detained Mr Duran in an attempt to suppress his reporting critical of immigration enforcement.“In the US, we are made to believe that freedom of the press is valued, but I can tell you all that under the Trump administration, this isn’t true,” Mr Duran said.He was released from detention on bond on 11 July while the Board of Immigration Appeals considers whether to grant him asylum because journalists face dangerous conditions in El Salvador, his attorneys said.Gracie Willis, a staff attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Centre, said Mr Duran decided to speak to reporters about his experience in detention because he considers journalism a form of advocacy.“I think for him, it was important for him to speak to the press, who are his brothers and sisters in his vocation – to inform them about the things that he saw,” Ms Willis said.On 3 April 2018, Mr Duran was reporting on a protest of local police helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when Memphis police arrested him while they were trying to clear people from the street, according to Mr Duran’s attorneys.Mr Duran was charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of a highway, the lawyers wrote in the court document, but the charges were dropped two days later.Instead of releasing Mr Duran from jail, his attorneys said he was turned over to ICE and brought on an eight-hour bus ride to the LaSalle detention centre in Jena, Louisiana – without access to a bathroom and with his wrists, ankles and waist in shackles.Mr Duran migrated to the United States in 2006, when his television reporting in El Salvador subjected him to death threats, his attorneys wrote.He missed an immigration court hearing the next year because he was not told about it, according to his lawyers, causing a judge to issue a removal order for him.ICE on Thursday did not respond to a request for information about his case and for a response to his criticisms of the detention centres.Mauricio Calvo, the executive director of advocacy group Latino Memphis, said many other immigrants face the same conditions that Mr Duran described.Attorneys from Latino Memphis, an organisation that provides services and advocates for policies that benefit Latinos, were part of Mr Duran’s legal team.“This guy had a lot of support because he’s a journalist and all these different things,” Mr Calvo said, “but we have 500 cases at Latino Memphis, and most people cannot get the attention that Manuel did.”Mr Duran is not the first foreign-born journalist to be detained by ICE.Emilio Gutiérrez Soto, a Mexican reporter, migrated to the United States in 2008 after he says soldiers broke into his home and took his identity documents.He and his son Oscar were denied asylum in 2017 and temporarily detained. Their immigration cases are ongoing.Washington Post


Posted: July 19, 2019, 9:22 am

How Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution Was Resurrected—and BetrayedCourtesy Bill GentileBill Gentile covered the Central American wars of the 1980s that haunt the United States to this day. In the first chapter of this series he wrote about the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. In the second, he looked at the U.S.-backed counter-revolution. Here he looks at what has become of the region, and of journalism.* * *Return Trips* * *MANAGUA, Nicaragua—Journalists follow the news. So when peace came to Central America at the beginning of the 1990s, I knew it was time for me to leave. The story there that had dominated front pages and nightly news for more than a decade dissipated almost overnight. In any case, I was ready to expand my work from Latin America and the Caribbean to more distant frontiers and Claudia, my Nicaraguan wife, was glad to escape the pressure cooker of a country mired in perpetual crisis. So we moved to Miami, a blend of developed and developing countries, where I still could cover major national and international stories, where my experience in conflict reporting and fluency in Spanish would be assets, and from where I could cover not just the region but stories far beyond.Central America’s Wars of the ’80s Still Haunt the U.S.It was a difficult transition. The logistics made sense, but the profession itself faced growing threats. By the end of the 1980s and especially at the beginning of the 1990s, the craft of photojournalism was contracting. Digital photography was becoming accessible to everyone; social media began to compete with the old mainstream operations, and 24/7 cable meant legacy outlets like Newsweek, my employer, became the platforms of old news before they even hit the stands.A peasant walks past a cotton plantation in western Nicaragua.Courtesy Bill GentileI moved to Philadelphia and began working for Video News International (VNI), the first company in the nation to use the new digital “prosumer” cameras to generate television content. Claudia and I separated and eventually divorced. When VNI fell apart, I turned to freelancing with video. By the year 2000 I had begun teaching as my main gig and freelancing as much as time and energy would allow.But Nicaragua never left me. And I never left Nicaragua.* * *‘The World Stopped Watching’* * *White Pine Pictures is a Canadian documentary film production company whose members in 1986 produced The World Is Watching, about the coverage of the Contra War in Nicaragua by Western media. I was one of the featured journalists. In 2002, some 16 years later, White Pine contacted me to ask whether I would be willing to return to Nicaragua to film a sequel.“Absolutely.”I proposed we scan a handful of images from my book, Nicaragua, and publish them in the country’s newspapers. We’d ask people to contact our producer in Managua if anyone recognized the people in the pictures, then we’d follow up on their stories since the Sandinista victory on July 19, 1979. A peasant man and daughter make adobe blocks for building their new home.Courtesy Bill GentileIt worked. Sandinista soldiers. Contra fighters. Peasants. Workers. Our producer’s phone rang off the hook. And in the end? I found myself trying to explain how terrible those days had been, in large part because they failed to advance the Sandinistas’ plan for a more equitable Nicaragua than the one they inherited from the Somoza dictatorship.‘Terrible and Glorious Days’ Covering the Contra War of the 1980sCalling their sequel The World Stopped Watching, the White Pine filmmakers produced a documentary explaining how the absence of international media loosens the restraints on the bad guys, who can do whatever they want because we, the international observers and watchdogs, are not around to hold them accountable. And that’s exactly what has happened.At their electoral defeat in 1990, the Sandinista government accepted the process and, with no small amount of urging by former President Jimmy Carter, handed over power to a new government. It was the first time in Nicaragua’s history that a sitting government peacefully handed over power as the result of a legitimate, internationally recognized election.At a news conference recognizing their landslide loss, Sandinista leaders, including ousted President Daniel Ortega, showed up with pallid, drawn faces. Most of the international press corps was stunned by the results as well.A mural of famed guerrilla fighter and liberator Augusto Cesar Sandino in the northern mountains.Courtesy Bill Gentile“El cuadro esta pintado,” one high-ranking Sandinista official declared just days before the vote. “The painting is finished,” he said, assuring me with blind confidence that the Sandinistas would crush the opposition. The result was a measure of how deeply the Sandinista leadership was disconnected from the people.But at a rally not long after the vote, Ortega promised his followers that, “We will rule from below.” In other words, the highly organized Sandinista party would flex its muscles and get its way no matter who was president.* * *Malign Neglect* * *Anthony Quainton is Distinguished Diplomat in Residence in the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, D.C. He spent 38 years in the U.S. foreign services as a diplomat in Nicaragua, Peru, Kuwait and the Central African Republic. He also served as Coordinator of the Office for Combating Terrorism. At a recent conference, Quainton delivered a keynote speech titled, “Managua and Washington in the Early Sandinista Revolution,” calling his his assignment in Nicaragua in the early 1980s “Mission Impossible.”He argued that had the United States made a major and long-term commitment to the social and economic development of the region and backed off its support for corrupt regimes, “some of the problems we are now encountering might have been avoided or at least ameliorated. Unfortunately when the Sandinistas were eventually voted out of power in 1990, the United States largely lost interest in the region. We are reaping the whirlwind of that neglect in the refugee and gang crises we are now facing,” he said.“Opportunities to create a more stable Central America existed four decades ago,” said Quainton. “They were lost. Both sides could not see beyond their ideologies. Neither could escape from its history. The Sandinistas believed that they were a vanguard party and that history had entrusted them a revolutionary mission. … They could not escape from the troubled history of Yankee intervention. We could not escape from Vietnam and the experiences of the Cold War. Bridging the historical, ideological and emotional divide between us was more than I or my colleagues could do. Try as we could, the Mission was always impossible.”Quainton’s argument is balanced and cogent, but it presumes there was some kind of parity in 1979 between a little country devastated by earthquakes and wars with no tradition of good governance, and a stable, global, functional democracy and superpower some 200 years old. Prior to 1979 much of the Sandinista leadership lived in La Montaña and in clandestine cells. They had little or no institutional foundation to build on. No Harvard or Oxford background to draw from. No Jefferson, Washington or Lincoln to emulate.A young woman washes clothes in Lake Managua, which borders the capital, Managua.Courtesy Bill GentileInstead, they were forced to cope with political, economic and military aggression by the single most powerful nation on the planet. To justify that action, Ronald Reagan warned a group of conservative supporters that defeat of the contras would create "a privileged sanctuary for terrorists and subversives just two days' driving time from Harlingen, Texas." He warned that “feet people” trudging north would be “swarming into our country” to escape communism.But if, as the Trump administration claims, Central Americans are now headed north in huge numbers, it’s because of the complete failure to address their hopes, their needs, and their safety.* * *Rule and Ruin* * *Yet none of this justifies what Sandinista rule has become.Today, most of the original Sandinista leadership has abandoned the Ortega regime, viewing it as a betrayal of the organization’s original promises to the Nicaraguan people. Daniel Ortega has been president, once again, for the past 10 years. His wife, Rosario Murillo, is vice president.Facing Down the Death Squads of NicaraguaDuring anti-government protests in the spring of 2018, Sandinista police and Sandinista-backed armed thugs killed an estimated 300 people. Media outlets are constantly harassed and shut down. Even international non-governmental organizations whose only agenda is to help the poor and underprivileged have abandoned the country because of government restrictions and intervention. Nicaragua continues to be rated as the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.So where do journalists and journalism fit into all this? How do we see our role? Four decades after my first arrival in Managua, have I helped bring about positive change? Did I do any good here?I certainly hope so. I hope the images I created and published via UPI, Newsweek magazine, my Nicaragua book and other outlets, have contributed to the visual record of that time and that place in history. It’s important to remember that, at the time when I was covering the region, there was no Facebook, no Google, no Instagram, no email. There was no internet! Television was limited to ABC, CBS and NBC. CNN was just beginning. Fox did not exist. So most of the world relied on a handful of magazines including Newsweek, Time and U.S. News & World Report, Life and National Geographic, for its visual explanation of the globe. Major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post published only black and white pictures back then.A tiny handful of women and men, including myself, were privileged to be part of a small cadre of photojournalists entrusted with the mission of providing the world with a visual explanation of itself. And we did so sometimes despite great peril.But there is another dimension to what we do, perhaps more important than our impact on the wider world. And that is the mere act of practicing our craft defines and validates us. Like La Montaña for the guerrillas, journalism is the anvil upon which we test, forge and mold ourselves into what we aspire to be.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.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 8:45 am

The Navy's 6th Generation Fighter Could Put the F-35 in a MuseumNew much-longer range sensors and weapons, incorporating emerging iterations of AI, are expected to make warfare more disaggregated, and much less of a linear force on force type of engagement. Such a phenomenon, driven by new technology, underscores warfare reliance upon sensors and information networks. All of this, naturally, requires the expansive "embedded ISR" discussed by the paper. Network reliant warfare is of course potentially much more effective in improving targeting and reducing sensor-to-shooter time over long distances, yet it brings a significant need to organize and optimize the vast, yet crucial, flow of information.The Navy is currently analyzing air frames, targeting systems, AI-enabled sensors, new weapons and engine technologies to engineer a new 6th-Generation fighter to fly alongside the F-35 and ultimately replace the F/A-18.(This first appeared earlier in the year.)The Navy program, called Next-Generation Air Dominance, has moved beyond a purely conceptual phase and begun exploration of prototype systems and airframes as it pursues a new, carrier-launched 6th-Gen fighter to emerge in 2030 and beyond, service officials explained.“Some important areas of consideration include derivative and developmental air vehicle designs, advanced engines, propulsion, weapons, mission systems, electronic warfare and other emerging technologies,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Chatmas told Warrior earlier this year.A formal Analysis of Alternatives, expected to complete this year, is weighing the advantages of leveraging nearer-term existing technologies such as new variants or upgrades to cutting edge weapons, sensors and stealth configurations - or allowing more time for leap-ahead developmental systems to emerge.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 7:47 am

Countdown to War with Iran? USS Boxer Destroys Iranian DroneThe amphibious assault ship USS Boxer shot down an Iranian drone Thursday in the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump announced."The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone which had closed into a very, very near distance – approximately 1,000 yards – ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew," Trump said during a White House ceremony. "The drone was immediately destroyed.""This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters," he continued. "The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities, our interests and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce. I also call on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the Strait and to work with us in the future."A Pentagon spokesman issued a brief statement on Thursday saying a "fixed wing unmanned aerial system" flew dangerously close to the Boxer around 10 a.m. local time while she ship was in international waters transiting the Strait of Hormuz."The ship took defensive action against the UAS [unmanned aerial system] to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew," said spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.Roughly 4,500 Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Group is embarked aboard the Boxer and the two other ships in its amphibious ready group: the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha and the landing ship dock USS Harpers Ferry, according to Reuters.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 7:24 am

Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate HitlerGermany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazis — who were stigmatized for decades as traitors — as pillars of the country's modern democracy amid growing concerns about the resurgence of the far-right. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will speak Saturday at an annual swearing-in ceremony for some 400 troops before addressing a memorial event, paid tribute ahead of the anniversary to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators and highlighted their importance to modern Germany. Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, during a meeting at his headquarters in East Prussia.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 6:28 am

Problem: Iran Is Using Western Technology Against U.S. DronesFor years, Iran has been successful in smuggling drone parts in spite of international sanctions, and now its smuggling efforts have moved into counter-drone markets. Iran shot down a RQ-4A Global Hawk drone last week. Several years ago, in 2011, it demonstrated its evolving capabilities at drone interception when it captured a RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone. To down the Hawk, Iran claimed to use the 3 Khordad surface-to-air missile system. Prior to that, Iran supposedly jammed the communication links of the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone, taking control of the drone inside Iranian territory, later reverse engineering it to produce the Shahed-171 and Saeqah drones. So, on top of drone capabilities, Iran has some counter-drone capabilities—that is the ability to detect, identify, track and/or control unmanned aircraft. It also boasts powerful cyber-attack capabilities that can be used to control enemy drones. Efforts should now focus on preventing Iran from enhancing these capabilities by countering its attempts to obtain Western counter-drone technology.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 6:00 am

Great Barrier Reef agency breaks with Australia gvt in climate warningThe agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef broke ranks with Australia's conservative government to call for the "strongest and fastest possible action" against climate change to save the world heritage marine wonder. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, a government body, said in a study released this week that an urgent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, both nationally and globally, was needed to protect the future of the reef. Rising sea temperatures linked to climate change have killed off large areas of coral in the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) reef, a UN-listed World Heritage site, that suffered back-to-back coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017.


Posted: July 19, 2019, 2:12 am

Feds: Man charged with killing 3 had been deported twiceA Guatemalan man who apparently entered the U.S. illegally after being deported twice has been charged with killing an Iowa woman and her two children. Marvin Oswaldo Escobar-Orellana, 31, made an initial court appearance Thursday in Des Moines, where the judge set his bond at $3 million cash and scheduled his next hearing for July 29. Escobar-Orellana was arrested Tuesday night in the fatal shootings of 29-year-old Rossibeth Flores-Rodriguez and her two children, 11-year-old Grecia Daniela Alvarado-Flores and 5-year-old Ever Jose Mejia-Flores.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 10:37 pm

Navy warship sunk by German sub in WWII finally locatedA private dive team has located the last U.S. Navy warship to be sunk by a German submarine in World War II, just a few miles (kilometers) off the coast of Maine. The sinking of the USS Eagle PE-56 on April 23, 1945, was originally blamed on a boiler explosion. The patrol boat's precise location remained a mystery — until now.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 10:15 pm

AOC to DHS chief: Border agents shared 'images of my violent rape' in secret Facebook groupRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the whereabouts of Border Patrol agents who threatened her in a secret Facebook group.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 10:02 pm

‘I am disgusted’: New Yorkers react to Trump telling congresswomen to ‘go back’ to their countriesNew Yorkers, like much of the country, have some strong opinions about the latest controversy engulfing President Trump. “I am disgusted at the Republicans,” said Randi, of Manhattan. “I can’t believe no one stands up to him. I thought of myself as independent, and I’m forced into being a Democrat.”


Posted: July 18, 2019, 8:14 pm

California city set to ban gendered words like 'manhole' and 'manpower'The City Council in Berkeley, Calif., votes to remove gender-specific words from its municipal code.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 7:54 pm

Jon Stewart Eviscerates Rand Paul for Blocking 9/11 Victim Funding: ‘It’s an Abomination’One month ago, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart went on Fox News to shame Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to protect 9/11 first responders. Wednesday afternoon, he was back on that network to give the other Republican senator from Kentucky a piece of his mind. In an interview with Bret Baier, Stewart immediately took aim at Rand Paul who, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), blocked a Senate bill that would extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, making the case that it should be offset by other spending cuts.  Responding directly to Paul, Stewart called his objection “absolutely outrageous,” adding, “Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling.” Jon Stewart Fires Back at Mitch McConnell on ‘Colbert’: Stop ‘Jacking Around’ 9/11 First RespondersStewart went on to condemn Paul for supporting President Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut that “added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit” and now trying to “balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community.” “Bret, this is about what kind of society we have,” a clearly furious Stewart continued. “At some point, we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us, and at this moment in time maybe cannot stand up for themselves due to their illnesses and their injuries. And what Rand Paul did today on the floor of the Senate was outrageous.” “He is a guy who put us in hundreds of billions of dollars in debt,” he said of Paul. “And now he’s going to tell us that a billion dollars a year over 10 years is just too much for us to handle? You know, there are some things that they have no trouble putting on the credit card, but somehow when it comes to the 9/11 first responder community—the cops, the firefighters, the construction workers, the volunteers, the survivors—all of a sudden we’ve got to go through this.” Appearing next to Stewart was 9/11 first responder and activist John Feal, who thanked the host and Fox News as a whole for being so “generous” with their time on this issue before calling Senators Paul and Lee “bottom-feeders” who “lack humanity” and “lack leadership.”Stewart said survivors like Feal and others shouldn’t have to “drag themselves back to Washington, put their hats in their hands and beg for something that this country should have done 14 years ago,” adding, “It’s an abomination.” 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.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 7:41 pm

Satellite images ‘show US military buildup in Saudi Arabia’ amid Iran tensionsThe United States is preparing to send hundreds of troops to Saudi Arabia where satellite images appear to show a build up of American forces on the ground. Up to 500 soldiers are to be sent to the Prince Sultan Airbase in the desert to the east of the capital Riyadh, two officials told CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity. Preparations are also reportedly underway for a large missile installation from which Patriot surface-to-air missiles can be launched to protect the base from incoming threats. The moves would likely strengthen the US' controversial relationship with Saudi Arabia, while also responding to rising tensions with Iran which escalated dramatically in recent months. After the US unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal last year and reimposed tight sanctions, Iran announced in July that it had surpassed limits on enriched uranium imposed in the agreement. The country insists it is not trying to build nuclear weapons.A standoff has also ensued in the Gulf, with sabotage attacks on foreign tankers, blamed on Iran by the US. In the latest incident Tehran said it had seized a foreign-owned vessel suspected of being used for oil smuggling out of the country/ The Trump administration has long sought to base troops in the remote region, but the decision to send them to Saudi Arabia comes amid outrage over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A United Nations report concluded his death at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul was "an extrajudicial execution" sanctioned Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.The Trump administration has also been criticised for its response to the murder.Despite these issues, the US has said it is committed to helping protect Saudi Arabia from Iranian aggression, and last month said 1,000 troops were being sent to the middle east, but did not say which countries they were going to.Photographs taken by high-resolution commercial satellites, captured by satellite imagery company Planet Labs, show a deployment of US troops and support personnel who arrived at the air base in mid-June, according to Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, who has studied the new images.Pictures of the site taken in late June and early July show preparations being made for the arrival of troops, Mr Lewis told CNN.“A small encampment and construction equipment appeared at the end of a runway by June 27, suggesting that improvements are already underway. The encampment to the east of the runway is typical of Air Force engineering squadrons deployed overseas,” he said. The US is reportedly hoping to be able to fly stealth, fifth-generation F-22 jets and other fighter planes from the base.Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told the New York Times there was “no official announcement” of the deployment to the Middle East but said the American military “continually works to manage our force posture in the region.”Amid rising tensions between Iran and the US last month, Mr Trump said he was not seeking war with the country but warned, if pushed, the country would face “obliteration like you’ve never seen before”.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 6:04 pm

THE 60: 13-room hotel near Area 51 overwhelmed with bookingsThe Little A'LE'INN, which only has 13 rooms, says it's overwhelmed with alien hunters wanting to storm Area 51.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 5:59 pm

After census debacle, White House to knock out senior Commerce officialSenior Trump aides have sparred with the policy director for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over the census, 5G and other issues.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 5:24 pm

View Photos of the Lexus GXOR Concept


Posted: July 18, 2019, 4:59 pm

Cyprus detains 12 Israeli men over allegations of gang rape of British teenagerTwelve Israeli tourists were remanded in custody for eight days by a court in Cyprus for the alleged gang rape of a 19-year-old British woman at a popular holiday resort on the island. The Israelis were arrested on Wednesday after the British teenager told police that she had been raped at the hotel where she was staying in the beach resort of Ayia Napa. Doctors who treated the woman said they found bruises and scratches on her body. The suspects, aged 16 to 18, were staying in the same hotel. The young men covered their faces with their t-shirts as they arrived handcuffed at the court in the nearby town of Paralimni, in the southeast of Cyprus. One broke down in tears. Some were accompanied by their parents. The hearing was held behind closed doors because some of the suspects are minors. The suspects covered their faces as they arrived at court Credit: Petros Karadjis/AP A judge accepted a request by Cypriot police to remand the men in custody for eight days while an investigation is launched into the rape allegation. They have not yet been charged with any offence. Three of the men allegedly raped the British tourist while others filmed the attack on their mobile phones, local media reports said. Ioannis Habaris, a lawyer representing four of the suspects, told The Associated Press it was unclear exactly how many of the men were implicated in the alleged rape. He said there was "some evidence" the British woman was involved in a "relationship" with one of the suspects. Tourists on a beach on the outskirts of the resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus Credit: Amir Makar/AFP Nir Yaslovitzh, an Israeli lawyer representing three other suspects, said the 12 teenagers had arrived in Ayia Napa in three separate groups. Some were having a holiday prior to being drafted into the Israeli army for compulsory military service. He said police were trying to flush out the perpetrators among the group by arresting all 12 and having them detained. "I think it's a trick," Mr Yaslovitzh told AP. "They want to know how my clients will (react)." The Foreign Office said British authorities were "supporting a British woman who was assaulted in Cyprus and are in contact with local police". Cyprus’s sandy beaches, bars and nightclubs attract around 1.3 million British tourists a year. Ayia Napa has a reputation for being a party town, with booze cruises and pub crawls.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 4:58 pm

The Latest: Iran shows seized fuel tanker matches UAE shipIran's state TV English-language channel has released video of a ship seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces accused of smuggling fuel out of the country. The Press TV report showed the ship's registration number on its bridge, matching that of the MT Riah, a UAE-based vessel that turned off its location tracker as it entered Iranian territorial waters early Sunday. Iranian state media earlier Thursday said a tanker was seized with a crew of 12 aboard for smuggling fuel from Iranian smugglers to foreign customers and was intercepted south of Iran's Larak Island in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 4:03 pm

Los Angeles police officer charged with multiple rapes after DNA links him to cold caseA LAPD officer is facing life in prison after an investigation into an accusation of rape led to the discovery of another victim.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 1:45 pm

France turns down citizenship for immigrant nurse because she 'works too much'France has rejected an immigrant nurse’s application for citizenship on the grounds that she was working too many hours a week in breach of the statutory 35-hour week and strict limits on overtime. The nurse, whose name and nationality have not been made public, holds three jobs and averages 59 hours a week, which the authorities said placed her “in violation of regulations on working time in France”. The 35-hour rule introduced under a Socialist government in 2000 gave France one of the world’s shortest working weeks, but it has since been loosened and employees may be permitted to work up to 48 hours a week including overtime.  The Préfecture in Val-de Marne, near Paris, said in a letter to the nurse that it was “postponing” her naturalisation application for two years. The letter was posted on social media by one of her friends, Nicolas Delage. “I find this scandalous,” Mr Delage told the online newspaper 20 Minutes. “One reason for granting [French] nationality is work. She is not stealing anyone’s work.” Sanjay Navy, a lawyer, said immigrants were often denied naturalisation for working too many hours. “I’ve seen similar cases before this. This is not an isolated decision.” Mr Navy said he had seen a number of naturalisation applications by security guards turned down because they had multiple employers and worked too many hours. According to the most recent official figures, some 63,000 immigrants were granted French citizenship in 2017. The French are bitterly divided over the 35-hour week, which became a campaign issue in the 2017 presidential election. The unsuccessful conservative candidate, François Fillon, promised to abolish it, arguing that it caused economic stagnation. Emmanuel Macron, the victorious centrist, has stopped short of scrapping it but has introduced greater flexibility for companies to negotiate longer hours with staff. An economy ministry report in April which revealed that more than 300,000 civil servants work less than 35 hours a week caused outrage among private-sector employees, many of whom say they regularly work longer hours to achieve their targets. A baker in northern France was fined €3,000 (£2,700) last year for breaching legal limits on work hours by opening his bakery seven days a week. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.


Posted: July 18, 2019, 1:27 pm

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