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  • Buttigieg, surging in Iowa, has a plan to win it all. Here it is.

    Golocal247.com news

    Reminder: There are 105 days until the Iowa caucuses and 379 days until the 2020 election. It happened to Kamala Harris during the summer. Now it’s starting to happen to South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was widely proclaimed one of the “winners” of last week’s Democratic primary debate in Westerville, Ohio.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:52:12 -0400
  • Trump denies he betrayed the Kurds: 'We never gave a commitment'

    Golocal247.com news

    President Trump told reporters Monday that the U.S. still has a "good relationship with the Kurds."

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:55:47 -0400
  • Truck driver indicted on 23 counts in motorcyclist deaths

    A pickup truck driver accused of causing a collision that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire has been indicted on 23 charges saying he negligently caused the deaths and was under the influence of one or more drugs at the time. Volodymyr Zhukovskyy , 23, of Springfield, Massachusetts, is to be arraigned by video on Nov. 5. The negligent homicide-DUI charges accuse Zhukovskyy of driving under the influence of a controlled drug or drugs at the time of the crash.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 16:53:18 -0400
  • An Air France flight was forced to turn back in midair when staff found an unattended cellphone that wasn't claimed by any of the passengers

    Golocal247.com news

    Air France flight 136 to Chicago from Paris landed at Ireland's Shannon Airport, where the police scanned a cellphone found on board.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:34:28 -0400
  • A West Point cadet and his M4 rifle have been missing for three days

    Golocal247.com news

    Officials said that the cadet, member of the class of 2021, is not believed to be a threat to the public, but could be a threat to himself.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 16:49:47 -0400
  • Russia’s Troll Farm Is Kind of Sh*tting the Bed on Facebook

    Golocal247.com news

    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyFacebook on Monday removed nearly 200 newly discovered fake accounts linked separately to Iran and to Russia’s Internet Research Agency. The takedowns demonstrate that foreign influence operations are already targeting the 2020 election, but provide evidence that Russia’s notorious troll farm is struggling to regain anything close to the influence in held in 2016.The new wave of takedowns targeted separate networks of deceptive accounts created by Iran and Russia, including dozens of fake Facebook organization pages. In a press call, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the takedowns show the company has come far since getting caught flat-footed in 2016. “The fact that we’ve identified them proactively should provide some confidence that our systems here are working,” Zuckerberg said.The Russian accounts were far more focused on U.S. domestic issues, but in terms of sheer numbers and longevity, the Iranian effort outstripped Russia. The Iranian accounts included 21 Instagram accounts and 135 fake Facebook accounts propping up 26 phony organization pages and four Facebook groups. More than 90 of the accounts were primarily focused on U.S. readers, with the others mostly targeting Latin America. The accounts largely pushed links to Iranian propaganda on state-run news outlets, according to Facebook.As with past takedowns, the company’s announcement only identified a handful of the Iranian personas. Of those, though, one stands out as eerily reminiscent of Russia’s 2016 efforts—a Facebook page called “BLMnews” that purported to be a news site covering the Black Lives Matters movement. The page had a meager 45 followers, and, according to Facebook, was devoted to driving traffic to an associated website that’s been operating since August 2016, according to Internet registration records.Russia’s Internet Research Agency ran similar sites and Facebook pages during and after the 2016 election season, some with sizable followings. But so far the Saint Petersburg troll farm appears to have a long way to go. Of the 50 accounts banned by Facebook on Monday, all but one were on Instagram alone, with no Facebook presence at all. The Russian operation appears to be in the early stages, Facebook said. “They're still trying to build their audience, and they put significant operation security into concealing who they were,” said company cybersecurity chief Nathaniel Gleicher in Monday’s press call.One sign of that improved op-sec is the dearth of text on the troll’s posts—perhaps a sign that Russia is seeking to avoid the linguistic giveaways that marred some of its 2016 content. According to social network analysis tool Graphika, which had inside access to Facebook’s data, the accounts generally pushed screenshots of other people’s tweets and memes with no commentary. “Some posts gained hundreds of likes but typically obtained orders of magnitude fewer than the American personalities they copied,” reads Graphika’s report on the Russian accounts. “The ‘conservative’ accounts in the set had a particular fondness for the conservative partisan group Turning Point USA, often sharing its memes and comments.”That may be a factor in the relatively limited reach of Russia’s identified personas. The 50 accounts together had a total of 246,000 followers, according to Facebook’s figures. “It seems they are getting stuck at the mimicry phase of infiltration,” said Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.As tallied by Graphika, the personas are the usual Russian mix of accounts pretending to be arch-conservatives in the heartland, and a roughly equal number pretending to be African American activists. A smattering of accounts were focused on more specific issues, like gun rights on the right or LGBTQ rights on the left.The accounts were largely devoted to sowing division, but when they directly addressed the 2020 election, they followed the IRA’s 2016 playbook to the letter. The “conservative” accounts attacked liberals and heaped praise on Donald Trump, while “liberal” accounts derided the president while vocally supporting Bernie Sanders over Democratic frontrunners. Joe Biden is singled out for criticism in much the same way as Clinton in 2016.Notably, Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, a favorite of Russia’s state-owned media, isn’t featured at all in the posts shared by Graphika and Facebook, despite recently being labeled a “Russian asset” by Hillary Clinton.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.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 17:04:54 -0400
  • The U.S. Army Has Big Plans to Smash Enemy Drones in a War

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. Army is fast-tracking what could be called an entire sphere of counter-drone weapons

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:56:00 -0400
  • 'Lost' Road Built by Christ's Executioner Unearthed

    Golocal247.com news

    Pontius Pilate likely commissioned the street during or after 31 AD.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:52:00 -0400
  • Hong Kong leader visits mosque struck by blue water-cannon dye

    Golocal247.com news

    Hong Kong's pro-Beijing leader and the city's police chief apologised Monday as they visited a mosque that was struck with blue dye from a water cannon during the latest bout of violent protests. The entrance to the Kowloon Mosque, the international hub's largest, was sprayed by a water cannon truck on Sunday, causing anger among both local Muslims and protesters. Police use the dye -- often mixed with an irritant -- as a way to identify protesters but it has frequently left streets and buildings daubed in a garish blue.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:17:45 -0400
  • Julián Castro Threatens to Drop Out of the Presidential Primary Over Lackluster Fundraising

    Golocal247.com news

    Julián Castro's campaign will end unless he can secure enough fundraising by Halloween.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:04:22 -0400
  • Trump blames Constitution's ‘phony Emoluments Clause’ for G-7 debacle

    Golocal247.com news

    President Trump on Monday defended his initial plan to host next year’s summit of world leaders at his golf resort near Miami, dismissing concerns that he would have personally profited from the decision.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:27:35 -0400
  • Judge asked to stop student suspension over note about rape

    A high school activist's comment about rape posted on a bathroom mirror represents constitutionally protected free speech — and punishing her would discourage young victims from coming forward, an attorney said Monday. The sticky note that proclaimed "There's a rapist in our school and you know who it is" aimed to call attention to the unaddressed problem of sexual assaults, said Emma Bond from the American Civil Liberties of Maine. U.S. District Judge Lance Walker, who listened to the arguments on Monday, said he'll rule soon on Aela Mansmann's request to intervene to stop a three-day suspension imposed by school administrators.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:47:24 -0400
  • Colorado mother accused of murdering daughter she said was terminally ill

    Golocal247.com news

    A Colorado mother who authorities said solicited donations, charitable services, and government aid for her purportedly terminally ill daughter who died in 2017 has been indicted on murder charges in the girl's death, court documents showed on Monday. Kelly Renee Turner, 41, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her seven-year-old daughter, Olivia Gant, and with forgery, theft, child abuse and bilking Medicaid out of nearly $538,000, according to the indictment handed down in Douglas County District Court. Colorado's Office of the Public Defender, which represents Turner, has a policy not to comment on its cases outside of court.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 21:06:14 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4

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    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:59:00 -0400
  • Mark Zuckerberg Has Quietly Recommended Campaign Hires to Pete Buttigieg

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has privately recommended several potential hires to Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, a rare example of direct political involvement from one of tech’s most powerful executives.Earlier this year, Zuckerberg sent multiple emails to Mike Schmuhl, Buttigieg’s campaign manager, with names of individuals that he might consider hiring, campaign spokesman Chris Meagher confirmed. Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg’s wife, also sent multiple emails to Schmuhl with staff recommendations. Ultimately, two of the people recommended were hired.The emails between Zuckerberg and Buttigieg have come to light as Zuckerberg faces unrelenting attacks from politicians from both parties over such issues as misinformation, privacy, election meddling and bias. Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee on Facebook’s impact on the financial services and housing sectors.Zuckerberg used to make political contributions more frequently, including to former and current House speakers Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi in 2014, but he hasn’t made any political donations or endorsements to specific candidates in the 2020 election cycle. In June, he gave $5,000 to Facebook’s PAC, which contributes to both Democratic and Republican candidates.‘Top-Tier Organization’“Since the beginning of the campaign, we’ve built a top-tier operation with more than 430 staff in South Bend and around the country,” Meagher said. “The staffers come from all types of background, and everyone is working hard every day to elect Pete to the White House.”A spokesman for the Zuckerberg-Chan family told Bloomberg News that the employees asked the tech mogul and Chan to recommend them.“Having seen Mark’s visit to South Bend in 2017 and Facebook Live with Mayor Buttigieg, colleagues later asked Mark and Priscilla to connect them with the Buttigieg campaign as they were interested in joining,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement. Zuckerberg visited South Bend, Indiana, in April 2017 as part of his philanthropic work and got a tour from Buttigieg, that Zuckerberg live-streamed.LaBolt didn’t answer a follow-up question asking whether Zuckerberg has made similar connections for other candidates.Zuckerberg, asked about the emails on a call with reporters Monday, acknowledged that he and his wife passed along hiring recommendations but said that those actions should not be seen as an endorsement.“I think this should probably not be misconstrued as if I’m like deeply involved in trying to support their campaign or something like that,” he said.Making IntroductionsIn the emails, Zuckerberg and Chan recommended potential campaign hires, and two of them are now on staff: Eric Mayefsky, senior digital analytics adviser, and Nina Wornhoff, organizing data manager.Mayefsky previously worked as the director of data science at Quora, a 10-year-old question-and-answer startup founded by former Facebook employees. Mayefsky worked at Facebook for almost four years starting in 2010, according to his LinkedIn profile. Wornhoff previously worked as a machine learning engineer at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and in Democratic politics in Indiana, Buttigieg’s home state.The communication was initiated by Zuckerberg and Chan, Meagher said. It was sent shortly after Buttigieg officially launched his campaign in mid-April.“From the CNN Town hall in March to our launch a month later, we literally got 7,000 resumes,” Meagher said. “I think that he (Zuckerberg) thought Eric would be a good staff hire with a lot of experience and same with Nina and Priscilla.”Crimson ConnectionZuckerberg, 35, and Buttigieg, 37, overlapped at Harvard, and Buttigieg was friends with two of Zuckerberg’s roommates. He was also one of Facebook’s first 300 users. But they were only introduced years later by a mutual Harvard friend.The staff recommendations from Zuckerberg are the first evidence of the Facebook CEO actively assisting a presidential campaign. A number of other high-ranking Facebook executives, including David Marcus, the executive leading Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts, Naomi Gleit, one of Facebook’s longest-tenured executives, and Chris Cox, former chief product officer who is close friends with Zuckerberg, have donated to Buttigieg.In recent weeks, Democrats have escalated their criticism of Facebook for its refusal to moderate political ads. Elizabeth Warren, in particular, has repeatedly attacked Zuckerberg and Facebook over its decision not to fact check posts or ads shared by politicians. Joe Biden wrote the company on Thursday demanding that an ad paid for by a pro-Donald Trump super-PAC be pulled down for what he said were lies about his Ukrainian-related work as vice president.Silicon ValleyHe’s been more apprehensive about breaking up big tech companies than some of his Democratic counterparts, saying the issue of monopolies extends beyond tech. But he’s also raised concerns about tech companies having too much power and has floated regulation, including fines and the blocking of new mergers, for Facebook and other big tech companies.Republicans have accused Zuckerberg and Facebook of bias against conservative viewpoints, claiming that Facebook and other social media platforms unfairly suppress their views. Zuckerberg reportedly started to hold private meetings last summer with conservative leaders to hear their concerns.In the past, Facebook embedded staffers with political campaigns to give them guidance on how to best use the social media platform. The 2016 Trump campaign said it greatly benefited from having Facebook staffers on hand. The company announced in 2018 that it would pull back from offering on-site support.Now Zuckerberg needs friends in Washington, where Facebook is under unprecedented attack. His company is being investigated for possible antitrust violations by two federal agencies and Congress. It’s also trying to get skeptical regulators and lawmakers on board with its goal of launching a cryptocurrency.But this presidential cycle, Facebook has become one of Democrats’ top punching bags. In recent weeks, Warren’s campaign has bought ads on Facebook claiming Zuckerberg endorsed Trump, a deliberate falsehood that she used to draw attention to Facebook’s policies exempting politicians from fact-checking ads, and corrected later in the advertisement.(Adds new 9th, 10th paragraphs with Zuckerberg comment.)\--With assistance from Bill Allison.To contact the reporters on this story: Tyler Pager in Washington at tpager1@bloomberg.net;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:29:37 -0400
  • Shark tears woman's hands off in Polynesian paradise island attack

    Golocal247.com news

    A French tourist has lost both her hands in a rare shark attack in the Pacific islands of Polynesia, say emergency services. The woman was swimming during a whale-watching trip on Monday off the island of Mo’orea, a honeymoon destination in the French overseas territory, when the oceanic whitetip shark bit into her chest and arms.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 10:15:06 -0400
  • This Is the Robot Tank Russia Used in Syria

    Golocal247.com news

    (But it didn't fight well.)

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:15:00 -0400
  • US targets Cuba tourism with tighter airline sanctions

    Golocal247.com news

    The US moved to further hurt Cuba's vital tourism industry by tightening the ability of the country's airlines to lease aircraft. The US Department of Commerce said it was revoking existing licenses for US companies leasing aircraft to Cuban carriers, and will deny future applications for aircraft leases. The move could make it harder for Cuba to service its rapidly growing tourism sector, a key source of foreign revenue for the poor country.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:57:01 -0400
  • The Orionids meteor shower peaks this week. Here's how to see the shooting stars from the dust of Halley's Comet.

    Golocal247.com news

    The Orionids make for a dramatic show, with shooting stars leaving glowing trains of dust and fireballs exploding in the sky.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:39:00 -0400
  • Donald Trump calls for public identification of Ukraine whistleblower

    Golocal247.com news

    Railing against impeachment, President Trump called for the identification of the whistleblower who accused him of improperly pressuring Ukraine.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 17:34:15 -0400
  • Correction: Crane Demolition story

    Golocal247.com news

    In a story Oct. 20 about the demolition of two construction cranes at the site of a partially collapsed building in New Orleans, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the cranes weighed thousands of tons. NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Thundering explosions toppled two cranes Sunday that had loomed precariously for days over a partially collapsed hotel in New Orleans, in what city officials hailed as a success and said efforts now would focus on retrieving two bodies still inside the ruined building.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 16:55:39 -0400
  • WikiLeaks founder Assange appears confused at extradition hearing

    Golocal247.com news

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared confused at a London court hearing on Monday, struggling to recall his name and age in his first public appearance in months as he sought to fight extradition to the United States. Assange, 48, who spent seven years holed up in Ecuador's embassy before he was dragged out in April, faces 18 counts in the United States including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 12:58:45 -0400
  • Supreme Court Throws Out Michigan Gerrymandering Ruling in Win for GOP

    Golocal247.com news

    The Supreme Court granted the Michigan Republican party a win on Monday by throwing out a lower court ruling that required dozens of congressional and legislative districts to be redrawn due to concerns they had been gerrymandered by Republicans.The high court's 5-to-4 decision reverses a ruling by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which demanded the state redraw nine congressional districts and 25 state districts by August 1.Monday's decision also follows the Supreme Court's ruling in June that it would leave gerrymandering cases to state courts."Partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the June decision, which dealt with district boundaries in Maryland and North Carolina.That ruling divided the court along ideological lines with Roberts serving as the swing vote.Roberts joined conservative Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch to strike down the lower court's ruling, while liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagen, and Stephen Breyer voted to preserve the lower court's finding that the districts must be redrawn.The majority in the June case cited the lack of an adequate test to determine when "political gerrymandering has gone too far."The League of Women Voters of Michigan sued the Republican-controlled state legislature last year, accusing the party of rigging districts to keep the party in power, resulting in the overturned Sixth Circuit ruling, which said Republicans infringed on voters' First and 14th Amendment rights “by diluting the weight of their votes.”"The Enacted Plan gives Republicans a strong, systematic, and durable structural advantage in Michigan's elections and decidedly discriminates against Democrats," the nixed Sixth Circuit decision read. "This court joins the growing chorus of federal courts that have, in recent years, held that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional."Because of the Supreme Court's Monday ruling in favor of the GOP, districts will not be redrawn until 2022, when a bipartisan redistricting commission resulting from a state referendum last fall will assume the task of redrawing the boundaries.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 12:45:18 -0400
  • Trump Cheated (Shocker!) on Property Tax; But Will Anyone Go to Jail?

    Golocal247.com news

    Chip SomodevillaProPublica published a piece Wednesday that put the spotlight once again on some questionable financial practices of the Trump Organization, which showed one set of books to banks (inflating value) and another to New York City tax authorities (deflating value).Is this just the usual Trump mendacity, or can prosecutors see this as part of a pattern? And if so, could it be prosecuted? Who would be tagged as the defendant(s)? If not, what more is needed to bring the guilty parties to justice?Before we explore these questions, let’s look at the facts. Both versions of them.ProPublica obtained property tax docs for four Trump properties. These docs became public when Trump appealed the tax bills, and the loan records became public when Trump’s lenders sold the debt on the properties. Significant discrepancies were unearthed between the tax records and loan records for two of the properties: Trump International Hotel & Tower, on Central Park West, and 40 Wall St.Tax and loan documents for 40 Wall St. showed significant discrepancies in how certain costs such as insurance were reported. Further, Trump representatives reported different occupancy rates to lenders and tax officials: 81 percent to lenders (rising later to 95 percent), and just 59 percent to tax authorities. Rising occupancy rates are valued by lenders because they are indicative of rising income level which is material to securing refinancing, while lower rates, of course, mean lower taxes.Meanwhile, documents for the Trump International Hotel & Tower showed that city tax officials were advised that this property made about $822,000 in 2017 from renting space in the building to other businesses, while loan officials were told that the building made about $1.67 million. ProPublica further notes that Trump appeared not to report income from leasing space for television antennas on tax documents but did report the income on loan docs.Each of the above-noted discrepancies is indicative of potential fraud. But do they represent instances of a prosecutable case?The short answer is: not yet. The discrepancies do reflect a situational ethics approach toward financial obligations and responsibilities. But more evidence will be needed to prosecute anyone should criminal prosecution be considered by the authorities.Who might be prosecuted here? It is unclear just who is responsible for submitting the doctored financial statements to the lending authorities and tax officials. Were the folks who submitted the documents the same folks who prepared them? If so, what were their marching orders? Who directed the Trump Organization officials to tailor the financial statements to minimize property taxes or maximize occupancy rates to obtain loans?Investigators need to home in on the work papers prepared to support the finagled financial statements in order to determine “willful intent,” or “mens rea” that James Comey so infamously referenced. Such evidence may well be found at Mazars USA—the Trump Organization accounting firm that is the subject of intensive litigation with regard to subpoenas served by both the U.S. Congress and the Manhattan DA’s office.Accountant work papers have been found to be beneficial when uncovering evidence of intent to defraud in case after case of white-collar fraud, specifically tax fraud. In fact, accountant work files and testimony provided critical evidence leading to the conviction of Paul Manafort in the Mueller investigations and prosecutions. It should be noted that tax fraud, bank fraud, and the falsification of business records may result in felony charges that could be contemplated by the Manhattan DA and provide for prison sentences that could lead the convicted defendants to land in Rikers Island for a stretch with the aforementioned Manafort. Evidence of corrupt intent to defraud either a financial institution or a public tax authority is critical to a successful criminal prosecution. The use of a double or triple set of books and records by company officials for fraudulent purposes is a terrific example of overt acts of corrupt intent. But further evidence will be needed here to link all those involved in each of the instances denoted above. Email, texts, voice mail, notes to the file and other evidence of directions to finagle the financial docs are needed. Further forensic analysis of the documents, for example fingerprint analysis, ink chemistry analysis and handwriting analysis are investigative tools available to the prosecutors to tighten the vise and provide the links in the chain of potential targets.Cohen was reportedly debriefed in detail recently by the Manhattan DA’s office. His testimony will be needed to outline just who in the Trump Organization was responsible for the preparation of the questionable documents referenced above. Cohen’s credibility will clearly be attacked in court by the defendant(s) and will become a question for the jury to grapple with. Cohen provided the Southern District of New York with a prosecutive path for those responsible for cooking the books at the Trump Organization with regard to the reimbursement of “hush money” payments to Cohen. That path is now available to the Manhattan DA. Add Cohen’s now corroborated congressional testimony outlining the transactional financial ethics referenced above, used by the Trump team in their shady business dealings and the jury will likely be sitting on the edge of their seats. All the DA needs to do now is fill in some blanks in combination with demonstrating a pattern of fraud over time—the closing argument is shaping up to be very persuasive.The allegation that the Trump Organization appeared not to report income from leasing space for television antennas to tax authorities but did report the income on loan docs revives memories of the landmark New York Times tax fraud series on Fred Trump and Donald Trump’s financial shenanigans in the ’90s wherein the Times detailed multiple instances of unreported income streams tailored by Fred Trump for the Donald. While the statute of limitations has long expired with regard to the multi-million dollar gift tax evasion schemes entered into by Donald Trump, prosecutors can use evidence of historical frauds to depict a pattern of fraudulent conduct on the part of a defendant no matter how long ago the fraud occurred. It goes to willfulness or corrupt intent exhibited by Individual-1.The Manhattan DA’s case against the Trump Organization may appear to be on its surface just a mundane business fraud type of case. But fraudulent documents don’t change stories, particularly when there are witnesses available to tie the documents and the corrupt intent together. Add the historical pattern of fraud engaged in by Individual-1 and the Manhattan DA’s case appears to be silently moving along like a stealth nuclear submarine under the radar and there are no available defenses available like an Office of Legal Counsel opinion to protect the prospective defendants from a potentially lethal prosecutorial attack.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.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 07:00:33 -0400
  • Lonely Planet releases their picks for top destinations to visit in 2020

    A kingdom that has pledged to become completely organic by next year and the city that will toast the centenary anniversary of the world's most important classical music festival are among the top destinations to visit in 2020, as chosen by the tastemakers of travel guide Lonely Planet. 

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:06:37 -0400
  • View 2020 Nissan Titan XD Photos

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    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:00:00 -0400
  • China Is Building 'The Mother of All Bombs': Report

    Golocal247.com news

    America already has one.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 10:44:00 -0400
  • Billionaire Isabel dos Santos Denies Wrongdoing at Sonangol

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman and the daughter of former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, said she did nothing wrong when she was chairwoman of state-owned oil company Sonangol and called a probe into the transfer of millions of dollars from the Luanda-based firm “political vengeance.”Angolan newspaper Novo Jornal reported on Oct. 18 that Angola’s prosecuting authority started a criminal investigation into the transfer of $38 million from Sonangol authorized by dos Santos. Her successor at Sonangol, Carlos Saturnino, accused dos Santos last year of authorizing the transfer to a company in Dubai days after she was dismissed as chairwoman. Saturnino was sacked in May.“To say there was a transfer order after my dismissal is simply false,” dos Santos said in statement emailed on Monday. “The fight against corruption can’t be used to feed an agenda of persecution or a witch hunt.”Dos Santos said the fund-transfer was legal and was made while she was still in her position at Sonangol on Nov. 15, 2017, the day she was dismissed and before a new board was appointed the next day. She said payment instructions were given one or two days before her dismissal.If Angolan authorities are serious about fighting corruption they should investigate why Sonangol had about $20 billion in debt at the end of 2015, before her appointment, and how this money was “used and lost,” said the 46-year-old dos Santos.Dos Santos was dismissed as head of Sonangol amid a crackdown on corruption by Joao Lourenco, who replaced her father as president in 2017. Sonangol, long the main engine of Angola’s oil-focused economy, has been at the center of Lourenco’s anti-graft campaign.(Adds dos Santos’s comment about timing of payment instructions in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at halmeida5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joao Lima at jlima1@bloomberg.net, Rene Vollgraaff, Alastair ReedFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 16:58:43 -0400
  • Japanese Emperor Naruhito ascends Chrysanthemum Throne

    Golocal247.com news

    Three booming cheers of "Banzai!" rang out Tuesday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo as Naruhito formally declared his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne as the nation's 126th emperor. As a driving autumn rain briefly gave way to sunshine and 2,000 guests looked on, Naruhito pledged at an elaborate, ritual-laden ceremony to serve as a symbol of the state for his people. The enthronement ceremony is the high point of several succession rituals that began in May when Naruhito inherited the throne after the abdication of Akihito, his father.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 09:13:59 -0400
  • US far-right activists get four years in jail for attacking leftists

    Golocal247.com news

    Two members of a US far-right group were each sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday for brawling with anti-fascist demonstrators in New York, prosecutors said. The sentencing comes as tensions between white supremacists and leftists simmer in the United States. Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman, members of the Proud Boys group, were found guilty in August by a state court of several counts of attempted assault and rioting.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:44:26 -0400
  • Trump 'like a squirrel caught in traffic' during Pentagon meeting: Aide

    Golocal247.com news

    In President Trump's first full briefing at the Defense Department, he requested a grand "Victory Day" parade with "vehicles and tanks on Main Street" and down Pennsylvania Avenue, like the "amazing" parade he'd just witnessed in France, Guy Snodgrass, a top aide to then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, recounts in his new book, "Holding the Line." "The Fourth of July is too hot," Trump added.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:41:23 -0400
  • Canada's Trudeau keeps the wheel but prepares for left turn

    Golocal247.com news

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hung onto power on Tuesday, after a tight election reduced his Liberal government to a minority, a result that will likely push his agenda to the left while alienating energy producing provinces. Trudeau, one of the world's most prominent progressive politicians, struggled with domestic scandals that dented his popularity among Canadians and led to a drop in the Liberal vote across the country on Monday. The party also trailed the main opposition Conservatives in the popular vote by just over a percentage point.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 06:40:02 -0400
  • Transgender Cyclist Wins Female Cycling World Championship, Claims Only Objections Come from ‘Losers’

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    Cyclist Rachel McKinnon, a biological male who presents as a woman, won the women’s world championship on Saturday, and set a women’s world record in the qualifying event.McKinnon, a Canadian philosophy professor at the College of Charleston, won the same event in 2018. In a Friday interview with Sky News, McKinnon said that attempts to level the playing field for women’s sports by discriminating against transgender athletes was the equivalent of “denying their human rights.”“All my medical records say female,” McKinnon said. “My doctor treats me as a female person, my racing license says female, but people who oppose my existence still want to think of me as male . . . So, if we want to say, that I believe you’re a woman for all of society, except for this massive central part that is sport, then that’s not fair.”Victoria Hood, a former cycling champion and manager of a British all-female cycling team, challenged McKinnon, telling Sky that “it is not complicated, the science is there and it says that it is unfair. The male body, which has been through male puberty, still retains its advantage, that doesn’t go away. I have sympathy with them. They have a right to do sport but not a right to go into any category they want.”On Saturday, McKinnon issued a press release denouncing Hood for having “an irrational fear of trans women.”After the victory, McKinnon took to Twitter to challenge critics.> Many people claim to support trans women> > But often they only support us until our lives impact them in any meaningful way> > In my case, people literally say they support trans women…but not in sport> > There can be no 'but'> > We are either full and equal women, or not> > We are.> > -- Dr. Rachel McKinnon (@rachelvmckinnon) October 20, 2019On Sunday, McKinnon tweeted “I have yet to meet a real champion who has a problem with trans women. Real champions want stronger competition. If you win because bigotry got your competition banned… you’re a loser.”’

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:11:06 -0400
  • Gun control advocate: Pushing mandatory buybacks will hand victory to the NRA, again

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    We can pass significant gun safety laws but not if the 2020 campaign is about confiscating assault weapons. This is not timidity, it's reality.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 05:00:16 -0400
  • China Wants To Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers in a War (It Won't Be Easy)

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    The story starts in 2005.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 23:00:00 -0400
  • Warren Steps Into Repo Turmoil, Asks Mnuchin for Answers

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    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren waded into last month’s turmoil in short-term funding markets, warning Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin not to use the incident as a rationale for weakening post-financial crisis regulations.Warren, a front-runner in the race to challenge Donald Trump in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, sent a letter to the Treasury on Friday. In it, she sought Mnuchin’s views on what triggered the spike in rates for repurchase agreements and expressed concern about potential costs to businesses and consumers if strains persist.She also set herself up for another fight with Wall Street, citing a Reuters article reporting that large banks were using the repo-market chaos to pressure the Federal Reserve to weaken liquidity rules “they have long despised.” Warren said she’s concerned the Financial Stability Oversight Council, whose chair is Mnuchin, might support those efforts.“These rules were designed to ensure that banks have enough cash on hand to meet their obligations in the event of another market crash,” Warren said. “Banks are reporting profits at record levels, and it would be painfully ironic if unexplained chaos in a small corner of the banking market became an excuse to further loosen rules that protect the economy from these types of risks.”The Treasury Department declined to comment on Warren’s letter. On Oct. 16, in response to a reporter’s question, Mnuchin rejected the notion that the U.S. government’s heavy issuance of debt contributed to the tumult and instead blamed a corporate tax deadline for draining money from the banking system. The jump in rates on Sept. 17 “had nothing to do with our issuance, it had to do with the big tax day, that we were taking cash out of the market,” he said.Banking industry complaints about regulations have gotten louder since the mid-September dislocation. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said Oct. 15 that the bank had the money and inclination to step in when rates surged, but liquidity rules prevented it from doing so.Regulations introduced after the 2008 crisis oblige financial institutions to hold more cash and cash-like assets as a buffer against times of stress, and systemically important banks -- JPMorgan is the largest in the U.S. -- face year-end reviews to determine how much more common equity they must carry. Analysts at JPMorgan argued this week that money-market stress is likely to get much worse despite the Fed’s attempts to fix the problem.The central bank has been injecting liquidity into the funding markets since Sept. 17, when the rate on overnight general collateral repo jumped to 10% from around 2%. The Fed has also begun buying Treasury bills to add reserves back into the system. These efforts have mostly calmed repo rates.“While the Federal Reserve has taken the necessary action to ensure that markets continue to function, I am alarmed that it has been required to engage in money market interventions that have not been used since the 2008 financial crisis,” wrote Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts.Warren came to prominence because of her criticisms of Wall Street and calls for tougher oversight of the financial industry after the 2008 financial crisis. Her advocacy was pivotal to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and helped lock in her election to the Senate.Warren asked that Mnuchin respond to these and other questions no later than Nov. 1:What are the underlying causes of the spike in borrowing rates for overnight repurchase agreements?Has FSOC learned why the Fed announced on Oct. 11 that overnight operations meant to keep the calm would be extended at least through January of next year?How will FSOC and Treasury use data on centrally cleared repo transactions to gain a further understanding of the market? Is further information needed to sufficiently monitor the short-term lending market?(Updates with Mnuchin comment on repo from last week in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Michael Shepard, Saleha Mohsin and Anna Edgerton.To contact the reporters on this story: Emily Barrett in New York at ebarrett25@bloomberg.net;Alexandra Harris in New York at aharris48@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Benjamin Purvis at bpurvis@bloomberg.net, Nick Baker, Jenny ParisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 10:29:39 -0400
  • House Democrats’ Campaign Arm Directly Ties its Moderate Members to Impeachment

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    A new mailer sent by the Democratic Party’s House campaign arm directly ties some of the party’s most vulnerable members to the impeachment proceedings of Donald Trump, creating the potential for political potholes for those members down the road. The mailer, which was obtained by The Daily Beast, pleads with donors to contribute to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to help support so called “Frontliner” members who hail from key swing districts.  “House Democrats are courageously standing up for our democracy, our national security, and the Constitution by launching an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump,” reads the mailer. "As I write to you, every single member of the leadership and a majority of the House have stepped forward for our nation. The courage of these leaders and of our newly elected Frontliners should be an inspiration to all of us. We cannot let them down.” House Democrats Plan an Impeachment BlitzAs far as fundraising solicitations go, the DCCC mailer is not particularly provocative. Indeed, dozens of congressional Democrats have sent similar fundraising appeals based on the impeachment inquiry since Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it official on Sept. 24.But in trying to gin up donations off of the impeachment proceedings, the campaign committee has taken a notable gamble. The frontline members in the party are precisely the ones most publicly skittish about pursuing Trump’s impeachment—arguing, often, that it is a solemn responsibility or even a grave step that is fraught with political risk. That message could be complicated by the fact that the House Democratic campaign arm is now raising money explicitly for them and explicitly off of impeachment. "The survival of our democracy may literally depend on what we do here,” the fundraising solicitation reads. “Please rush your contribution to the DCCC today."The DCCC’s plea, sent directly to potential donors inside a letter that announces “ACTION NEEDED,” reflects a notable shift in how party leadership has approached impeachment. For months, Pelosi and DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos (D-IL) let it be known that they thought pursuit of impeachment was a massive political risk for the party, specifically endangering the gains that Democrats had made with more moderate voters. But polls have shifted in the Democrats’ favor since the impeachment inquiry began. And even DCCC data has suggested that the issue is now a toss-up among the public. Whether that data is the same in swing districts is not entirely clear. But what’s notable is that of the many Democrats who have sent impeachment-based fundraising appeals since the inquiry began, several were Frontliners who did not favor impeachment until the anonymous whistleblower’s account of Trump’s phone call with the Ukranian president became public.Rep. Colin Allred—a Texas Democrat and impeachment holdout who flipped a longtime GOP seat in 2018—sent a fundraising email on Sept. 30: “The President of the United States may think he is above the law -- but Colin Allred is holding him accountable!”Others have leaned on attacks from the DCCC’s rival, the National Republican Congressional Committee. “The NRCC is attacking Mikie for calling on Congress to use all of the tools at its disposal -- including impeachment hearings -- to determine whether President Trump pressured Ukraine to interfere in our elections,” said a Sept. 25 fundraising appeal from Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), another district-flipping freshman. Democratic fundraising professionals say that the impeachment push—and the Trump conduct at the heart of it—have inspired the party base in a rare way. According to Greg Berlin, founder and partner at Mothership Strategies, a Democratic digital fundraising firm, the first weeks of the impeachment inquiry and the Ukraine story have been one of the most significant non-electoral fundraising and activism moments among Democrats since the president fired former FBI Director James Comey in 2017.“This was so brazen, so out in the open, so obvious, that it really allowed the donors and activists to grab onto it,” he said. “We haven’t seen something with this kind of staying power in a very, very long time.”Indeed, Pelosi’s impeachment announcement—which came at the end of the third fundraising quarter of 2019—helped to fuel a strong fundraising quarter for the DCCC. It raised $27.4 million in Q3—with nearly half of that total coming in the month of September—which the committee says is its strongest third quarter ever in a non-election year. House Democrats head into the final months of 2019 with three times more cash on hand—$36 million—than their GOP counterpart.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.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 12:36:39 -0400
  • Thailand arrests German man for allegedly disposing of body

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    Police in Thailand are investigating the death of a German woman after arresting a German man for allegedly dumping her body into a canal. Thailand's Immigration Police Commissioner Lt. Col. Sompong Chingduang said Tuesday that the dead woman, 77-year-old Margund Schaefer, co-owned a bar in the resort town of Pattaya with Richard Stanislaus and shared a house with him and his Thai girlfriend. The police began their investigation of the case at the request of German authorities after Schaefer's relatives reported losing contact with her.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 05:24:10 -0400
  • Teenagers charged with urinating on black classmate and shouting racist abuse

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    Two 17-year-old boys from New Jersey have been charged with harassment, lewdness and bias intimidation after allegations that they urinated on a black middle school student at a high school football game while calling her the n-word.Social media posts from at least one parent of a Lawrence High School student alleged that the boys used racist language while urinating on the girl during a Friday night game.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:43:49 -0400
  • Taiwan Asks Hong Kong for Return of the Murder Suspect Whose Case Sparked Months of Protests

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    Chan Tong-kai is set to be released from prison in Hong Kong on Wednesday

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 05:21:32 -0400
  • Trump claimed the US captured all ISIS fighters, but they just launched a major attack on an Iraqi oil field

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    Two Iraqi members of Iraqi security forces were killed and three wounded in a major attack on Iraqi oil fields on Tuesday.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:45:11 -0400
  • Trump administration says Obamacare plan premiums to fall

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    Monthly premiums for an average 2020 Obamacare health insurance plan will fall about 4 percent from this year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Trump administration, which has tried to dismantle the program. The Trump administration has cut back on funding for the health insurance program, which was created by President Barack Obama as part of the Affordable Care Act and is often called Obamacare, and has sought to overturn it in Congress and legal courts. Obamacare provides needs-based subsidies to help low-income people buy health insurance.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 09:08:12 -0400
  • A new round of PG&E power outages could put 500,000 Californians in the dark for days

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    California's largest utility says it could shut off power to 500,000 people this week as wildfires again threaten to bring havoc to 15 counties.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:33:42 -0400
  • For War with Russia or China, World War II-Style Convoys Are Back in Style

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    A convoy of five American cargo ships made a simulated run through hostile waters in September 2019 during a sprawling, short-notice test of the U.S. fleet’s ability to ship people and cargo during a major war. The simulated, World War II-style convoy underscored the importance of sealift to U.S. war plans, as well as the shortage of naval escorts that has incited a minor panic among military planners.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 04:00:00 -0400
  • The lost river: Mexicans fight for mighty waterway taken by the US

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    The Colorado River serves over 35 million Americans before reaching Mexico – but it is dammed at the border, leaving locals on the other side with a dry delta * This is the first story in our new series about ‘environmental justice’ - learn moreThe temperature is rising toward 45C (113F) as young brothers Daniel and Dilan Rodríguez skip towards a bridge over the Colorado River in the Mexican border town of San Luis Río Colorado. But there is no water flowing through the channel of one of the world’s mightiest waterways. The pair run down the river bank and cheerfully splash through stagnant puddles dotted about the riverbed.“We wish we had a river, so we could swim, and jump and sail my cousin’s boat,” said Daniel, 12. “At least we have puddles to make mud balls, that can be fun.”Colonia Miguel Aleman family Dilan Rodríguez, eight, fishing in the canal that runs adjacent to the dry Colorado River at the border of Mexico and the US on 6 September 2019. Photograph: Meghan Dhaliwal/The GuardianThe Colorado originates in the Rocky mountains and traverses seven US states, watering cities and farmland, before reaching Mexico, where it is supposed to flow onwards to the Sea of Cortez.Instead, the river is dammed at the US-Mexico border, and on the other side the river channel is empty. Locals are now battling to bring it back to life. There are few more striking examples of what has come to be known as “environmental injustice” – the inequitable access to clean land, air and water, and disproportionate exposure to hazards and climate disasters. Water in particular has emerged as a flash point as global heating renders vast swaths of the planet ever drier.Today the Guardian is launching a year-long series, Our Unequal Earth, to investigate environmental inequalities and discrimination in the US and beyond. It will also reveal how the climate crisis is making things worse for activists and scientists on the ground.“We’ve heard stories from my mum about how she used to play and swim in the Colorado River when she was little, but we’ve never experienced it,” said Evelin Bautista, 14, who is a member of an indigenous tribe, the Cucapá, which means the River People. “I’ve heard that over the border, the water is so clear that they can even see the fish.”Indeed, a mere 30 miles north, over the border at Gateway park in Yuma, Arizona, siblings Damien Navarro, 12, and Dariana, eight, spent the day fishing, diving and swimming in the free flowing river.David Barraga plays ball with his daughter Dariana and his stepson Damien in the Colorado River in Gateway park, Yuma, Arizona, on 7 September 2019. Photograph: Meghan Dhaliwal/The Guardian“It’s so hot, we come here all the time, the kids love the water, and we often catch catfish, bass and bluegill,” said their father, David Barraga. “I didn’t know there’s no river in Mexico. Wow, that’s a shame.”“At school in science we’ve been learning about drought, that the planet is getting hotter,” said his son, Damien. “But we’ve never been told about the dam or the river in Mexico, maybe when we’re older. It’s really too bad for those kids.” ‘It took away part of our identity’Because the 1944 treaty did not allocate Mexico any water for the river itself, the channel is mostly dry. The loss of the river in Mexico has been devastating.Nancy Saldano, 54, an architect and activist in the Sonoran town of San Luis Río Colorado, recalls boat rides and fishing with her family during the 1980s, when the US occasionally released “extra” water to deal with heavy snow and rain that risked overwhelming its dams. Her mother, an evangelical pastor, conducted baptisms in the river until it disappeared.“Taking away the river had a huge impact on us, it took away part of our identity. I felt anger, sadness and grief. My children had never seen the river flow.”The disparities on both sides of the border are stark.In the US, the Colorado serves more than 35 million people, including several native tribes, seven national wildlife refuges and 11 national parks, and supports $26m tourism and recreational industries, as well as farming. California has rights to the largest quantity, with 4.4m acre-feet per year – or 29% of the total – while Utah is allocated 1.7m and Nevada 0.3m.At the Morelos dam, located between Los Algodones, Baja California, and Yuma, Arizona, the river is diverted to a complex system of irrigation canals which nourish fields of cotton, wheat, alfalfa, asparagus, watermelons and date palms in the vast surrounding desert valley. This is good for farmers – and less so for ordinary Mexicans.Following the dry riverbed south towards the Gulf of California evokes an eerie sadness. The sound of gunfire in one wide, dusty section led to a couple from San Diego hunting wild pigeons, and a bucketful of feathered corpses. A few miles west along dirt farm roads, dozens of herons, egrets and ducks were staking out a wonderfully lush wetland – though it is only an accidental byproduct created by agricultural runoff from surrounding wheat and alfalfa fields. Prolonged drought and global heatingThe Colorado basin is one of 276 watersheds that cross international borders and Mexican supporters of the binational treaty argue that it resolved longstanding diplomatic disputes and enabled the region’s economic development, even if there is mostly no longer a river in the channel.“We’re the only place in Mexico with a secure water supply, that is a privilege,” said Francisco Bernal, the International Boundary and Water Commission (Cila) representative in Mexicali.But the treaty didn’t foresee prolonged drought, global heating and mounting demands. Now, water is running out, and things must change.The population of Baja California grew from 1.67 million in 1990 to 3.5 million in 2018. Most of the river water still goes to farmers. Groundwater reserves are dwindling, pollution goes unchecked, and urban neighborhoods face shortages.“If agriculture was forced to be more efficient there would be enough for everyone else,” said Dr Jorge Ramírez, a leading water scientist at the Autonomous University of Baja California. “We have enough water, what we lack is planning. Water is the currency here and politics always wins.”Dry Colorado riverIn recent years, protests have erupted in response to allegations of corruption and poorly policed pollution standards that favor big landowners and water guzzling industries, such as a controversial US brewery under construction in the Mexicali valley. In 2020, both countries will for the first time implement rationing. Mexico must cut usage by 3%. The US must save 247m cubic metres. The plan would have been much stricter if not for record snowfall in parts of the Colorado basin last year. The reductions can only be accomplished if farmers waste less and participate in reforestation efforts.Even so, scientists are optimistic that the delta can partially recover. ‘The Gabachos [Americans] should leave some water for us’In the scorched and barren delta, visitors may encounter an incongruous sight: 700 acres of flourishing native trees and shrubs in three reforestation sites.They are the product of what is called a “pulse flow”.In 2014, an environmental experiment driven by not-for-profits on both sides of the border resulted in 105,392 acres-feet (130m cubic metres) of extra water being released into Mexico over two months, simulating the natural spring floods of yesteryear.The pulse flow bolstered parched wetlands and reforestation zones where native cottonwood and willow trees naturally germinated. And for a few days, for the first time in years, the river reconnected to the Sea of Cortez: fish stocks increased, dolphins returned and the number of migratory birds rocketed by 43%.restorationBut for some scientists, the community response was perhaps the most surprising and satisfying. Thousands flocked to the river as it returned, briefly, to its former glory.“I grew up with my mum’s stories about the river in the old days, but couldn’t believe it until I saw it myself,” said Ulises Monroy Saldaña, 13. “I’ll never forget putting my hand in the water for the first time: it was cold, but it felt so nice because it was so hot here.”Daniel Rodríguez was just seven years old, but still remembers the excitement of watching the river fill with water. “We’d come every day after school and keep jumping off the bridge until the police chased us away.”His grandmother, Lupe Aderete, 53, set up portable toilets for the massive influx of visitors. “It was beautiful to see the river alive again, everyone was so happy, and I made some extra money.” She added: “It’s not fair, the Gabachos [Americans] should leave some water for us.Lupe Aderete at home in the neighborhood of Miguel Alemán, Baja California, on 6 September 2019. Photograph: Meghan Dhaliwal/The GuardianThe restoration site at Laguna Grande is a shady oasis of gangly cottonwood and willow trees surrounded by desert and farmland, visited by over 2,000 people last year.“For most children, it’s the first time they’ve seen a forest, and for the adults it brings back memories. Connecting to nature is emotional, and visitors cry all the time,” said Gabriela González, education coordinator at the Sonora Institute which runs Laguna Grande.There’s little or no chance that the river will ever flow freely again, but plans are afoot to repeat the pulse flow, this time flooding only the spots which most benefited last time. And there is hope of expanding native forests to create a green corridor with wetlands and lagoons channelling into the sea.An indigenous community, the Cucapá, has been involved in dredging efforts, paid to shovel out thick mud to create connectivity channels that are crucial to sustainable ecosystems. Patches of native salty grass and flocks of raucous brown and white pelicans at the lower part of the estuary indicate that plentiful fish were swept in by recent high tides.The next pulse flow should take place in 2021 or 2022. Regardless, this region will remain more desert than delta.At home in Miguel Alemán, a poor makeshift neighbourhood with little shade, the Rodríguez brothers ditch their school stuff, grab a plastic bucket and rush back across the parched terrain to the concrete drainage canal running parallel to the littered riverbed.They fearlessly dive into the polluted waterway, which emerges under the metal border wall, to cool down and catch some fish for dinner.To contact Nina Lakhani, the Guardian’s new environmental justice reporter, e-mail nina.lakhani@theguardian.comDesign by Juweek Adolphe

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:00:24 -0400
  • Trump Made Ukraine Aid Contingent on Biden Investigations, U.S. Ambassador Testifies

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    The acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, testified on Tuesday that he was told the delivery of military aid to Ukraine was contingent on Ukraine promising to investigate corruption allegations against former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, according to the Washington Post.Taylor had previously sent a message to Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the EU, on September 9, writing: "As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.""During that phone call, Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election," Taylor told House impeachment investigators. Hunter Biden was a former board member of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural-gas company, while his father was vice president."Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling the Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with President Zelensky was dependent on a public announcement of investigations — in fact, Ambassador Sondland said, ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance,’” Taylor continued.“He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky ‘in a public box’ by making a public statement about ordering such investigations.”“It was just the most damning testimony I’ve heard,” commented Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.).Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had told reporters on Thursday that Trump had ordered a halt to military aid to Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Trump and allies have repeatedly alleged that evidence for that interference can be found on a Ukrainian server for Crowdstrike, a cyber security company, following a theory that has been repeatedly debunked.When a reporter said Mulvaney was describing a “quid pro quo,” Mulvaney responded, “We do that all the time with foreign policy.”The next day Mulvaney walked back his comments.“Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election,” Mulvaney said. “The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server.”

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:30:16 -0400
  • Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go at it on 'The View' over Trump's 'lynching' comments

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    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go toe to toe over Trump’s “lynching” comments on Twitter.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:19:34 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 Ford Ranger

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    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:32:00 -0400
  • Atatiana Jefferson Funeral Set for Thursday After Judge Ends Family Dispute

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    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/HandoutThe inter-family standoff over the funeral for Atatiana Jefferson—a black Texas woman fatally shot inside her own home by a white police officer—came to an end Monday after a judge announced the funeral will take place on Thursday and placed a gag order on members of the family from discussing how the dispute was resolved.The 28-year-old was killed on Oct. 12 by former Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean, 35, who shot her through a window after failing to announce himself while performing a welfare check at her home.Her Saturday funeral, which was to feature prominent civil-rights activists at a local megachurch, was cancelled hours before it was set to begin by Dallas County Judge Brenda Hull Thompson amid the family’s legal battle over the arrangements.Marquis Jefferson, the 28-year-old’s father, was granted a temporary restraining order Friday to stop the burial, after arguing that he would suffer “immediate and irreparable injury” if his daughter’s aunt, Venitta Boda, continued with the service planning without his participation and input. “He’s the father of the deceased,” Walter L. Irvin, his lawyer, said on Friday. “They would not let Mr. Jefferson participate in burial arrangements. That’s why we had to seek an injunction.”Atatiana Jefferson’s Funeral Canceled Amid Family FeudThompson ruled that the father has the authority to make arrangements for his daughter’s funeral, according to court records. On Monday, Dallas County probate court judge Brenda Hull Thompson heard from both sides of the Jefferson family in a closed-door meeting to determine whether the restraining order should continue.At the end she announced the funeral is scheduled to take place on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Dallas’ Concord Church, according to the Dallas Morning News. Hull said she issued a gag order to prevent members of the family, and their lawyers, from talking about what happened in the meeting.Boda has previously claimed Jefferson is not Atatiana’s legal or biological father, according to the Dallas Morning News.The dispute comes amid rising community tension against the Fort Worth Police Department and the District Attorney’s office in a case that has prompted mass protests against racial bias and police use of excessive force.Authorities said Dean, who has resigned from the force and been charged with murder, responded to an Oct. 12 welfare check call at Jefferson’s home after one of her neighbors noticed her front door was slightly ajar. Her 8-year-old nephew told police that while the two were playing video games in the bedroom, Jefferson heard someone outside and got a gun out of her purse. She pointed it at the window, according to court documents, out of fear of an intruder. Texas Police Officer Fatally Shoots Black Woman Inside Her Own Home During Welfare CheckBody-cam footage shows Dean and another officer walking alongside Jefferson’s home with flashlights before entering her backyard gate—all without identifying themselves. After seeing “a person standing inside the residence near a window,” police previously said, Dean shouted at Jefferson to put her hands up before opening fire within seconds. It is not clear if Dean saw the weapon. “I get it. We are trying to do better... anyone who had looked at that video saw it was wrong,” Police Chief Ed Kraus told reporters the day Dean was charged.The shooting occurred less than two weeks after former police officer Amber Guyger in nearby Dallas was convicted of fatally shooting her unarmed black neighbor, Botham Jean, inside his apartment in 2018.  Hundreds have since gathered to protest the incident—including a small group that came together on Saturday to commemorate Jefferson and the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s visit to Fort Worth. Rev. Al Sharpton told those protestors via audio message “the battle is in; the fighters are coming. We want the nation to know what’s going on in Fort Worth.”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.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 22:45:57 -0400
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