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  • Private prison industry backs Trump, prepares if Biden wins news

    Executives at the nation’s two largest private prison companies have been donating large sums to President Donald Trump and Republican candidates with an eye toward the November elections that one of the corporations believes will lead to a rebound in its stock price. The fortunes of private prison companies have become increasingly intertwined with the nation’s politics in an era when the Trump administration has been detaining tens of thousands of immigrants and asylum seekers at their facilities. Together, CoreCivic and GEO Group made about $1.3 billion last year in contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 13:27:16 -0400
  • Global Cable Cars & Ropeways Industry

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:56:00 -0400
  • U.N chief welcomes 'any initiative' on Mideast peace, security - spokesman

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:42:03 -0400
  • Global Calcium Propionate Industry

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:36:00 -0400
  • UNESCO warns historic Beirut buildings at risk of collapse news

    The United Nations’ cultural agency said Thursday it will lead the international campaign for the recovery and restoration of Beirut's heritage, citing local officials who said that around 60 historic buildings in the Lebanese capital were at risk of collapse following last week’s devastating explosion at the Beirut port. On Aug. 4, some 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut’s port blew up, obliterating the city’s main commercial hub and spreading death and wreckage for miles around. The blast, the most destructive in Lebanon’s troubled history, killed more than 170 people, wounded more than 6,000 and caused damage worth between $10 and $15 billion.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:31:24 -0400
  • Israel charges 5 border policemen with robbing Palestinians

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:21:17 -0400
  • The Latest: Bahrain welcomes UAE-Israel deal on full ties news

    The Gulf Arab island-nation of Bahrain says it welcomes the deal reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to establish full diplomatic relations. Bahrain congratulated the UAE and its leadership for reaching a deal that it said suspends Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands while “taking steps to enhance the chances for Middle East peace.”

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:04:08 -0400
  • Brexit trade deal can be done by September, says UK chief negotiator news

    The UK's chief Brexit negotiator said on Thursday that a free trade agreement with the European Union could be agreed in September, as Ireland's prime minister said a "landing zone" for the deal had emerged. British and EU officials meet in Brussels for the seventh round of trade talks next week after a fortnight break following five weeks of intensified negotiations. David Frost said: "Our assessment is that agreement can be reached in September, and we will work to achieve this if we can." Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, has set an end of October deadline for the trade deal to be finalised, which is supported by influential member states such as Germany. Ireland's Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, met Boris Johnson for talks on Thursday in Hillsborough, Northern Ireland (see video below). He said both sides knew that they needed to avoid the economic shock of a no trade deal Brexit after the coronavirus crisis. If a trade deal is not agreed by the end of the year, the EU and UK will trade on far less lucrative WTO terms. "Where there's a will, there's a way," he said. "It seems to me that there is a landing zone if that will is there on both sides, and I think it is."

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:50:23 -0400
  • Federal appeals court: Male-only draft is constitutional news

    A federal appeals court in New Orleans upheld the constitutionality of the all-male military draft system Thursday, citing a 1981 U.S. Supreme Court decision. In a decision that overturned a 2019 ruling by a Texas-based federal judge, a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said “only the Supreme Court may revise its precedent.” The case was argued in March and was the result of a lawsuit by the National Coalition for Men and two men challenging the male-only draft.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:21:29 -0400
  • Egyptian lawyer: Senior Brotherhood leader dies in prison

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:16:16 -0400
  • VIRUS DIARY: Have toilet seat, will travel news

    Others raised eyebrows in Zoom calls, silently judging our desire to spend a nonessential week at the beach in South Florida, the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. Then I pointed out that we’d be traveling from Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp has steadfastly refused to order mask-wearing, just like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Only Kemp has gone further, saying most coronavirus infections are just like “a stomach bug or a flu or anything else,” and forbidding mayors from doing more than he would to preserve public health.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:03:46 -0400
  • Trump opposes postal money that would help vote-by-mail news

    President Donald Trump declared Thursday that he opposes additional funding for the U.S. Postal Service, acknowledging that his position would starve the agency of money Democrats say it needs to process an anticipated surge in mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump also claimed anew — falsely — that Democrats were pushing for universal mail-in voting and predicted without providing evidence that mail-in voting would lead to massive voter fraud in the November election. Polls indicate Trump is in for a tough reelection fight against Democrat Joe Biden.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 10:55:51 -0400
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    UAE to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 10:52:30 -0400
  • Distrust of authority fuels virus misinformation for Latinos news

    When Claudia Guzman suspected she had caught the coronavirus, her friends and family were full of advice: Don’t quarantine. A homemade tea will help cure you. False claims and conspiracy theories, ranging from bogus cures to the idea that the virus is a hoax, have dogged efforts to control the pandemic from the beginning.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 10:40:53 -0400
  • Represent: inside a timely film about the tough road women in politics face news

    A new film follows three women as they run for office, and the ‘unglamorous bits of democracy’ that make for a political movementThe decision to run for office arrived for Myya Jones in the winter of 2016. She was 22, a campus leader for the Black Student Union at Michigan State University, and determined to change her home town of Detroit for the better. For months, she researched the process of gentrification, which pushed black people out of the neighborhoods where she grew up and went to high school; for months, she waited for a name to support. Eventually, she thought, “You know what? I’m going to run for office myself because everybody else is scared,” she told the Guardian.For Julie Cho, a 47-year-old married mother of two living in suburban Evanston, Illinois, a majority Democratic district, the decision was fueled by frustration with her state house speaker and the Republican party’s lackluster efforts to campaign in her district. “If no one’s going to do it, then I’m going to do it,” she told the Guardian of her decision to run for state representative. In rural Granville, Ohio, 33-year-old Bryn Bird had long wondered: “If you weren’t afraid, what’s the one thing you would do?” The answer was run for county trustee, but it never seemed like the right time until 2017, when her mother’s cancer turned terminal. “I wanted her to see me run for office,” she told the Guardian. “I wasn’t afraid of anything any more.”Represent, a documentary on the tedium of running for local office as a woman in Trump-era America, follows the three women as they launch their nascent political careers in the midwest. The film begins with a clear invocation to opportunities won and lost: in 1974, second-wave feminist activism and the movement to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment launched the so-called Year of the Woman, in which an unprecedented number of women were elected for national office. Forty-four years later, enough had not changed – women still comprised only one in five congressional seats – for another round of “year of the woman” sloganeering. The midterms of 2018 were, indeed, a banner year for women on the national level: 476 House candidates and 53 Senate candidates, more than double the number of women who ran in 2016, largely Democrats spurred to action by the election of a president who once bragged that men should “grab ’em by the pussy”.But while much attention and several stellar documentaries – Netflix’s Knock Down the House on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive rookies in Congress, Hulu’s Hillary on the presidential candidate herself – beamed on the national races, Represent seeks to explore the same phenomenon in less storied, pared-down quarters. “These are everyday women,” director Hillary Bachelder told the Guardian, “the yous and mes of the world who are like, ‘I can do this small thing for my community at this level.’”The local and state house races “should be the most accessible for women”, Bachelder said. But the barriers for entry – the mental tax of microaggressions and snap judgments, especially for Jones as a black women and Cho as a Korean immigrant, and the lack of funding for new candidates from the party organizations – demonstrate “a lot of the same thing that’s at the national level”.Bachelder embedded with each candidate, following the distinctly unglamorous work of campaigning in their specific districts – the trips to knock on doors, shake hands at the town parade, to show up to sparsely attended municipal meetings, to flag people down in cars and explain your platform or, more often, who you are.While the three races present starkly different contexts, the touch-and-go, bespoke work of each campaign confront frustratingly similar doubts and dismissals. For Bird, running as the “new by, like, decades” trustee, as she says in the film, it was confronting an old boy’s club that did not take her seriously, the “continual cycle of not being told about certain things, or being reminded that I can’t go to certain events, or not invited to the men’s drinking nights because I need to get home to my kids”.Bachelder’s camera captures the compounding toll of unnecessary discomfort – another candidate, for example, saying he’d make a joke but it wouldn’t be “politically correct” enough for Bird’s presence. At a Democratic meet-and-greet, one white woman touches Jones’s hair without permission.For Cho, whose family escaped North Korea during the war in the 1950s, her allegiance to the Republican party is more complicated than the label would seem. She distrusts all governments, she says, but wants to do her part to help. She’s attached to the Republican name under the Trump administration, which has worked to systematically curb voting rights, but her main platform is ending gerrymandered district lines in her corner of Illinois. Her campaign manager is a black man who has never worked for a Republican before. Occasionally, people in Evanston hear her out; more often, she’s dismissed outright.She’s frequently had people – all white liberals, she told the Guardian, demanding to know why she’d run as a Republican as an Asian immigrant. “It’s white people telling me how I should think,” she said. “What they should be asking is what is it about the Republican platform and policies that you support?”Jones, in particular, faces the most interlocking and insidious friction as a young black female candidate. In news interviews, she’s asked why she thinks she has enough experience; canvassing the street, one constituent demands: “what are you going to do about the blight?!” In one scene, Jones attends a conference for aspiring candidates, but is only given 15 seconds to introduce herself publicly. Black women “do a lot of the groundwork, a lot of the legwork, we have a lot of ideas, but it’s not until we’re like 30+ that we are actually recognized as leaders,” said Jones. “People don’t perceive us as being just as knowledgable or as capable as them.”“You’re asking people to have to suit up, to have the thick skin and enter a space that you know wasn’t built for you,” said Bachelder of the challenges faced by all three women. “The added level of being reminded that you’re an other in some kind of way is just going chip away.” By film’s end, after defeats in both the mayoral bid and a Democratic primary for state House, Jones, now 25 and studying for her MBA, was “tired of having to prove myself over and over again” and conflicted over the potential of running for office, especially without financial backing from the party.“Just as much as you want black folks to vote for you, specifically black women,” she said, “you have to be able to financially back our campaigns, too.”Cho, who lost her race for state house, also remains on the fence about seeking elected office; she’s spending time at home with her young children. In one of the film’s most poignant scenes, Bird informs her mother that she’s won the race, initiating a separate round of challenges: working 20 hours or more a week as a trustee for $10,000 a year with three little kids, a husband working full-time, and a family farm business whose customers she can’t afford to alienate.The structural and cultural challenges remain, Bachelder said, but there’s hope to be found in number and tenacity, especially on politics’ bluntest and most specific level. After two years on the local campaign trail, the film “shines the light on the need for all of us to get engaged and involved”, she said – a call to action for involvement in “the unglamorous bits of democracy that are still really necessary to bring the pieces together”. * Represent is available to rent digitally in the US on 14 August and in the UK at a later date

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 10:37:11 -0400
  • Man guilty in terror plot to be released from prison news

    A Rhode Island man sentenced to 15 years in prison for participating in a plot to behead a blogger on behalf of the Islamic State group will be released early because of the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge has ruled. The judge ordered Nicholas Rovinski's release this week after his lawyers argued that Rovinski's medical conditions, including cerebral palsy and hypertension, make the 29-year-old particularly vulnerable to serious illness from the virus. “The Court concludes that there exist extraordinary and compelling circumstances that warrant granting this motion for compassionate release,” U.S. District Judge William Young wrote in his order.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 10:29:12 -0400
  • Bavaria faces coronavirus debacle as 900 not told they are positive news

    One of the leading contenders to succeed Angela Merkel is facing an embarrassing debacle over his flagship coronavirus testing policy. Markus Söder, the regional prime minister of Bavaria, has seen his popularity soar over his handling of the crisis and is now openly talked of as the frontrunner to take over from Mrs Merkel. But on Thursday he was fighting to contain the fallout after it emerged that some 44,000 people had not received their results more than a week after taking part in a new Bavarian testing scheme. Even more damaging, it emerged than 900 of those who had not received their results had tested positive, raising fears they could have passed on the infection unknowingly. “This is very, very frustrating,” Mr Söder said. “It needs to be fixed immediately and it must not happen again.” The Bavarian leader was privately said to be livid after he was forced to cancel a planned trip to the German north coast in order to sort out the mess. The trip to Schleswig-Holstein, which would have included a walk across North Sea mudflats, was part of a bid to raise his national profile as he attempts to position himself as Mrs Merkel’s successor in waiting.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 10:17:18 -0400
  • Lithuania designates Hezbollah as a terrorist organization

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 10:10:24 -0400
  • Mocimboa da Praia: Mozambique battles for port seized by IS news

    It says Islamists who seized a city near lucrative gas reserves are using local people as human shields.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 09:23:44 -0400
  • Rights group: Houthis, Saudis killed Ethiopian migrants

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 09:18:11 -0400
  • Why Putin Is Backing an Ungrateful Despot in Belarus

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 09:15:24 -0400
  • Bob Woodward’s New Book Lifts The Lid On Trump’s Personal Letters With Kim Jong Un news

    North Korea's dictator reportedly described his bond with Trump as something out of a “fantasy film," the famed Watergate journalist will reveal in "Rage."

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 09:13:43 -0400
  • UN: 8 children die within days in Syria camp for IS families

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 09:12:41 -0400
  • AP PHOTOS: Across faiths, pandemic alters worship, rites news

    London and its environs are home to a notable diversity of faiths and flocks. “It posed an immediate and immense challenge,” the Rev. Gordon said. In Neasden, a suburb northwest of London, a magnificent Hindu temple of carved stone constructed according to ancient Vedic architectural texts usually welcomes thousands of visitors a day.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 07:33:16 -0400
  • Imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer begins hunger strike news

    A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer has begun a hunger strike seeking better prison conditions and the release of political prisoners amid the pandemic, her husband said Thursday. Reza Khandan told The Associated Press his wife Nasrin Sotoudeh began the strike Tuesday and he feared it would exacerbate her chronic gastrointestinal and foot problems. Iran has the highest number of virus-related deaths in the region with 19,162 after 174 died since Wednesday.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 07:19:01 -0400
  • UK chief negotiator says aiming for Brexit deal in September

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 06:37:29 -0400
  • What if 17-year-old boys ran the government? 'Boy State' has answers news

    In the summer of 2017, husband-and-wife documentary filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine read a news article that seized their attention. Boys State, a summer program sponsored by The American Legion, might be described as the political equivalent of Model U.N. or moot court. Every year, 1,100 teens in states across the country come together to build a mock state legislature, debate mock bills and hold mock elections, culminating in a gubernatorial contest.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 06:00:27 -0400
  • The U.S. can't change China news

    It has not gotten wide attention thanks to the country falling to pieces, but the Trump administration has all but declared a new cold war against China. In a recent hardline speech at the Nixon Library, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that "today China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else." He argued that economic development had made China more authoritarian, not less, and it had abused the international trade system to steal jobs, production, and intellectual property from the United States.However, it's not just Republicans. Democrats have also taken a much harder line on China of late — indeed, some Biden campaign ads attack Trump from the right. "Trump said he would get tough on China," says one. "He didn't get tough, he got played."It would be a great mistake for American politicians to bluster their way into a high-stakes international conflict. The United States' severe internal problems make a mockery of the idea of standing up to China in the name of freedom, and confrontation would surely lead to disaster. Meanwhile nothing short of the future of the planet is riding on successful diplomatic engagement.On first blush, the Trump administration's stance on China is utterly preposterous. Pompeo raises worries about China's authoritarianism, but he is part of an administration that is straight-up trying to steal the 2020 election. Trump is a classic budding tinpot dictator down to his ill-fitting suits, and the rest of the Republican Party (with a couple minor exceptions) would not object to setting up a Chinese Communist Party-style dictatorship in this country — so long as they were in charge and could prevent poor people from getting any welfare. Trump and the GOP are a million times' greater threat to American freedom than China ever could be. Similarly, Pompeo's complaints about human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims ring hollow given Trump's own Muslim ban and migrant concentration camps. So does his attempt to blame the coronavirus pandemic on CCP misrule, because Trump so obviously screwed up the U.S. response. Most of Western Europe has gotten it under control, just like China — only in America has it been allowed to rage basically unchecked.All that said, Pompeo is right that the last several decades of American diplomatic policy towards China did not work as expected. President Nixon engaged with China with the objective of trying to split off the CCP from the Soviet Union (which did work), and also to coax the CCP towards liberal democracy (which did not). Every following president up to Obama followed a similar path, particularly during the '90s, when credulous faith in neoliberal economics was at its height. China got permanent normal trade relations in 2000 partly on the knee-jerk faith that economic prosperity would lead to political freedom.What actually happened was that the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs plummeted by about 20 percent in just four years after 2000, as manufacturers shipped them to China, and starting about 2013 under President Xi Jinping, the CCP leadership consolidated more and more power at the top. It turns out it is perfectly possible to reconcile fast economic growth with brutal tyranny.Pompeo might be a hypocrite, but he is also not wrong about China's slide towards abject totalitarianism. The CCP really is committing an attempted cultural genocide of the Uighurs in Xinjiang. There are perhaps a million Uighurs in reeducation camps, many have been sent around the country as slave labor, and many Uighur women have been forced to take contraception, had their pregnancies aborted, or been sterilized. Their cities are subject to a staggering level of constant surveillance, and their cultural and religious practices are being stamped out.Across the rest of China, the CCP has developed perhaps the most advanced and intrusive form of Orwellian dragnet surveillance ever created — designed not to catch criminals or terrorists, but to create a nation of cringing, subservient sheep who will obey government demands instantly and turn in their fellow citizens for expressing political dissent.All rather alarming! But that raises the question of just what the United States could do about it, even supposing Joe Biden were to take office in 2020 and restore some semblance of functioning democratic government. The plain fact is that the American government has limited purchase on the internal politics of any large state — and there is none larger or more powerful than China. Its economy is already larger than the U.S. economy, and its state institutions frankly work much better than ours do (which isn't saying much, to be fair). An actual war is out of the question given China's nuclear capacity, and I would not be surprised if even a low-level conflict turned out very badly for the U.S. military, given how thoroughly the Pentagon is infested with corruption, and how U.S. military capacity is built around vulnerable aircraft carriers. In any case, the U.S. is 20 years deep into a spree of imperialist wars of aggression that ruined an entire region of the globe. America is in no position to tell anyone how to conduct their affairs.Indeed, it is fairly plausible to think that America has subtly enabled China's turn towards more sinister authoritarianism simply through its appallingly inept governance. If you were a CCP ideologue looking for evidence that Western democracy and liberal freedoms enable irresponsible, idiotic demagogues who cruise to office by whipping up mob hysteria and then proceed to bungle every single decision they make in office, the United States under George W. Bush and Donald Trump would be Exhibit A.The best thing America could do vis-à-vis China is reform itself, setting a good example while maintaining warm relations with other nations around the Pacific rim — particularly Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand. If the U.S. were not such a shambling basket case and egregious hypocrite, the CCP might feel a bit more shame about its dysfunctional economy, moderately serious corruption, or murderous Islamophobia, and our allied nations would not be having second thoughts about depending on a superpower that is visibly pulsating with rot.However, the U.S. does have one major lever it can and should use to influence China — trade policy. As I have explained before, the Chinese income distribution is hugely unequal, which means that its workers cannot afford to consume all that they produce. America has enabled that inequality by running a huge trade deficit — allowing China to avoid a depression of underconsumption by sending its surplus to the U.S. A President Biden could use trade policy not to incoherently lash out, as Trump has done, but to get China to cut down its inequality and increase American imports. That would help workers in both countries.But as a general matter, the U.S. should abandon any expectation that it can change Chinese politics much from outside. At best America might push here or prod there, but ultimately the fate of China is in the hands of the Chinese people. That does not mean diplomatic engagement is unimportant — on the contrary, as Kate Aronoff argues at The New Republic, we simply cannot avoid negotiating over climate change, because China is by far the largest source of emissions today. It means that instead of conditioning diplomatic talks on trying to force China into undertaking some sweeping change, America should simply look for areas of mutual interest where a deal might be struck. Climate is certainly one of those areas, given how extremely vulnerable most of China is to sea level rise or other problems — the enormous Three Gorges Dam was recently under severe strain due to extreme rain and flooding.Tyrannies have historically not lasted all that long, but it's impossible to say how long the CCP might hold out given its unprecedented techno-dystopia. America has no choice but come to some kind of way to live peacefully with China, and soon. Because we can't live without international action on climate.More stories from Hurricane-force storm in Iowa flattens 10 million acres of crops Israel and United Arab Emirates agree to 'full normalization' of relations 5 funny cartoons about the promise and peril of Kamala Harris for vice president

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:55:02 -0400
  • Mocimboa da Praia: Key Mozambique port 'seized by IS' news

    After days of fighting, IS is said to have driven government forces out of Mocimboa da Praia.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:53:39 -0400
  • Buses and trains disinfected as North Korea ramps up virus measures news

    Temperature checks, hand sanitisers, and face masks are being enforced across Pyongyang's public transport system as North Korea intensifies its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Pyongyang had yet to confirm whether he tested positive, but such a source might be more diplomatically convenient for the North than if the virus arrived from China -- its key ally -- where it first emerged. Pictures Wednesday showed passengers -- all with face coverings -- lining up for hand sanitiser before boarding buses in Pyongyang.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:48:13 -0400
  • Chinese diners told to order less and cut food waste news

    Chinese diners are being told to order less food as part of a campaign by President Xi Jinping to tackle waste and embrace thrift. "Operation empty plate" aims to overturn the ingrained cultural habit of ordering extra food for group meals. Xi was quoted in state media this week as saying food waste is "shocking and distressing," adding it was "necessary to maintain crisis awareness regarding food security".

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:40:36 -0400
  • US official says FBI joining Beirut explosion investigation news

    The FBI will join Lebanese and other international investigators in the probe of the massive explosion at Beirut's port that killed more than 170 people, injured thousands and caused widespread destruction, a U.S. diplomat said Thursday. Lebanese authorities had invited the FBI to take part, and it is one way that Washington can help the country deal with the effects of the disaster, said U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs David Hale as he toured the Gemayezeh neighborhood, which was damaged by the Aug. 4 blast. “The FBI will soon join Lebanese and international investigators at the invitation of the Lebanese in order to help answer questions that I know everyone has about the circumstances that led up to this explosion,” he told reporters.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:39:10 -0400
  • South Korea announces plans for an aircraft carrier as tensions rise in the Indo-Pacific news

    South Korea has confirmed plans to start building its first aircraft carrier next year as tensions grow in the Indo-Pacific region between the US and China and the question of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions remains unresolved. The acquisition of the billion-dollar, 30,000 ton aircraft carrier, expected to be be equipped with F-35B fighter jets and helicopters, was unveiled in the defence ministry’s national plan for 2021-2025, reported the Naval News. The carrier would lead a fleet to protect sea lanes and overseas Korean interests and would be dedicated to air operations, it said, adding that the project schedule had been fast-tracked to be launched in the late 2020s. According to the defence ministry, the ship will be used to transport military forces, equipment and materials as well as operating jets capable of vertical take-off and landing. "It will enable the military to more effectively suppress threats and dispatch forces and materials to a disputed region in the sea by playing a role of a controlling vessel for the navy unit,” it said in a statement. Seoul is expected to purchase the F-35B combat aircraft from the US. The jets, which have short takeoff and vertical landing capabilities compatible with a small aircraft carrier, will also be deployed by Japan and the United States in the western Pacific. All three countries have troubled relations with Pyongyang, which resumed missile testing this year after Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, and Donald Trump, the US president, failed to reach a deal to dismantle the regime’s nuclear and long-range missile programmes. Other Indo-Pacific nations are also looking to shore up their defence capabilities as Washington and Beijing clash over China’s territorial claims in the region. Taiwan is in talks with the US to acquire underwater sea mines to deter amphibious landings as well as cruise missiles for coastal defense, Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s new ambassador to Washington, told the Hudson Institute think tank on Wednesday. The island was facing “an existential survival issue” because of China’s territorial and sovereignty claims and needed to expand its asymmetric capabilities, she said. China seeks to annex Taiwan, a democracy of 23 million with its own government, military and foreign policy, and Beijing has threatened to use force to do so. In recent months, it has stepped up its air and sea military operations around the island and Taipei has warned that the threat is rising. “What we mean by asymmetric capabilities is cost effective, but lethal enough to become deterrence - to make any consideration of an invasion very painful,” said Ms Hsiao.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:26:50 -0400
  • Experts warn Spain is losing the 2nd round in virus fight news

    Not two months after battling back the coronavirus, Spain’s hospitals have started seeing patients who are struggling to breathe returning to their wards. The deployment of a military emergency brigade to set up a field hospital in the northeastern city of Zaragoza this week is a grim reminder that Spain is far from claiming victory over the virus that overwhelmed the European country in March and April. The Spanish government’s top virus expert, Fernando Simón, said Thursday that the 3,500 hospital beds occupied nationally by coronavirus patients represented just 3% of the total capacity.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 04:47:24 -0400
  • Thousands in Belarus form 'lines of solidarity' in protest news

    Crowds of protesters in Belarus swarmed the streets and thousands of workers rallied outside industrial plants Thursday to denounce a police crackdown on demonstrations over a disputed election that extended the 26-year rule of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. Beginning in the morning, hundreds of women formed long “lines of solidarity" in several areas of the capital, Minsk. In Minsk and many other cities, thousands of factory workers also rallied against the police violence, raising the prospect of strikes in a new challenge to the government.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 04:31:23 -0400
  • Is it safe to drink from a fountain during the pandemic? news

    Is it safe to drink from a water fountain during the pandemic? In New York City, for example, posters instruct people to use gloves or a tissue to turn on water fountains. If you don’t have those handy and need to touch the fountain, experts recommend you wash your hands afterward and avoid touching your face until you do.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 04:16:59 -0400
  • Israel successfully tests advanced missile defense system

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 03:51:15 -0400
  • Virus exposes economic, racial divide in French health care news

    Festering beneath France’s promise of guaranteed health care for all lie deep disparities across economic and racial lines — differences laid painfully bare by the COVID-19 crisis. After the pandemic broke out, they set up daily food and hygiene kit distribution points, and launched a phone application to coordinate NGOs distributing food — as well as translating public health information into the multiple languages spoken in the diverse communities. Jacqueline Mendy, a Black mother of two, was among the fifty or so people who came to a tent that Banlieues Santé set up last week in her local park in the Paris suburb of Bondy, whose surrounding Seine-Saint-Denis region saw France’s highest mortality rate from the virus.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 03:06:56 -0400
  • Why the Mauritius oil spill is so serious news

    The location of the Mauritian oil spill means the environmental consequences could be long-lasting.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 02:21:59 -0400
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    Abandoned by state after explosion, Lebanese help each other

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 02:10:34 -0400
  • Israel strikes Gaza militant sites after incendiary balloons news

    The Israeli military said it struck Hamas militant sites in the Gaza Strip early Thursday in response to continued launches of explosives-laden balloons from the Palestinian territory into Israel. The military said its targets included a compound used by Hamas' naval force and underground infrastructure and observation posts. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and numerous smaller flareups since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 01:42:03 -0400
  • Crews try to tame massive forest fire north of Los Angeles news

    Light winds and scattered thundershowers early Thursday helped calm the flames of a huge wildfire that prompted evacuations north of Los Angeles, and firefighters hoped to rein in the blaze before temperatures spike later in the day. An enormous plume of smoke was visible across much of Southern California after the fire broke out Wednesday afternoon in dense forest land. The blaze exploded in size within hours on brushy ridges, including some areas that had not burned since 1968, fire officials said.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 01:17:10 -0400
  • 'Impossible': School boards are at heart of reopening debate news

    Helena Miller listened to teachers, terrified to reenter classrooms, and parents, exhausted from trying to make virtual learning work at home. This Board of Trustees in suburban South Carolina is like thousands of school boards nationwide, where members are tackling a simple but hefty question — do we return to school amid a pandemic?

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 01:02:37 -0400
  • War's end meant years of pain for Japanese girl in China news

    The last day of the Pacific War was also supposed to be Fumie Sato's last. After hearing Emperor Hirohito's Aug. 15, 1945, radio broadcast declaring Japan would soon be "enduring the unendurable” in defeat, her father, an Imperial Army officer in Manchuria, announced his family would die by suicide together because the Soviets would soon invade their neighborhood. Now 88, as the 75th anniversary of the Pacific War's end approaches, Sato told her story publicly for the first time to The Associated Press.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:44:56 -0400
  • Radical or moderate? Trump paints Democratic ticket as both news

    President Donald Trump's campaign is struggling to define California Sen. Kamala Harris, the newly announced running mate for Democratic rival Joe Biden. With Trump lagging in the polls less than 90 days before the election, his team faces a pivotal choice.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:27:18 -0400
  • Biden, Harris lash Trump at debut of historic VP choice news

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris pushed past their one-time political rivalry to deliver an aggressive attack on the character and performance of President Donald Trump in their historic first appearance as running mates. The physical debut of the Democratic ticket on Wednesday was without parallel in recent political annals. The coronavirus prevented Biden and Harris from appearing before the large, adoring crowd that typically greets a presidential nominee and his or her running mate.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:25:41 -0400
  • 'One of us': South Asians celebrate Harris as VP choice news

    Two words summed up Tamani Jayasinghe’s exuberance for the first Indian American and Black woman to run for vice president: “Kamala Aunty.” Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, often focuses on her identity as a Black woman. At times during her political career, as she ran for California attorney general and senator, some didn’t realize she was of Indian descent.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:23:51 -0400
  • Warning on Russia adds questions about Senate's Biden probe news

    Even before last week's intelligence assessment on foreign election interference, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson was facing criticism from Democrats that his investigation of presidential candidate Joe Biden and Ukraine was politically motivated and advancing Russian interests. The investigation is unfolding as the country, months removed from an impeachment case that had centered on Ukraine, is dealing with a pandemic and confronting the issue of racial injustice.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:21:00 -0400
  • N.Korea nuclear reactor site threatened by recent flooding, U.S. think-tank says

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

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 22:55:30 -0400
  • Harris and Biden make first appearance as running mates and excoriate 'failure' Trump news

    * Democratic pair say president has left America ‘in tatters’ * Biden introduces Harris as ‘the next vice-president of the US’Joe Biden and Kamala Harris accused Donald Trump of leaving the US “in tatters” by failing to lead the country through the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, as they debuted the Democratic presidential ticket the party hopes will defeat him in November’s election.In their first joint campaign event at a high school in Biden’s home town of Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and his running mate vowed to lead the nation through three major national crises: the pandemic, the struggling economy and a reckoning with systemic racism.“My fellow Americans, let me introduce to you for the first time your next vice-president of the United States – Kamala Harris,” Biden said, in front of just a small gathering of reporters. The usual cheers from supporters were missing due to coronavirus precautions, which meant members of the public could not attend.Biden highlighted her career as a California senator and former prosecutor, and hailed her – the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants – as the first Black woman and first person of Asian descent to join a major party presidential ticket.“This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued. Today, just maybe, they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way,” Biden said.“Her story is America’s story. Different from mine in many particulars, but also not so different in the essentials.”The pair soon began to excoriate the Trump administration. Taking the stage after Biden, Harris accused Trump of myriad “failures in leadership” on coronavirus and running a previously successful economy “straight into the ground”.> I am incredibly honored by this responsibility – and I am ready to get to work> > Kamala Harris“I am incredibly honored by this responsibility – and I am ready to get to work,” she said, adding that Biden’s “empathy, his compassion, his sense of duty to care for others … is why I’m so glad to be on this ticket.”She said: “America is crying out for leadership. Yet we have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him. A president who is making every challenge we face more difficult to solve.”Pointing to the crises that have gripped the country, Harris said: “This is what happens when we elect a guy who just isn’t up for the job. Our country ends in tatters and so does our reputation around the world.”Biden grew emotional, fighting back tears, as Harris recalled her friendship with his eldest son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015. In his remarks, Biden said his son held Harris in high esteem, an opinion he said influenced his final decision.In another election year, Biden and Harris might have appeared before a roaring crowd in a diverse battleground state like Arizona or Georgia, raising their clasped hands skyward in a projection of victory. But the event on Wednesday, like nearly every aspect of the 2020 race, has been upended by the pandemic.Biden and Harris joined their respective partners, Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, after finishing their speeches. The couples stood apart on either side of the podium, smiling and waving. Emhoff stretched his hand out toward Jill Biden in a show of affection that was also a sign of the times, as he remained several feet away.Despite a thunderstorm, dozens of supporters arrived at the high school hoping to glimpse the new presidential ticket. Most lived in Delaware and were longtime supporters of the Bidens. Two women sat in lawn chairs holding a sign that said “Delaware loves Biden-Harris”. Some wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts while others wore the signature green and pink of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, which Harris joined as a college student at Howard University in Washington DC.Dina Griffin, who wore a pink dress with a matching blazer and a pin that said “VOTE”, said she had hoped Biden would choose Harris but seeing an image of them together for the first time after the announcement brought “tears of joy”.“A lot of people have lost hope and are feeling upset and depressed about the way this country has gone in the last few years,” said Griffin. “So this moment is just a renewed spark and hope that we can come together to heal our divisions.”Like Clark Benjamin, a retired educator and Delaware resident, most who turned out on Wednesday had already voted for Biden many times over as senator and then as the vice-president – and planned to do so again in 2020. Though Biden already had her vote, Benjamin said choosing Harris added energy and dynamism to the Democratic ticket.“It’s historic,” she said, explaining why she chose to spend her afternoon outside in the summer humidity. “That’s why I had to be here.”But the choice, some said, also revealed something new about the candidate.“It showed that he was listening to the people who are speaking up around the world and asking for equity, justice and fairness,” said Debbie Harrington, another member of the AKA sorority, referring to the nationwide anti-racism protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.“His pick said: I hear you. And not only did I hear you, I understand you and I’m going to do something about it.”In response to the wave of protests this spring against racism and police brutality, Harris emerged as a prominent voice on issues of racial justice. Her advocacy in favor of criminal justice legislation has eased some concerns among progressives over her record.They delivered the speech on the third anniversary of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, an event that Biden said was, for him, a “call to action”.If they prevail in November, Biden and Harris are likely to inherit a country still reeling from the pandemic that the Trump administration has failed to contain. Young protesters are demanding sweeping change to political and economic power as well as a governing agenda that addresses systemic racism, the climate crisis and economic inequality.The president’s campaign has launched a scattershot assault on Harris, attacking her as “radical” and leftwing, even though progressives in her party view her as more moderate. On Wednesday, Trump used his press briefing to attack Harris with language that nodded to America’s pejorative “angry Black woman” stereotype.The US president told reporters he had not watched the pair’s campaign event in Delaware, except for “just a moment” of each speech. But recalling the Democratic primary, he said: “I watched her poll numbers go boom, boom, boom down to almost nothing and she left angry, she left mad.“There was nobody more insulting to Biden than she was. She said horrible things about him, including accusations made about him by a woman where she I guess believed the woman. Now all of a sudden she’s running to be vice-president, saying how wonderful he is.”Trump also continued to hammer away at the integrity of the election, in what many see as a tactic to sow distrust in the democratic process. He criticised Democrats for seeking $3.5bn for universal mail-in voting, describing it without evidence as “a system riddled with fraud and corruption”. Five states conduct elections almost entirely by mail and studies have shown the level of fraud is close to 0%.Trump described Democrats as a bigger threat to the election than China, Russia or Iran, adding: “They also want $25bn additional for the post office, so the post office can handle this vast amount of ballots that are being sent at random all over the place. They have no idea where they’re going.”David Smith contributed reporting

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 21:10:46 -0400
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