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  • Tourists who stole sand from beach in Sardinia could face up to six years in prison

    Golocal247.com news

    A pair of tourists face up to six years in prison after allegedly stealing a large quantity of sand from the pristine beaches of Sardinia. The French couple were found to have nearly 40kg (90lb) of fine white sand in the boot of their car. The vehicle was stopped during a routine check by border police as the tourists were preparing to board a ferry in Porto Torres, on the north coast of the island, bound for Toulon in France. The sand was found in 14 large plastic bottles and had been taken from a beach near Chia in southern Sardinia. The couple told police that they had no idea they were breaking the law, but they now face between one and six years in jail. The island has battled for years to stop tourists from pinching its sand, shells and pebbles, which are prized as souvenirs or in some cases, for indoor aquariums. WWF has run a campaign against 'beach thieves', reminding tourists that taking sand from Sardinia's shoreline is a crime To try to stop the pillaging, some locals have taken on the role of self-appointed guardians of the beaches. If they see tourists taking sand or shells, they ask them to return the material. If that does not work, they call the police or national park rangers. One of them, Pina Careddu, told an Italian newspaper on Monday that visitors sometimes become rude and aggressive when challenged. “A family of Germans were filling up some bottles with sand. I recorded them on my phone so they couldn’t deny it. The father came towards me in a threatening manner. But in the end he tipped the sand back onto the beach,” Mrs Careddu, 58, told Corriere della Sera. Dubbed “the granny sheriff” of the Sinis peninsula, on the west coast of the island, she is strict even with her grandchildren. “They say, ‘Nana, can’t we take some pebbles home to play with?’ And I say no, if everyone did that, soon there would be no beach left.”

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:04:40 -0400
  • Far-right Proud Boys claim 'mission success' in antifa protest, vow to hold monthly Portland rallies

    Golocal247.com news

    The far-right Proud Boys claimed success and vowed monthly protests in Portland after an 'End Domestic Terrorism' rally in Oregon's largest city.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 14:43:56 -0400
  • TV presenter punched live on air during protest

    Golocal247.com news

    A journalist was knocked unconscious live on air after being punched in the face while covering a feminist protest.Video footage published by TV network ADM 40 shows reporter Juan Manuel Jimenez speaking to the camera as women yell at him during a march in Mexico City.Mr Jimenez can be seen standing in the middle of the crowd as women throw glitter at him and a woman holding a young girl’s hand shouts into the reporter’s microphone.As the reporter continues speaking to the camera, a man dressed in a white T-shirt and blue baseball cap walks up to him and punches him in the face before calmly walking away.Mr Jimenez can be seen lying on the ground seemingly unconscious as protesters chase after his attacker.At the beginning of the clip, shaky footage also shows another protester with their face covered who appears to grab the journalist and hit him in a separate incident.In other footage shared on social media, news presenter Melissa del Pozo de Milenio of the Milenio Televisión network also appears to be attacked by protesters.The journalist can be seen struggling with a woman dressed in black who has her face covered.The camera then focuses on two women who appear to be stabbing a sign.Demonstrators painted the word “rapists” on the wall of a nearby police station and phrases such as “they don’t take care of us” and “rape state” on Mexico City’s Angel of Independence monument. The feminist protests were triggered by allegations that two teenage girls were raped by a group of policemen.The demonstrations have become known as the “glitter protests” after marchers doused the city’s police chief in pink glitter.Violence against women is a serious problem in Mexico. Human Rights Watch says Mexican laws “do not adequately protect women and girls against domestic and sexual violence”.A 2019 report said provisions in Mexican law, including those that make the severity of punishments for sexual offenses contingent upon the supposed chastity of the victim, “contradict international standards”.Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, the first woman elected to head the city’s government, tweeted that the attorney general’s office of the metropolis will investigate and bring charges against those who attacked journalists.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 10:09:37 -0400
  • Protesters burn parliament building in Indonesia's Papua

    Golocal247.com news

    Thousands of people in Indonesia's West Papua province set fire to a local parliament building on Monday in a protest sparked by accusations that security forces had arrested and insulted students from neighboring Papua province, officials said. The angry mob torched the building and set fire to cars and tires on several blocked roads leading to a seaport, shopping centers and offices in Manokwari, the capital of West Papua province, Vice Gov. Mohammad Lakotani said. Television footage showed orange flames and gray smoke billowing from the burning parliament building.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:14:21 -0400
  • French waiter shot dead for being 'too slow with sandwich'

    Golocal247.com news

    A customer shot a waiter dead at an eatery on the outskirts of Paris, apparently enraged at being made to wait for a sandwich, a source close to the investigation said Saturday. The waiter's colleagues called police after he was shot in the shoulder with a handgun in the Noisy-le-Grand suburb east of Paris on Friday night, the source said. The gunman, who a witness said lost his temper "as his sandwich wasn't prepared quickly enough", fled the scene.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 13:40:51 -0400
  • Buttigieg: opposition to gay marriage will 'wash away' among black Americans

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    Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful says change will occur when voters see his policies will work in their interests2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, South Bend, Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg speaks during a campaign event at the Smokey Row coffee shop in Oskaloosa, Iowa on 15 August. Photograph: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty ImagesOpposition to gay marriage among African Americans will “start to wash away”, Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday, when such voters “struggling to get on to right side of history” see he will work in their interests.The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, spoke to CNN’s State of the Union from Georgetown, South Carolina, a crucial early voting state which this weekend played host to a number of candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.Buttigieg, 37, is in the top five in most polls but has not built on an initial surge. A national Fox News poll released this week gave Joe Biden, the former vice-president, a familiar healthy lead among African American Democratic primary voters, over three senators: Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts.Polling also shows that less than half black Protestant Christians, a key voting bloc, support same-sex marriage. Buttigieg has also faced controversy arising from an officer-involved shooting of an African American man in South Bend in June but on CNN the candidate, who is married, was asked if being gay was part of what was holding him back with at least some black voters.“I think most black voters like most voters in general want to know what the candidates are actually going to do to improve their lives,” he said. “And when I talk to black voters in particular there’s a sense of having been taken for granted in politics in the sense that candidates haven’t always been speaking to them in terms of gaining their trust.”Mentioning policy proposals, Buttigieg cited his Douglass plan, named for the great 19th-century anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass, that attempts to tackle “institutional racism that works on health”.He continued: “I think that a lot of these other factors start to wash away once voters understand what it’s going to mean for them that you versus the others are running for office. But we’ve got six months to make sure we get that message out … and that’s how I plan to earn support among black voters whether it’s here or across the country.”Buttigieg has been fiercely critical of Mike Pence. Like him, the vice-president is from Indiana, but an evangelical Christian and social conservative with an anti-LGBTQ record in office. On CNN, the mayor was asked if such criticism could also apply to African American primary voters who oppose gay marriage.“Well,” he said, “I think back to my experience in Indiana when I was running for re-election after I came out in a community that’s generally Democratic but also quite socially conservative. And I just laid out the case on the kind of job that I was doing.“And what I found was that a lot of people were able to move past old prejudices and move into the future. This is not an easy conversation for a lot of people who have frankly been brung up in a certain way and are struggling to get on to the right side of history.“But I also believe that this conversation is picking up speed, that it’s a healthy conversation and that where it leads is an understanding that all marginalized people need to stand together at a time when so many Americans in so many different ways, especially under this presidency, are coming under attack.”Buttigieg was also asked if he thought a vote for Donald Trump, who he has said is a white nationalist, would be a racist act.“At best it means looking the other way,” he said.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 10:52:23 -0400
  • Putin tells Macron: Russia does not want protests like you have

    Russian President Vladimir Putin told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Monday that Moscow did not want protests like the yellow vest ones that have convulsed France, but that peaceful demonstrations were fine. Putin was speaking at Macron's summer residence in southern France ahead of talks on a range of subjects between the two leaders. In his first comments on six weeks of protests in Moscow over the exclusion of some opposition candidates from an election in the Russian capital next month, Putin told reporters that protesters had to respect the law.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:07:53 -0400
  • I've treated suicidal prisoners — Jeffrey Epstein's death is a medical, security disgrace

    Golocal247.com news

    No matter what happened in Jeffrey Epstein's cell, medical personnel and prison authorities clearly failed in their duty to monitor and treat him.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:20:06 -0400
  • The Must-See, Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Cars from the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

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    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 21:14:00 -0400
  • Two El Paso teachers asked for notes to comfort their students. They received thousands

    Golocal247.com news

    Fourth grade teachers Teresa Garrett and Elvira Flores asked Facebook for postcards "to help our students know there is plenty of good in the world.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:17:23 -0400
  • White House economic adviser: 'I sure don't see a recession'

    Golocal247.com news

    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow dismissed fears about a possible recession after a roller-coaster week for stocks.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 16:03:27 -0400
  • Iranian tanker sought by US heading toward Greece

    Golocal247.com news

    An Iranian supertanker with $130 million worth of light crude oil that the U.S. suspects is tied to a sanctioned organization left Gibraltar and was heading east into the Mediterranean Sea on Monday, with its next destination reported to be Greece. The Iran-flagged Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, set course for Kalamata, Greece, with an estimated arrival on Aug. 25, according to ship tracking service MarineTraffic. The vessel left Gibraltar late Sunday after having been detained for a month in the British overseas territory for allegedly attempting to breach European Union sanctions on Syria.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:58:00 -0400
  • Sudan's Bashir got $90 mn from Saudi, investigator tells court

    Golocal247.com news

    Sudan's deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir has admitted to receiving $90 million in cash from Saudi royals, an investigator told a Khartoum court on Monday. Police Brigadier Ahmed Ali said at the opening of Bashir's corruption trial, which an AFP correspondent attended, that the former president told him that the latest payment was "delivered by some of Mohammed bin Salman's envoys". Bashir, whose military Islamist regime ruled Sudan for 30 years, arrived at the Judicial and Legal Science Institute where the trial is taking place in a huge military convoy.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 07:19:45 -0400
  • Russian nuclear near blast site 'went silent' after missile testing explosion

    Golocal247.com news

    Two Russian radiation monitoring stations went offline last weekend following reports of a nuclear accident in Arkhangelsk region on Russia’s northern frontier, fuelling concerns of a cover-up.  The Russian government has been vague and at times contradictory when addressing the mysterious explosion near a military test range on August 8.  At least five nuclear scientists died, and a brief radiation spike was detected over nearby Severodvinsk. According to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), which operates an international network of radiation monitoring stations, two key Russian stations went offline two days after the unexplained explosion and reports of radiation spikes. According to Russian officials, RBC reported, the stations in Dubna and Kirov experienced “network and communications problems” two days after the explosion in Arkhangelsk region. Russia nuclear map The Russian military has denied that any radiation was released by the explosion, and an official statement from Severodvinsk authorities notifying the public of an increase in radiation levels was quietly withdrawn from the city government’s website.  International confirmation of a radiation spike is hard to come by.  CTBTO head Lassina Zerbo wrote on Twitter Sunday that the organisation was addressing with station operators “technical problems experienced at two neighboring stations.” He included a graphic of the organisation's modelling of radioactive particle dispersal over time. The graphic included time stamps indicating where CTBTO models predicted radioactive particles would travel. Antennas of a testing facility for seismic and infrasound technologies of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Credit: REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo According to this model, when the two Russian stations stopped reporting, the particles would have been passing directly overhead.  Some have speculated that the blast was caused by a failed test of a nuclear-powered cruise missile.  However, evidence suggests that whatever radiation was released by the August 8th explosion was localised and small scale. Experts say a nuclear-powered cruise missile would release far more. “When the US deliberately blew apart a nuclear rocket engine at the Nevada Test side in 1965 to see what would happen, the peak gamma dose rate 25 km downwind was 700 microSieverts per hour - hundreds of times greater than what was observed in Severodvinsk,” Edwin Lyman, director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists said.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:27:02 -0400
  • Pakistan accuses India of using water as a weapon in Kashmir dispute

    Accusing India of waging "fifth-generation warfare", Pakistan said on Monday New Delhi had failed to inform it about the release of water from a dam that could cause flooding across the border. Relations between the neighbours, already hostile, have been deeply strained over India's decision this month to revoke the special status of its portion of the Kashmir region that both countries claim. Pakistan reacted with fury, cutting transport and trade links and expelling India's ambassador in retaliation.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:51:52 -0400
  • This Teenager Escaped Repression in West Africa. ICE Claimed He Was an Adult, and Jailed Him Anyway.

    Golocal247.com news

    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyThis story also appears at Documented, a non-profit news site devoted solely to covering New York City’s immigrants and the policies that affect their lives. Subscribe to their newsletter here. From the moment Mahmoud* was detained at the border, he told federal authorities he was 17 years old. He told them at the Border Patrol station. He told them at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement adult detention facility where he was held in Port Isabel, Texas. “They asked me for documents that prove I’m 17 years old and I provided all those documents,” he told Judge Frank Pimentel in the Port Isabel, Texas immigration court. “I’m assuming the government must have some basis for concluding that he is older than that,” Pimentel responded. The attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement told the judge the birth year they had would make Mahmoud 25 years old. “I’m sure [ICE deportation officers] would have looked into that already,” the ICE attorney said. ICE spent the next four months fighting to keep him in adult detention. Two years later, Mahmoud can hardly speak about the experience. “It was hard for me in there,” he said.  In detention, he could barely sleep and often woke up crying. “He wasn’t able to be his young self in detention,” said Carina Patritti, an attorney at the Legal Aid Society who has represented Mahmoud. “He had to grow up quickly.”Mahmoud says he gave ICE and CBP agents a copy of his birth certificate immediately after he was detained at the border. He fled his home country in West Africa at age 17 after the government targeted him due to his political participation. He quickly gathered some documents and clothing and flew to Brazil. From there, he traveled up to the US-Mexico border and crossed with a group of men from his country. Border Patrol agents found the group and arrested them. In the station, the agents put Mahmoud in a room with a French-speaking translator on speakerphone, he said. The agents asked Mahmoud about his age. He presented them with a copy of his birth certificate and a few other documents and spent the night at the station.“They continued to ask me. I told them again, I am 17,” he said in an interview. Eventually they hurried him into a van and drove him to the Port Isabel Detention Center, a detention facility for adults. Mahmoud says he told ICE and CBP agents repeatedly that he was 17 years old throughout his detention. Under the Flores settlement, a lawsuit from 1997, the U.S. government is only allowed to detain people under the age of 18 for 20 days, and only in facilities with higher standards of care than adult immigration detention centers. Mahmoud was held for about four months in a privately run facility for adults. Asylum seekers often flee in haste, grabbing what documents or valuables they can find before pushing towards the U.S.. Federal agents scrutinize their documents to spot fakes and catch people trying to game the system. Various branches of the Department of Homeland Security have entire units dedicated to detecting fraudulent documents. This scrutiny is partially due to the fact that minors are allotted more chances to file for asylum and have more freedoms in captivity. “Since 1997, there have been numerous developments affecting DHS’s and ORR’s age determinations, but there remains no real procedure by which conflicting evidence regarding age may be weighed by a neutral and detached decision maker,” said Carlos Holguín, general counsel at the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law, the civil-rights legal organization that brought the Flores case to court. Federal policy dictates that if a “reasonable person” would conclude that an immigrant detained by ICE is an adult, despite their claims to be a minor, then the government will “treat the person as an adult for all purposes.”ICE didn’t respond to a request for comment. In a court hearing, Mahmoud said that while traveling with a group of migrants through Panama, they had been stopped by border agents. “They were taking all the minors, keeping them and asking them questions,” he told Judge Pimentel, so he’d said that he was 25. “All right, well again, I don’t know anything about that. What we have to do now is to schedule your case for a hearing,” Pimentel responded. In a later hearing, the judge pushed back against ICE’s claims about Mahmoud’s age. “I respect the fact that [ICE agents are] making immediate type decisions and don’t always have the information at hand at the time. But the court is not going to base its determination of the respondents age on how the respondent looks to the court,” Pimentel said. He asked the ICE attorney to produce evidence to support their claim that Mahmoud was older than he said he was. The ICE attorney said that they reached out to the government of his home country—which Mahmoud was fleeing—to verify his birth certificate was genuine. They hadn’t received a response yet, but the Department of Homeland Security’s position on his age remained that Mahmoud “is not a juvenile and we would like to proceed as such,” the attorney said. Judge Pimentel asked the ICE attorney for more evidence to support their claim about his age and postponed the hearing for about two weeks. Mahmoud was silent during the exchange.The judge later added, “At some point, if I don’t get any answer, then we’ll be here until the summertime when at your claim, you turn 18, and then it won’t be an issue anymore.” Denise Slavin, a retired immigration judge, explained that immigration judges—who are employees of the Department of Justice, rather than part of the independent judicial branch of the government—don’t have jurisdiction over where detainees are held. “They can tell them what court their case will be in but not where they’re held,” she said.After the hearing, ICE agents took Mahmoud to get a dental examination to prove his age. The exam showed he was likely 16 to 22 years old, according to the court recordings. ICE released him to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which oversees unaccompanied minors, about four months after he entered the Texas facility. Mahmoud was transferred to a facility in Chicago where he was finally able to call his father. There, he saw a counselor three times per week and was able to go outside. “I had no one in detention,” he said. Mahmoud was released from ORR custody and was allowed to move in with his cousin in the Bronx. His case was transferred to the New York City immigration court, where he was able to find a lawyer, and together they’re fighting for his asylum claim. He is enrolled at a high school in the Bronx for 10th grade and wants to go to college to become an accountant. “The only thing that makes me happy is to think about my opportunity to study here,” he said. “No one can stop me to study here, not like in my country.”Sometimes thoughts of his journey and imprisonment creep back into his mind. But he doesn’t talk about his experiences with any of his friends or at home; he just tries to forget. *This story uses a pseudonym to protect the subject’s identity. 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.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 05:03:49 -0400
  • Police: Fake cop busted pulling over real detectives on Long Island

    Golocal247.com news

    Nassau County police say Valiery Portlock sounded a horn and flashed emergency lights Friday morning as he an attempt to pull over a van in Hicksville, Long Island.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 00:08:33 -0400
  • Man tells cops he may be hit-and-run driver in fatal crash. He thought he hit a deer

    Golocal247.com news

    A Palmetto man has come forward to tell authorities he may have been the one involved in the fatal hit-and-run that killed a 13-year-old boy and a 47-year-old man walking along U.S. 19 early Sunday.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:37:56 -0400
  • Some of Our Favorite Nerf Blasters Are Way Cheap Right Now

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    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:00:00 -0400
  • Kamala Harris at church: ‘This is where we go when the times test our faith’

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    In an era in which religion and politics have frequently been used to create division and dissention, the pastor of a historic church is instead trying to utilize them for higher purposes.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 09:02:04 -0400
  • Mother of missing Indiana teen found in Arkansas accuses stalker of kidnapping, dyeing her hair

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    Madison Eddlemon was found safe in Arkansas Sunday after she was reported missing from Crown Point, Indiana. Police confirmed the 16-year-old's accused stalker is in custody.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 23:57:00 -0400
  • Iranian tanker sought by US heads to unknown destination

    Golocal247.com news

    An Iranian supertanker hauling $130 million worth of light crude oil that the U.S. suspects to be tied to a sanctioned organization lifted its anchor and begun moving away from Gibraltar late on Sunday. The trail left by GPS data on Marinetraffic.com, a vessel tracking service, showed the Iran-flagged Adrian Darya 1, previously known as Grace 1, moving shortly before midnight. Iran's ambassador to Britain, Hamid Baeidinejad, confirmed in a post on Twitter that the oil tanker was headed to international waters.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 20:22:51 -0400
  • 'Nightmare' as Egypt aided China to detain Uighurs

    Golocal247.com news

    Abdulmalik Abdulaziz, an Uighur student, was arrested and handcuffed by Egyptian police and when they removed his blindfold he was surprised to see Chinese officials questioning him in custody. "They never said their names or mentioned who they were exactly," said Abdulaziz, 27, who spoke to AFP helping to uncover new details of the 2017 arrests of over 90 Uighurs from the mostly Muslim Turkic minority. Abdulaziz, like most swept up in the three-day crackdown in the first week of July 2017, was an Islamic theology student at Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's most prestigious educational institution.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 01:04:19 -0400
  • Surprise! It's not kidney stones it's triplets. Brother says shooting star wish came true

    Golocal247.com news

    A South Dakota mom delivered triplets –two girls and a boy – after being rushed to the hospital for what she thought were kidney stones.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 19:30:28 -0400
  • Biden to skip DNC meeting in San Francisco where 13 candidates are expected

    Golocal247.com news

    Biden also bypassed the last big party meeting in San Francisco, which drew more than 4,000 people in June.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 05:02:41 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-EU says ready for no-deal Brexit, "British would be the biggest losers"

    The European Commission said on Monday that the EU was ready for a no-deal Brexit and that Britain would suffer most under such a scenario. Speaking at a regular daily briefing, Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said a no-deal UK exit would never be the EU's preferred scenario, adding that the Brussels-based executive saw no need for additional contingency preparations at this stage.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 06:42:56 -0400
  • Police arrested 3 men in their 20s in Ohio, Florida, and Connecticut last week on suspicion of planning mass shootings

    Golocal247.com news

    Local authorities have arrested and detained Brandon Wasghol, Tristan Scott Wix, and James Patrick Reardon in three separate cases.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 07:06:42 -0400
  • How the Government Creates Wealth Inequality

    Golocal247.com news

    There are economic storm clouds on the horizon, but for now wages are rising, jobs are plentiful, and poverty is falling. Democrats running for president need an economic line of attack, so the solution has been to focus on wealth inequality. Senator Bernie Sanders claims that there has been a “massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top one percent.” Senator Elizabeth Warren lambastes America’s “extreme concentration of wealth.” Even the establishment Joe Biden laments, “This wealth gap that exists in the United States of America is so profound now.”Wealth inequality has risen in recent years, but by far less than the Democrats and many media articles imply. The scarier claims about inequality usually stem from the flawed data created by French economist Thomas Piketty and his colleagues. More careful studies by other economists and the Federal Reserve Board reveal surprisingly modest changes in wealth inequality given the huge revolutions in globalization and technology that have occurred.Are increases in wealth inequality the awful thing that Democrats claim? It depends on what causes them. Much of the recent modest rise in wealth inequality stems from innovations in our economy that are pulling everyone up. Brian Acton and Jan Koum, for example, built huge multibillion dollar fortunes by creating WhatsApp, which provides free phone service for 1.5 billion users globally.Acton and Koum’s success may have increased the wealth owned by the top 1 percent, but their product has created massive consumer value as well. Most of the wealthiest Americans are entrepreneurs who have fueled economic growth, which is clear in examining the Forbes 400 list. Wealth created this way is not the zero-sum struggle that Democrats imagine it is.That is the good news. The bad news is that the government itself generates wealth inequality in at least two ways that make us worse off. First, governments give subsidies, regulatory preferences, and other crony-capitalist benefits to wealthy insiders. In the recent Fat Leonard scandal, for example, Leonard Francis gained hundreds of millions of dollars of government contracts by cozying up to Navy officers and providing them with gifts, prostitutes, and other favors to get them to do his bidding.The other way that the government fuels wealth inequality is a deeper scandal. The expansion of social programs over the decades has undermined incentives for lower- and middle-income families to save while reducing their ability to save because of higher taxes. Government programs have displaced or “crowded out” wealth-building by all American families but the richest.Politicians complain loudly about wealth inequality, but their own policies are generating it. This issue receives too little policy attention, but it is profoundly important and reveals the hypocrisy of the political left.Many Americans have saved little for retirement because Social Security discourages them doing so, as does the heavy 12.4 percent wage tax that funds the program. Economist Martin Feldstein found that every dollar increase in Social Security benefits reduces private savings by about 50 cents.Social Security accounts for a larger share of retirement income for the non-rich than for the rich, so this crowd-out effect increases wealth inequality. In a simulation model, Jagadeesh Gokhale and Laurence Kotlikoff estimated that Social Security raises the share of overall wealth held by the top 1 percent of wealth holders by about 80 percent. This occurs because the program leaves the non-rich with “proportionately less to save, less reason to save, and a larger share of their old-age resources in a nonbequeathable form.”A study by Baris Kaymak and Markus Poschke built a model of the U.S. economy to estimate the causes of rising wealth inequality. They found that most of the rise in the top 1 percent share of wealth in recent decades was caused by technological changes and wage dispersion, but the expansion of Social Security and Medicare caused about one-quarter of the increase. They concluded that the “redistributive nature of transfer payments was instrumental in curbing wealth accumulation for income groups outside the top 10% and, consequently, amplified wealth concentration in the U.S.”More government benefits result in less private wealth, especially for the non-rich. It is not just Social Security and Medicare that displaces private saving, but also unemployment insurance, welfare, and other social spending. Some social programs have “asset tests” that deliberately discourage saving.Total federal and state social spending as a share of gross domestic product soared from 6.8 percent in 1970 to 14.3 percent in 2018. That increase in handouts occurred over the same period that wealth inequality appears to have increased. Generations of Americans have grown up assuming that the government will take care of them when they are sick, unemployed, and retired, so they put too little money aside for future expenses.Cross-country studies support these conclusions. A 2015 study by Pirmin Fessler and Martin Schurz examined European data and found that “inequality of wealth is higher in countries with a relatively more developed welfare state . . . given an increase of welfare state expenditure, wealth inequality measured by standard relative inequality measures, such as the Gini coefficient, will increase.”A study by Credit Suisse found: “Strong social security programs — good public pensions, free higher education or generous student loans, unemployment and health insurance — can greatly reduce the need for personal financial assets. . . . This is one explanation for the high level of wealth inequality we identify in Denmark, Norway and Sweden: the top groups continue to accumulate for business and investment purposes, while the middle and lower classes have a less pressing need for personal saving.”That is why it is absurd for politicians such as Sanders and Warren to decry wealth inequality and then turn around and demand European-style expansions in our social programs. The bigger our welfare state, the more wealth inequality we will have.The solution is to transition to savings-based social programs. Numerous countries have Social Security systems based on private savings accounts. Chile has unemployment-insurance savings accounts. Martin Feldstein proposed a savings-based approach to Medicare. The assets in such savings accounts would be inheritable, unlike the benefits from current U.S. social programs.Sanders and Warren are right to criticize crony capitalism as a cause of wealth inequality. But their big government approaches to social policy would have the opposite effect on wealth inequality than what they may believe.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 06:30:20 -0400
  • ‘I Believe in Capitalism’: Kamala Harris Courts Big Donors in the Hamptons

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Teslas and Maseratis lined the street as Kamala Harris greeted guests sipping drinks from plastic cups with her name on them and eating cinnamon sugar donuts from Dreesen’s at a fund-raiser hosted by movie executive Jamie Patricof and his wife Kelly as the summer of Democratic fund-raisers rolled on in East Hampton.The senator and former California prosecutor assured donors “I believe in capitalism” during a jam-packed weekend of pitching her plan to save the middle class. Harris is looking to raise enough money to keep her campaign fueled through the next debates in September and beyond.She also had events on Martha’s Vineyard, the Massachusetts island that is a playground for celebrities, including the Obamas, Bill Clinton and David Letterman, on Friday and Saturday. Tickets ranged from $100 to $2,800.And she wasn’t alone.A world away from the Iowa State Fair and its array of deep fried food-on-a-stick just a week earlier, 2020 Democratic hopefuls are spending the final weeks of summer raising cash in the enclaves of the rich and famous.Harris’s event on Sunday night went head to head with one at musician Jon Bon Jovi’s house for Cory Booker. Pete Buttigieg will be in the Hamptons over Labor Day weekend. Joe Biden, who’ll be in the Hamptons next weekend, has already hit up Cape Cod, Aspen and Sun Valley, Idaho.In the woods of Water Mill, at the home of public-relations executive Michael Kempner, Aretha Franklin and Alicia Keys songs played in the background as former Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards, Centerview Partners’ Blair Effron and Citigroup’s Ray McGuire waited to hear Harris’s pitch while would-be donors grazed on mini pizza.“You got to go out and meet all the candidates,” said Quad Group chief strategist Peter Borish, who attended one of the five fundraisers Harris held on the eastern tip of Long Island on Sunday. But it was Harris’s chance to meet big Wall Street names: Democratic donor Nicolas Rohatyn, Blackstone’s Bennett Goodman, Alibaba executive J Michael Evans, formerly at Goldman Sachs, and Chad Leat, formerly at Citigroup.Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, leading lights of the Democrats’ progressive wing, weren’t around. They’ve pledged not to take big-dollar donations, at least during the primary season.“Democrats can either cede the field to the Republicans or we can fight. And you can’t win this fight without the appropriate resources,” said Kempner. He said of Harris, “She is going to have a very strong fundraising weekend.”Harris has positioned herself as a moderate candidate in the Democratic spectrum that can appeal both to the wealthy and the working class, attendees said. Even in the backyards of the millionaires, Harris’s message remained the same as in rural Iowa. She continued to push her ‘ 3 A.M. agenda,” by which she means the issues that keep middle-class Americans up at night.“I believe in capitalism, but capitalism is not working for most people,” Harris said on the patio steps of the Patricof house, looking out at a peach orchard among flower and herb beds. She said she recognized people who’ve become successful by working hard and following rules, but that the middle class needs help.Harris again tried to clarify her stance on health care, a topic that tripped her up in the early Democratic debates. “I have not been comfortable with Bernie’s plan,” she said of Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal, and explained how a Harris administration would leave room for private insurance.The weekend’s turnout and money came from guests arriving by luxury cars, and at least two by bicycle. Shoe designer Steve Madden pulled up in a black convertible Corvette. They ranged in style and age -- men dressed in linen, jeans and Bermuda shorts, and some women in Valentino and Alexander McQueen.By sunset Sunday, Harris, traveling in a black Escalade SUV, was at the Southampton home of Frank Baker, who runs a private-equity firm focused on big tech. Among the guests were fashion and finance couple Lisa and Richard Perry and Lauren Santo Domingo, founder of the designer fashion website Moda Operandi.And at the Sagaponack home of Kirkland & Ellis LLP partner Jon Henes and wife Pamela, children made KAMALA posters as adults sampled rose in a can from a pink truck draped with flower garlands, before the Henes’ son Sam, 17, introduced the candidate.The Monogram shop keeps track of the number of cups sold that bear each candidate’s name, an unofficial gauge of candidate favorability among Hamptonites. So far, they indicate a preference for Buttigieg, the moderate, openly-gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana.Front-runner Biden raised money at the waterfront residence of Sherry and Alan Leventhal, the chairman of Beacon Capital Partners, in Cape Cod this weekend. In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Friday, he mingled in the backyard of Peter Shields, the managing partner of D.C. law firm Wiley Rein LLP, while nibbling on miniature crab cakes and pigs in a blanket.Even though she isn’t raising money in this milieu, Warren’s name still resonates. At last visit, all Warren cups at the Monogram shop were sold out.To contact the reporters on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in East Hampton at megkolfopoul@bloomberg.net;Amanda Gordon in East Hampton at agordon01@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, 19 Aug 2019 04:00:00 -0400
  • Serial killer who murdered SC teen featured on new season of Netflix’s ‘Mindhunter’

    Golocal247.com news

    He has a long rap sheet of crimes throughout the South, and a controversial connection to a South Carolina murder.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:09:52 -0400
  • Omar, Tlaib to discuss Israel, Palestine travel restrictions

    Golocal247.com news

    Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are talking about travel restrictions to Israel and Palestine after they were denied entry into the Jewish state last week. At the urging of President Donald Trump, Israel denied entry to the two Muslim representatives over their support for the Palestinian-led boycott movement. Tlaib and Omar, who had planned to visit Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank on a tour organized by a Palestinian group, are outspoken critics of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and support the Palestinian-led international movement boycotting Israel.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:56:04 -0400
  • Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

    Golocal247.com news

    Bahrain said Monday it would join US-led efforts to protect shipping in the Gulf amid tensions between Washington and Tehran after a series of attacks on tankers. Bahrain's King Hamad voiced his country's appreciation of the "US role in supporting regional security and stability" during a meeting with US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Kenneth McKenzie, state media said. "The king confirmed the kingdom of Bahrain's participation in the joint effort to preserve the safety of international maritime navigation and secure international corridors for trade and energy," the official Bahrain News Agency reported.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:26:54 -0400
  • Father and son were caught raiding lobster traps in the Keys, cops say. It didn’t end well

    Golocal247.com news

    A Highlands County, Florida, man faces eight felony conservation counts after unmarked state marine patrol officers say they saw him raiding commercial spiny lobster traps in the Florida Keys.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:26:14 -0400
  • John Delaney draws 11 people to 2020 event – does he truly think he can win?

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    The former congressman has put $24m of his own cash into an increasingly quixotic presidential run – and he’s ploughing on despite a near total lack of supportJohn Delaney speaks at the Wing Ding fundraiser in Clear Lake, Iowa. What Delaney lacks in support, he makes up for in optimism. Photograph: Brian Cahn/Zuma/Rex/ShutterstockJohn Delaney has poured a staggering $24m of his own money into running for president. He has been campaigning for the White House for more than two years, and in that time has held more than 200 events in Iowa.On one recent Thursday morning, these efforts translated into a grand total of 11 people coming out to see Delaney, at a campaign event in the small town of Algona, in the north of the state.The former Maryland congressman, former businessman and formerly much wealthier candidate is one of a slew of long-shot candidates for the Democratic nomination. In a crowded, historically diverse field, Delaney is part of a group of white, middle-aged men who are forging ahead with their increasingly quixotic presidential campaigns in spite of a collective lack of support.Delaney strode into Miller’s Sports Bar & Grill, one of a chain of bars across Iowa, just after 10am. One of his team had taped a couple of Delaney 2020 campaign posters to a wall in the back of the bar, and a sign-up list was on a table. The crowd, all silver haired apart from a thirtysomething man who walked in late, were sitting patiently at four different tables.Clad in the off-duty politician’s uniform of open-necked shirt, blue jeans and casual brown shoes, Delaney got to work, vigorously shaking 11 hands. One member of the crowd was immediately impressed with the 56-year-old.“You actually look even better than you do on TV,” one woman said.“I think I’m just going to stay around here,” Delaney quipped.If Delaney was disappointed with the turnout, he didn’t show it. Besides, in a way, the 11-person crowd was a positive. The night before, on Delaney’s Facebook page, just two people had said they would attend, and one of those was his campaign director.Delaney, who served in Congress for six years before resigning to run for president, was joking when he said he might just stay around Iowa. But in fact, it would be hard for him to spend more time here. The 58-year-old has made 34 separate visits to the state in two years. This trip was the first of three in August. And the actual vote in Iowa – the state’s caucuses – is still six months away.It’s a grueling schedule. On Thursday alone, Delaney was scheduled to hold five different events in the space of nine and a half hours.With the pleasantries over at Miller’s Delaney dived into his pitch. The two most important questions in 2020, he said, are: “Who can beat Trump?” and: “Who is the best leader for this country at this moment in time?”Delaney gestures at the end of his speech during a visit to the Iowa state fair in Des Moines earlier this month. Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/AP“I believe I’m the right answer to those two questions,” he concluded.Delaney’s problem is that very few people agree. Despite a marathon campaign – he declared his candidacy in July 2017, 18 months before any other major contenders – and a big pot of cash, he is barely registering – even in Iowa. Delaney is currently polling at 1% in the state – in ninth place. Nationally, Delaney has just 0.3% of the vote.But Delaney, an electrician’s son turned millionaire, isn’t about to let a near total lack of support stop him.“I don’t want to be the president just to be the president,” Delaney said at his second event of the day. “I want to be the president to do the job.”Later, Delaney was speaking to a crowd of 15 people, at the Rustic Brew in Hampton, an hour and a half drive east of Algona. He had been allocated an area in the back, in a room with a painting of a reindeer on one wall. Delaney had almost immediately been interrupted by a man wearing a Vietnam cap.The man complained about veterans’ hospitals. Delaney, hoping to appease him, said he would allow veterans to visit a wider range of hospitals for their care. The man in the cap said that was exactly the plan he was opposed to. Delaney said he would talk to him about it later, then carried on with his speech. The man in the cap slumped in his chair, mumbling something to himself.The main part of Delaney’s pitch is that he can beat Donald Trump and actually pass legislation, whereas, in his view, people such as the leftwing senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are making “impossible promises”. After Delaney criticized the more ambitious proposals of his rivals during the recent televised Democratic debates, Warren chopped him down, telling the audience: “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.”Far from being cowed by that, Delaney told the Guardian that if he could change one thing about his campaign, he actually would have plugged his centrist credentials earlier.“The kind of sharp contrasts I’m making now, I would have made them earlier,” Delaney said.But what Delaney lacks in support, he makes up for in optimism. He brushed off concerns that he won’t make the next Democratic debates – the bar for entry is far higher for the next round, in mid-September – by insisting he could make the one after that, because he expects other candidates to drop out.As Delaney closed out at the Rustic Brew, his campaign manager abruptly announced that the rest of the day’s events were cancelled. He had only completed two out of five. The campaign manager put it down to a schedule conflict. John Delaney at the Iowa state fair in Des Moines, on 9 August. Photograph: Eric Thayer/ReutersThe Guardian chased Delaney down in Des Moines the next day, where he was appearing at the Iowa state fair. Delaney spent some time prodding pork chops on a grill – a classic state fair photo opportunity – before speaking for about 15 minutes to a crowd, again pitching his centrist vision. He drew a decent number of people, but his crowd was dwarfed by those who came out for speeches by Warren, Sanders and Biden.Delaney is probably right when he says other people will soon quit the race. The California congressman Eric Swalwell ended his campaign in July, citing a lack of money and a lack of support. Colorado ex-governor John Hickenlooper dropped out last week. Delaney doesn’t have to make that choice yet. He has loaned his campaign $24m, but according to Forbes, he is worth $200m, so he has plenty of cash left to splurge.But there will surely come a point where he has to make a decision. Given Delaney is polling within the margin of error of zero, that point might come soon.Or perhaps Delaney, ever the optimist, could bide his time. If Trump wins in 2020, then there’s always 2024. If Delaney doesn’t bankrupt himself first, maybe he could be a contender.At the very least, he will know his way around Iowa.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 02:00:38 -0400
  • China's State Council calls for Shenzhen integration with Hong Kong, Macau

    China's State Council has called for greater development of the southern city of Shenzhen and the integration of its culture and economy with neighbouring Hong Kong and Macau. The directive comes as anti-government protests in Hong Kong threaten the status of the Asian financial hub. Hong Kong, one of the world's busiest ports, is on the verge of its first recession in a decade as violent anti-government protests scare off tourists and bite into retail sales and investment.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 21:27:40 -0400
  • FBI: Ohio police arrest man connected to online shooting threat against Jewish community center

    Golocal247.com news

    Ohio police arrested James P. Reardon, 20, on charges of telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 06:02:19 -0400
  • Trump supporters say he 'would probably lose voters...if he goes too far' on gun control

    Golocal247.com news

    The president's supporters in New Hampshire respond to proposals for new gun control legislation on "This Week."

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 11:15:54 -0400
  • Rubio on climate change: 'We should choose adaptive solutions'

    Golocal247.com news

    Many proposed 'fixes' for climate change have been unrealistic and dangerous. Climate change is a real problem. Real problems deserve real solutions.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 06:00:31 -0400
  • Nigerian President Asks Tax Agency to Explain Missed Targets

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari asked the Federal Inland Revenue Service to explain its failure to meet tax-collection targets since 2015, after persistent shortfalls.Nigerian presidential spokesman Garba Shehu confirmed in an emailed statement that the government has sought explanations for the shortfalls from FIRS chairman Babatunde Fowler as reported by several news media on Monday.“It would appear that the country might be heading for a fiscal crisis if urgent steps are not taken to halt the negative trends in target setting and target realization in tax revenue,” Shehu said.The government has repeatedly missed its revenue targets since Buhari was first elected to office in 2015, as the output and price of crude, the country’s main export, declined. The administration has sought to boost tax revenue with limited success in a country of more than 200 million people with a tax-to-gross-domestic-product ratio of 6%. That compares with 24.7% for South Africa, with which it vies to be Africa’s biggest economy.To make up for lost income, Nigeria increased its borrowing in recent years, leaving it with a debt-service burden that consumes more than 70% of its revenue, according to the Finance Ministry.To contact the reporters on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net;Ruth Olurounbi in Abuja at rolurounbi4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net, Dulue MbachuFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:12:13 -0400
  • Survey: Over a Third of Economists Expect Recession Next Year

    Golocal247.com news

    A growing number of economists expect the U.S. economy to hit a recession next year as the global economy slows and President Trump's trade war with China continues.In a National Association for Business Economics (NABE) survey released Monday, 38 percent of the more than 200 economists who responded said they believed a recession would hit next year. 34 percent predicted a recession would occur in 2021. Just 2 percent said they thought a recession would occur before the end of this year.President Trump, who has emphasized the economy as he steps up his 2020 reelection campaign, said he is "prepared for everything" but downplayed the possibility of a recession."I don't see a recession," Trump told reporters on Sunday. "I don't think we're having a recession. We're doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut. And they're loaded up with money."The economists surveyed by the NABE predicted that the administration's heavy tariffs on China would have damaging ripple effects on the U.S. economy. That, as well as the increasing budget deficits, contributed to their bleak outlook.In May, the White House raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, claiming Beijing had reneged on the previously agreed terms of a trade deal. The U.S. also currently has a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese high-tech products. China has hit back with tariffs of up to 25 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.In hopes of restarting trade negotiations, Trump opted last week to delay additional tariffs on 60 percent of the remaining $300 billion in Chinese exports.Meanwhile, 2019’s federal budget deficit has already exceeded 2018’s with two months to go until the fiscal year ends.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:38:29 -0400
  • Jordan summons Israel envoy over Jerusalem 'violations'

    Golocal247.com news

    Jordan summoned Israel's ambassador on Sunday in protest over "violations" at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the foreign ministry said. It summoned envoy Amir Weissbrod to voice its "condemnation and rejection of Israeli violations" at the highly sensitive site, where Israeli security forces clashed with Palestinian worshippers last week. Jordan, the only Arab country apart from Egypt to have a peace agreement with the Jewish state, supervises Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 11:00:43 -0400
  • All the States of Matter You Didn't Know Existed

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

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:00:00 -0400
  • Sacramento files lawsuit to ban 7 men from business district

    The city of Sacramento has filed an unusual lawsuit to ban seven men considered to be a "public nuisance" from a popular business corridor. The lawsuit alleges the men are "drug users, trespassers, thieves ... and violent criminals" who have illegal weapons and ammunition and have forced police to dedicate an "excessive amount" of resources to the Broadway corridor. City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood filed the suit Aug. 9 in Sacramento Superior Court, according to a copy posted online by The Sacramento Bee .

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 13:40:37 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Pakistan, India spar over using water as a weapon in Kashmir dispute

    ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Accusing India of waging "fifth-generation warfare", Pakistan said on Monday New Delhi had failed to inform it about the release of water from a dam that could cause flooding across the border. India, however, rejected the claim saying that under the terms of a water treaty between the two nations it had informed Pakistan about the release of excess water late on Monday when it crossed a certain threshold. Relations between the neighbours, already hostile, have been further strained over India's decision this month to revoke the special status of its portion of the Kashmir region that both countries claim.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:39:40 -0400
  • More than 40 charged in federal court from Mississippi ICE raid, but no company officials

    Golocal247.com news

    So far, more than 40 arrest warrants have been filed in federal court resulting from the Aug. 7 immigration raid.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:04:58 -0400
  • Driver pins paramedic against her ambulance in Walmart parking lot, NC police say

    Golocal247.com news

    The woman was airlifted to a hospital with serious leg injuries, officials say.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:08:20 -0400
  • Is recycling collapsing in California? Advocates call on lawmakers to rescue it

    When rePlanet closed its doors at its remaining 284 California locations earlier this month, alarm bells went up among recycling advocates.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:30:00 -0400
  • The car was moving when the woman fell onto I-95. Police want to know how it happened

    Golocal247.com news

    After a night out at a popular Brickell bar, a woman fell out of a moving car on Interstate 95 near Little Haiti early Saturday, police say.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 14:49:11 -0400
  • Donald Trump warns China crackdown on Hong Kong protesters will scotch trade deal

    Golocal247.com news

    Donald Trump has warned China that a violent crackdown in Hong Kong would imperil any trade deal with the US, saying he wants to see a "humanitarian" solution to the unrest.  The US president hinted that the White House would like to see Beijing resolve the ongoing protests in the special administrative region before any trade deal is struck between the two countries. The pro-democracy movement has rocked Hong Kong, the country's major financial hub, with massive demonstrations over the past three months.  "I would like to see Hong Kong worked out in a very humanitarian fashion," Mr Trump told reporters on Sunday. "I think it would be very good for the trade deal." Larry Kudlow, Mr Trump's chief economic adviser, said trade deputies from the US and China would speak within 10 days in the hope of bringing negotiations around to ending the current trade war. However China has shown little sign of easing its position on the protests in Hong Kong, which it has denounced as "terrorist-like" actions.  Chinese state media has released a rap video accusing Western governments of meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs and inciting the pro-democracy rallies. The English-language song, by government-sponsored gangsta rap group CD Rev, bemoans “a beautiful dream turning into a nightmare.” Using video of the most violent moments of the protests, it switches to the lyrics: "Hey democracy! Once I heard you be found in the Middle East, people were throwing bombs across the city streets," and issues a cry to “get those foreign agents outta town.” Hey HongKong protesters! Chinese mainland rappers have something to say pic.twitter.com/6Pxp2JXcyN— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) August 17, 2019 To make its point, the rap signs off with a quote from Mr Trump that “Hong Kong is a part of China.” Meanwhile Beijing lashed out at Taiwan over its offer of political asylum to participants in Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement. The democratically elected government of Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China wishes to annex, strongly supports the protests, and has previously granted residency to several vocal opponents of the Chinese regime. On Monday, Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the Chinese Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office, said Taiwan's offer would "cover up the crimes of a small group of violent militants" and encourage their "audacity in harming Hong Kong and turn Taiwan into a "heaven for ducking the law." Hong Kong protests | Read more Mr Ma demanded that Taiwan's government "cease undermining the rule of law" in Hong Kong, cease interfering in its affairs and not "condone criminals." However, Hong Kong residents do not need to seek asylum to study or work in Taiwan, and the island of 23 million, only one hour’s flight away, is increasingly being viewed as potential bolthole for those looking to escape the city’s uncertain future under Beijing’s rule. Taiwan has seen a sharp rise in requests from Hongkongers who have applied to move there since the start of the protests two months ago, reported the South China Morning Post.    Between June and July, Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency received 681 applications, 636 of which were approved – an increase of 45.5 and 57.4 percent on last year. The rise fits an emerging trend over the past decade, which has seen the figure of Hong Kong citizens applying to come to Taiwan rise from 3,677 in 2009 to 6,556 in 2018.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 03:12:21 -0400
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