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  • Trump's trial begins at the start of an election year

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. Senate opened the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump with quiet ceremony Thursday — senators standing at their desks to swear an oath of “impartial justice” as jurors, House prosecutors formally reciting the charges and Chief Justice John Roberts presiding. Four of the senators sitting in judgment on Trump are running for the Democratic Party's nomination to challenge him in the fall. “Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye!" intoned the Senate's sergeant at arms, calling the proceedings to order just past noon.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:09:28 -0500
  • Groom accused of sexually assaulting underage server at his wedding gets probation

    Golocal247.com news

    A South Jersey man will serve six years of probation after admitting to indecent exposure and simple assault at his wedding venue.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:31:29 -0500
  • Countries demand Iran compensate relatives of plane-crash victims

    Golocal247.com news

    Five countries whose citizens died when Iran shot down an airliner last week said on Thursday that Tehran should pay compensation to families of the victims, and warned that the world is watching for its response. Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and Britain said Iran should hold a "thorough, independent and transparent international investigation open to grieving nations," in a statement issued after a meeting of officials in London. Iran admitted on Saturday it had shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane in error, after initially denying it had a role in the incident.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:53:43 -0500
  • 10 Home Prep Tips Before Going on Vacation

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    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:00:00 -0500
  • Jordan, Meadows Send Letter to FISA Court Questioning Kris Appointment

    Golocal247.com news

    House Oversight Committee Republicans Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows issued nine demands to FISA Court presiding judge James Boasberg in a Thursday letter in response to the appointment of Obama Department of Justice lawyer David Kris to help oversee the FBI’s reform of FISA applications.The letter, obtained by National Review, asked Boasberg to identify who else besides Kris was considered, whether Kris’s past defense of the FISA application to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page was taken into account, and whether “the FISC bears any responsibility for the illegal surveillance of Carter Page,” among other concerns.“If the FISC’s goal is to hold the FBI accountable for its serious misconduct, Mr. Kris does not appear to be an objective — or likely effective — amicus curiae for several reasons,” the letter states. “At minimum, the selection of Mr. Kris creates a perception that he is too personally invested on the side of the FBI to ensure it effectuates meaningful reform.”A Republican official with knowledge of the letter told National Review that the letter signaled a concerted Congressional effort to reform FISA.“For too long, the FBI has remained largely un-checked when it comes to the FISA process. Congress must ensure that FISC stands ready to protect civil liberties without even the slightest indicia of political bias,” he said.The letter appears to be a follow-up to Monday comments from Meadows, who said in an interview that Republicans were “appealing this to the Judge” regarding Kris's appointment. The North Carolina Congressman also slammed the move to appoint Kris, saying that “there’s no way” Kris is the right man to address abuses “if he doesn’t even acknowledge that there is a problem.”Kris, a former assistant attorney general in the Obama DOJ’s national security division, has extensive experience with the FISA Court, serving as an amicus curiae, or special adviser, since March 2016.A frequent contributor to Lawfare blog, Kris was an outspoken defender of the FBI’s authority in surveilling Page, who was accused of being a Russian agent.Following the release of heavily-redacted FISA applications used to surveil Page in July 2018, Kris doubled down. “It seems to me very likely that if we get below the tip of the iceberg into the submerged parts and more is revealed, it will get worse, not better,” for Page, he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow at the time. The letter references Kris's comment to Maddow as evidence that he is biased in favor of the bureau and against Page.DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed in December that the FBI knowingly withheld information that Page was a CIA informant in order to obtain a FISA warrant against him, and even doctored an email to keep the information from the court. The report also revealed that the bureau did not inform the FISC of the partisan origins of the uncorroborated Steele dossier despite its playing a "central and essential" role in their application to surveil Page.In their letter, Jordan and Meadows also request that Boasberg give greater insight into the details surrounding the court’s assessment of the Page applications, including when it “first received any indication that information contained in the FBI’s surveillance applications for Carter Page was misleading or false.”

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 15:10:25 -0500
  • Republican tells female reporter 30 schoolboys ‘could have a lot of fun’ with her

    Golocal247.com news

    A Republican lawmaker is facing calls for a sexual harassment investigation after he told a young female reporter that a group of high school boys “could have a lot of fun” with her.Peter Lucido, a Michigan state senator, has been accused of making inappropriate comments to local reporter Allison Donahue during a tour of the state Capitol.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 08:09:00 -0500
  • This Harvard-educated, NASA-qualified, Navy SEAL gives his kids this simple advice every day

    Golocal247.com news

    "It wasn't as simple as, 'I want to do this because it's an accomplishment,'" Jonny Kim told Insider. "It's never been that shallow for me."

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:29:53 -0500
  • Secrets Stolen: What Will China Do With Data On Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense?

    Golocal247.com news

    If China can break into top-secret Israeli computers, they can break into America’s—and everybody else’s, too.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0500
  • Biden allegedly told Bush in 2002 he'd get the Nobel Peace Prize if he could invade Iraq quickly

    Golocal247.com news

    Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden has been distancing himself from his 2002 vote for the invasion of Iraq as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:23:56 -0500
  • Denver officials won't hand over information sought by ICE

    Golocal247.com news

    Denver officials on Thursday said they would not hand over information requested by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement on four men wanted for deportation. ICE, the Homeland Security agency tasked with arresting and deporting people in the U.S. illegally, sent four administrative subpoenas earlier this week to law enforcement looking for information on three Mexican nationals and one Honduran who had been in custody in Denver. It was the first time subpoenas had been sent to a law enforcement agency — an escalation of the conflict between the Trump administration and so-called sanctuary cities.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 22:07:08 -0500
  • 'Kill shot that took them out': Video reportedly shows 2nd Iranian missile hitting passenger jet

    Golocal247.com news

    Surveillance video circulating on social media appears to show two Iranian missiles slamming into a Ukrainian jet that crashed, killing 176.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 15:58:39 -0500
  • U.S. warship transits Taiwan Strait less than week after election

    Golocal247.com news

    A U.S. warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, the island's defense ministry said, less than a week after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen won re-election by a landslide on a platform of standing up to China which claims the island. The ship sailed in a northerly direction through the sensitive waterway and Taiwan's armed forces monitored it throughout, the ministry said in a brief statement on Friday, describing the sailing as an "ordinary mission". Taiwan is China's most sensitive territorial and diplomatic issue and Beijing has never ruled out the use of force to bring the island under its control.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 19:29:06 -0500
  • Michael Avenatti Tossed in Jail for ‘Foreseeable Future’

    Golocal247.com news

    LOS ANGELES—United States District Court Judge James V. Selna ordered today that Stormy Daniels’ ex-attorney Michael Avenatti remain in federal custody for possible violation of his conditions of pretrial release and be transported “forthwith” to New York, where he will stand trial next week.The judge found there was probable cause Avenatti had committed crimes in violation of the terms of his bond and ordered the embattled celebrity attorney detained without bond. Avenatti will continue to be held in an Orange County jail pending transfer to New York and will remain in custody “for the foreseeable future,” according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.Prosecutors in California say that since Avenatti was released on bond after a not-guilty plea to federal charges in March, he has engaged in a scheme to defraud victims—ranging from former colleagues and clients to two ex-wives—by concealing funds and “structuring” currency transactions to amounts below the $10,000 amount that w0uld automatically trigger reporting by the bank to the government.As The Daily Beast first reported, the pugnacious lawyer was arrested by federal authorities on Tuesday evening during an appearance at State Bar Court in Los Angeles, during a disciplinary hearing in which the State Bar of California claimed Avenatti had scammed a client out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.In New York, Avenatti faces federal charges that he attempted to extort millions out of Nike in order to keep mum on the sports company reportedly paying out high-school basketball players. “I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap,” Avenatti allegedly threatened Nike’s legal team. He also faces wire fraud and bank fraud charges in California, over allegedly misappropriating a client’s settlement money. If convicted, he could face decades in prison.Michael Avenatti Arrested by Feds at California State Bar HearingMichael Avenatti Lived the High Life While Owing Millions to IRSA court filing by the government, which the Santa Ana court unsealed on Wednesday after the arrest, alleges that Avenatti committed a slew of state and federal offenses during the 10 months since he was granted pretrial release in California—including mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. By Judge Selna's estimate, Avenatti engaged in more than 20 cash transactions in excess of $5,000 since he was arraigned in March. In remanding Avenatti into custody, Judge Selna declared that the former media darling’s release on pretrial bond posed an “economic danger to the community.”He ruled in favor of federal prosecutors who argued that Avenatti lied to investigators and directed money he was obligated under judicial order to pay to creditors, using it instead to fund a lavish lifestyle that included an $11,000-a-month apartment, expensive artwork and vacations, membership in an exclusive private club, and a luxury car.  Other allegations of fraudulent activity from the court filing include arranging for his first ex-wife, Christine Avenatti Carlin, to use a portion of a $717,000 payment to purchase a $50,000 Mercedes Benz in her name that he and his personal driver repeatedly used to transport him. Avenatti, the document says, completed the paperwork to purchase the Mercedes in his own name on May 6, 2019, but returned days later with Carlin to purchase the car in her name. Carlin and her current husband, Brian Carlin, are the third-party sureties for Avenatti’s March release on an unsecured $300,000 appearance bond pending trial in the California case. In court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Sagel raised the possibility that Carlin received as much as $200,000 in payment from Avenatti in return for serving as his third-party surety. “He paid her to be a surety to the tune of a couple hundred thousand dollars, minus the $50,000 for the car she bought for him,” Sagel told the court. Afterward, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to say if Carlin or her husband were currently under federal investigation. Prosecutors also allege that Avenatti used nearly half the proceeds from a $33,000 cashiers check to buy back a piece of art work at auction, despite standing judicial orders to use such money to pay back his numerous creditors. According to court filing, Avenatti owes roughly $5 million to a former law partner pursuant to a judgment issued in the LA Superior Court; roughly $2.2 million to a former client pursuant to a judgment issued in Santa Barbara Superior Court; roughly $2.5 million to his second wife, Lisa Storie Avenatti, pursuant to spousal and child support orders issued in Orange County Superior Court; and approximately $1.5 million to the Washington State Department of Revenue pursuant to a tax warrant. Another client who is a star witness in the California criminal case alleges that Avenatti stole nearly $840,000 from him, funneling money from a lawsuit settlement fund to his own personal use. Lawyers for Avenatti argued that the purchases referenced in the government's filing were properly reported to the court's Pretrial Services Officer. Due to the rapid pace of events that have unfolded since Avenatti’s unexpected arrest, the pretrial officer has not yet made a determination in the matter, the court said. Avenatti’s attorney Dean Steward downplayed the government’s case, calling the 59-page filing an “attempt to collect debts through the U.S. Attorney's Office.” Steward argued that Avenatti’s attempts to “make it harder” on his numerous creditors is not a crime, and that there is “no law or statute that says he has to pay [his creditors] in any particular order.” He also disputed a number of the more attention-grabbing purchases, insisting that the Mercedes belongs to Avenatti’s ex-wife, and stressing that dues paid to maintain private club membership were “valuable and transferrable.”   At one point in the hearing, Steward leveled an inflammatory accusation against Assistant U.S. Attorney Sagel, claiming the prosecutor was acting out a personal animus against Avenatti because one of Avenatti’s alleged victims is being represented by high-profile former U.S. federal prosecutor Andrew Stolper. “Are you accusing Mr. Sagel of misconduct?” the judge asked him. “Of course, absolutely, without a doubt,” Steward replied. Sagel called the accusation “sad,” and said Steward had heard it from “an individual sitting four feet away” from him, referring to Avenatti, who was seated at the defense table. Avenatti received the judge’s ruling with a stony expression and was quietly escorted from court in the custody of a federal marshal. He is currently being held in a jail in Santa Ana, which has a contract with the federal government to house prisoners.  Prior to his arrest, Avenatti had been making plans to board a flight to New York in preparation for his trial scheduled to begin on Tuesday. With today’s ruling, he will be transported by authorities and remain in custody while he awaits to the start of his trial. 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.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 15:42:38 -0500
  • Postpone the Impeachment Trial until the House Finishes Investigating

    Golocal247.com news

    Two things happened simultaneously on Wednesday: (a) The House of Representatives transmitted to the Senate two articles of impeachment approved on straight partisan lines a month ago, and (b) the House’s impeachment inquiry — yes, it’s still very much alive — highlighted new, relevant evidence it has turned up about the activities in Ukraine of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and Giuliani’s associates.The Democrats’ strategy is coming clear.The House provided the Senate with two half-baked impeachment articles. House Democrats rushed through the investigation, forgoing salient witnesses and evidence, because of the political calendar. The charges are weak and the inquiry was needlessly short-circuited, so Democrats have continued investigating the premature allegations. Now they are publicly disclosing newly acquired evidence, with the promise of more to come. Transparently, their goal is to pressure the Senate not merely to conduct a trial but to complete the investigation that the House failed to complete — calling witnesses and gathering evidence, as if a trial were nothing more than an extension of an open-ended grand-jury probe.Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans should not let them get away with it. No trial court would allow itself to be whipsawed this way. A federal judge would tell prosecutors to go back to the grand jury, finish the investigation, and come back to the trial court when they have a case ready to be tried, not investigated.That is not to say new evidence may not be serious. It may be very serious. It could make the case worse for President Trump. But in any event, there should be just one trial, and it should occur when the investigation is complete. This is not supposed to be a non-stop grand jury, with an ever-hovering prospect of new articles of impeachment, in addition to an endless stream of newly emerging materials that the Senate is expected to sort out rather than judge.Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans should hold the two pending articles in abeyance, or vote to dismiss them without prejudice to the House’s revoting them when its impeachment inquiry is finally concluded.The new information that has emerged underscores a strategic error by the president and House Republicans, which I have outlined several times since the Ukraine controversy emerged. They have insisted on fighting the Ukraine allegations on the impossible theory that the president’s communication with his Ukrainian counterpart, President Volodymyr Zelensky, was “perfect,” and that there was no quid pro quo — i.e., no indication that the president was withholding official acts sought by Kyiv ($400 million in defense aid and a White House visit) until its government met his demands (the public announcement that Ukraine would conduct an investigation of the Bidens and into Ukraine’s role in the Trump-Russia investigation).I have contended, to the contrary, that the president’s best defense is that nothing of consequence happened. I have been prepared to assume that the president pressured Ukraine, as alleged. But it was much ado about nothing: Ukraine got the defense aid (and barely knew it had been briefly delayed); Zelensky did not have to make any commitment about investigations; and he got his high-profile audience with President Trump (albeit at the United Nations in New York City, not at the White House). The president’s defense should be that, while there may have been improprieties, nothing here approaches the egregious misconduct required to trigger impeachment.This would be the best strategy in any event. It is an imperative strategy, however, in a situation such as this one, where the investigation is continuing and new information is coming out continuously. Under my approach, if new evidence emerged about the president’s knowledge of or complicity in the pressure campaign on Zelensky, it could be dismissed as mere confirmation of what was already obvious. But because the president and Republicans have taken the tack that nothing inappropriate happened and no pressure was asserted, any evidence of impropriety and pressure can be framed as a bombshell — even though it doesn’t actually change the bottom line.Giuliani associate Lev Parnas is under indictment in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), in a case that has factual overlap with events that were the focus of the House impeachment inquiry. Parnas wants to use his potential value as a witness in the impeachment inquiry as leverage against his SDNY prosecution. So he has begun sharing information from the SDNY case with House investigators. They, in turn, are releasing the information to the media, which are reporting it as ground-shaking revelations.That information (texts, notes, and the like) indicates that Giuliani, representing that he was acting with the president’s knowledge and approval, and in his official capacity as Trump’s private lawyer, sought a meeting with Zelensky in mid May 2019. The implication is that this was part of a then-ongoing plan to push Ukraine for an investigation of the Bidens.Moreover, there are communications between Parnas and Yuriy Lutsenko, a Ukrainian prosecutor who was helping Giuliani investigate possible Biden corruption, about their desire for the ouster of Marie Yovanovitch — the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who was eventually removed by the president at the urging of Giuliani (among others). There is enough detail in Parnas’s correspondence about Yovanovitch’s activities that it raises the disturbing specter that he was monitoring an American ambassador.The allegedly unjustified removal of Yovanovitch was extensively covered in the House hearings, which included the ambassador’s testimony. It was mainly atmospheric, rather than substantive. The president does not need a reason to dismiss an ambassador. And while it was vaguely suggested that Yovanovitch was removed because she was seen as an obstacle to pressuring Ukraine for an investigation of the Bidens, that was not established. There are no impeachment articles tied to her removal.If I am right, and Parnas is trying to use his potential value as an impeachment witness as a chip in plea negotiations with the SDNY, that could take time to work out. (The SDNY, whose job is prosecution, not impeachment, would want a guilty plea and full cooperation; Parnas would want immunity.) Meanwhile, the other major storyline is that John Bolton, formerly the president’s national-security adviser, has indicated that he is willing to testify if called. He is patently a relevant witness to the internal administration discussions over delayed defense aid to Ukraine. So is acting chief of staff and budget director Mick Mulvaney. So may be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, if the House’s continuing investigation is focusing on Ambassador Yovanovitch’s dismissal.Plainly, there are loose ends here that the House should have tied up and that, importantly, the House is continuing to investigate. Note that Democrats have been caterwauling that the impeachment trial will not be fair because Senate Republicans are too in-the-tank for Trump to do their duty as impartial decision-makers (as if Democrats were not rabid anti-Trump partisans). But what could more undermine the fairness of a trial than a continuing, very public investigation of the same defendant while that trial is proceeding?No trial judge would put up with that. Prosecutors would not be permitted to present the case before a trial jury while, outside the courtroom, they were prejudicing the trial by continuing to investigate and publicize their findings.There is a very simple solution, one that judges in federal court deal with all the time in cases that are still under investigation when an indictment is initially filed: Don’t schedule the trial until the prosecutors acknowledge to the court that the investigation is over and no further charges are anticipated.It is worth bearing in mind: Impeachment is not just any trial. It stops the legislative business of the United States cold. There will be no movement of bills, no consideration of appointments, no hearings on vital issues such as Iran and the use of force. The impeachment trial will impede the work of the Supreme Court, since the chief justice must preside. In this instance, the impeachment trial will even wreak havoc on the Democratic nomination campaign, as senators — including top-tier contenders Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — must sit as jurors for six days a week.These are costs that must be borne. There has been an impeachment, so the Constitution calls on the Senate to act. But for the sake of our governance, that should mean a single trial, and it should represent the Democrats’ best, most complete case for the president’s removal. That trial should not happen until the investigation is done and the charges are fully ripe. By contrast, if Republicans allow Democrats to engage in the ongoing gamesmanship — in which the Senate trial would open, but House Democrats plan to throw new evidence into the mix every few days or weeks, demanding that the Senate trial be expanded to investigate what it all means — we would be looking at weeks, maybe months, of governmental paralysis. There is, moreover, basic fairness: The accused is supposed to know what the allegations are before the trial starts — the charges are not supposed to evolve as the trial proceeds.The importance of preserving impeachment as a viable constitutional remedy for presidential misconduct transcends the current administration and Congress. If impeachment must be done, it should be done right. It should not be done as a partisan game of investigative ping-pong between congressional chambers.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 17:34:55 -0500
  • Philippines reimposes ban on workers deploying to Kuwait

    Golocal247.com news

    The Philippines said Friday it was reimposing a ban on its citizens going to work in Kuwait after a Filipina was allegedly killed by her employer, echoing a 2018 row between the two countries. President Rodrigo Duterte approved the ban as his government accused the emirate of covering up the killing of a maid, one of about 240,000 Filipinos working in the Gulf state. Duterte's government briefly banned Filipinos deploying for work in Kuwait two years ago amid a diplomatic row that began with the discovery of the remains of a murdered Filipina maid in her employers' freezer.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 19:16:41 -0500
  • U.S., Japan May Invest in Indonesia Islands Near South China Sea

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S., Japan and South Korea are keen to invest in Indonesia’s Natuna Islands as President Joko Widodo steps up efforts to rebuff Chinese claims over the resource-rich waters in the South China Sea.The countries are interested in building fisheries processing and manufacturing industries in Natuna, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. Indonesia can manage the sea dispute with China without going into a war, Pandjaitan, a former general, said.“The U.S. investors have expressed their interest, along with investors from Japan, Korea and China,” Padjaitan said. “For us, it doesn’t matter where they come from.”Widodo’s efforts to lure foreign investment into the Natuna islands may ratchet up tension with Beijing following the intrusion of Chinese fishing vessels into an area claimed by Indonesia as an exclusive economic zone. Indonesia is not a claimant in the broader dispute over the South China Sea, but it does insist on its sovereign rights to waters around the Natunas.Beijing says while it has no territorial disputes with Jakarta, claims over maritime interests in certain waters in the South China Sea “overlap.”“War is the last resort in our negotiation process,” Pandjaitan said referring to the standoff with China on Natuna. “But under no circumstances will we negotiate our sovereignty and territorial rights.”Jokowi, as Widodo is commonly known, visited the Natuna islands last week and asserted Indonesia’s sovereignty over the waters after authorities deployed fighter jets and warships to push back the Chinese fishing vessels, which were accompanied by coast guard ships. The president also inaugurated a fisheries processing center in the region and days later invited Japan to invest in Natuna to develop the fishing industry.Indonesia is also seeking investment by Vietnamese marine processing companies. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met officials of Hai Nam Co., a seafood importer this week in Ho Chi Minh City, and asked it to explore a joint venture with Indonesian companies for a fisheries processing unit in areas including Natuna, according to a foreign ministry statement Thursday.It has identified a location in north Natuna for a fishing port, while southern Natuna will serve as a base for the navy, Pandjaitan said. The country will also soon acquire its first ocean-going vessel, probably from Denmark, to beef up its sea powers, he said.To contact the reporters on this story: Arys Aditya in Jakarta at aaditya5@bloomberg.net;Harry Suhartono in Jakarta at hsuhartono@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net, Thomas Kutty AbrahamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 01:39:51 -0500
  • Camera Captures the Moment a Deer Sheds Its Antlers in the Middle of the Night

    Golocal247.com news

    If you blink you might miss it

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:21:34 -0500
  • Former U.S. Marine: Suleimani’s Killing Is the Apotheosis of American 'Strategy'

    Golocal247.com news

    A strategy that has achieved the opposite of its promises is a failure. Before another moment is wasted, Americans need to ask their leaders the same question General David Petraeus plaintively asked at the height of the Iraq War: “Tell me how this ends.”

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 08:06:00 -0500
  • Judge postpones sentencing hearing for ex-Trump aide Flynn

    A federal judge on Thursday postponed the sentencing of former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn, two days after Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan did not immediately rule on Flynn's request. In his bid to withdraw his plea, Flynn said the Justice Department had reneged on its deal with him by recommending that he be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison for lying to the FBI.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 12:18:30 -0500
  • Princess Cruises responds after 'Marriage Story' actress speaks out, sues alleging bedbugs

    Golocal247.com news

    A "Marriage Story" actress and her husband are suing Princess Cruises, alleging their room was infested with bedbugs.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 07:57:20 -0500
  • Merkel to seek end to Huawei dispute in her conservative camp: sources

    Golocal247.com news

    Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet senior conservative lawmakers on Thursday to resolve a dispute in her own party over whether to bar China's Huawei [HWT.UL] from the country's 5G network rollout, party sources said. Merkel's conservatives are divided on whether to support a proposal by their Social Democrat junior coalition partners that, if approved, would effectively shut out the Chinese technology giant from the network. Handelsblatt business daily was first to report on Wednesday the planned meeting between Merkel and senior conservative lawmakers.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 18:44:48 -0500
  • FBI arrests 3 alleged neo-Nazis who were armed and anticipating a race war

    Golocal247.com news

    The arrests come ahead of a big gun-rights rally in Virginia, where the governor has warned that there are "credible threats" of malicious activity.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:03:59 -0500
  • John Bolton will reportedly reveal some of what he knows about Trump's Ukraine scandal in his upcoming book

    Golocal247.com news

    If you really want to know what former National Security Adviser John Bolton though of President Trump's actions regarding Ukraine, you may not have to rely on the Senate to call him as a witness in the president's upcoming impeachment trial. That's because Bolton is going to reveal some of what he saw in his upcoming book, people familiar with the matter told The New York Times. The book, which is almost finished, is reportedly going to detail Bolton's time in the White House, events related to Russia and Venezuela, and his interactions with other administration officials, some of whom reportedly don't come across very well, including former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. The Ukraine scandal, which is at the center of Trump's impeachment, will fill at least some pages, too, and Bolton is expected to share some of his observations about Trump's efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials into announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter.Bolton has said he's prepared to testify should the Senate issue a subpoena, but it's unclear if the upper chamber will do so. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com Ukraine gives Trump the corruption investigation he asked for DOJ reportedly eyeing James Comey as it investigates old leak of classified information Mitch McConnell should recuse himself

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:31:04 -0500
  • Race to save animals on Australia's fire-ravaged 'Galapagos'

    Golocal247.com news

    On an island famed as Australia's "Galapagos" for its unique and abundant wildlife, rescuers are racing to save rare animals in a bushfire-ravaged landscape. The charred forest floor on Kangaroo Island is littered with corpses of animals incinerated by the blazes that swept through two weeks ago. Unprecedented fires across swathes of southern and eastern Australia over the past five months have killed an estimated billion animals.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 03:36:44 -0500
  • The Best Compact Fitness Equipment Under $300

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    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 12:56:52 -0500
  • Bureaucracy to brutality: New evidence reveals IS hierarchy

    Golocal247.com news

    Documents compiled by a U.S.-based Syrian rights group reveal how Islamic State militants used one of their most powerful bureaucratic bodies to regulate daily life and impose and execute penalties. The Washington-based Syria Justice and Accountability Center said Thursday that the evidence — documents produced by IS itself — could help identify individuals responsible for atrocities during the militants' four-year reign of terror and lead to criminal prosecutions. The 24-page report, called “Judge, Jury and Executioner,” is based on dozens of documents obtained by SJAC from inside Syria and collected by a local activist from abandoned IS offices in Raqqa province, where the militants also had their self-declared capital in a city that carries the same name.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:13:28 -0500
  • Pelosi says Trump has options for State of Union amid impeachment trial

    Golocal247.com news

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Trump can keep his Feb. 4 appointment with Congress to deliver his State of the Union address or he can ask to postpone it until after his Senate impeachment trial.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:33:40 -0500
  • North Korea Fact: Trillions of Dollars in Wealth Is Sitting Below the Surface

    Golocal247.com news

    The reclusive regime sits on $10 trillion in minerals.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 02:33:00 -0500
  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, entire Cabinet resign

    Golocal247.com news

    Dmitry Medvedev made the announcement after Vladimir Putin unveiled a series of changes Medvedev said would alter the country's balance of power.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 15:35:45 -0500
  • Qatar further eases restrictions on migrant workers' exit

    Qatar said on Thursday it had scrapped restrictions on leaving the country for nearly all migrant workers as part of reforms answering accusations of exploitation especially in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup. The measure removes exit visas for hundreds of thousands of domestic workers left out of earlier reforms - mainly from Asian nations like Nepal, India and the Philippines - whom rights groups said were left open to abuse by being excluded. Unions and activists have documented labor exploitation, dangerous conditions and deaths of workers building stadiums and infrastructure for both the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the upcoming event in Qatar.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 06:46:11 -0500
  • White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham tells Fox News she won't hold press briefings because reporters just 'want their moment on TV so they can peddle their books

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    Press secretary Stephanie Grisham's comments came shortly after her predecessor Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced she's releasing a memoir this fall.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:11:24 -0500
  • Aide Accused of Murdering Former Arkansas State Senator Offered ‘Gold’ From Jail for Hit on Ex: Prosecutors

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    A woman awaiting trial for allegedly killing a former Arkansas state senator was hit with new charges Tuesday after she promised fellow inmates she would give them “gold and silver” to murder the victim’s ex-husband and his new wife, prosecutors said. Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, who pleaded not guilty to several charges in the June murder of former State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, was slapped with two counts of soliciting to commit murder and two counts of solicitation to commit tampering with physical evidence in connection with the elaborate plot she allegedly tried to orchestrate from prison.The former campaign staffer for Collins-Smith has been behind bars since June 14—10 days after the 57-year-old Republican was found fatally stabbed and wrapped in a blanket under a tarp at the end of her Pocahontas, Arkansas, driveway. Former Arkansas State Senator’s Shooting Death Investigated as ‘Homicide’Authorities at the time said O’Donnell was caught on video removing Collins-Smith’s home surveillance cameras on May 28, 2019—the last day the politician was seen alive—but have not elaborated on the details of the murder due to a gag order. O’Donnell, 49, faces the death penalty on the original murder charges and is being held without bond in Jackson County. “These newest charges further cement in our minds that the police have arrested the right person. Rebecca O’Donnell’s threats are being treated very seriously but have not deterred our faith in what we are committed to: justice for Linda,” the family of Collins-Smith said in a Wednesday statement to The Daily Beast. “Thank you all for your continued support, prayers and well wishes.”According to several jailhouse informants, O’Donnell allegedly tried to hire two fellow inmates to stage a murder-suicide at the home of the lawmaker’s ex, former state Judge Phil Smith, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the Jackson County Circuit Court on Tuesday. During a Nov. 7 interview, one of the inmates told an Arkansas State Police special agent that O’Donnell wanted her to “shoot or hang Mr. Smith” and include a “suicide note” that the 49-year-old had handwritten, the affidavit states. The same inmate was then told to pack a bag to make it seem like his new wife “was in the process of leaving him,” the affidavit states.Prosecutors allege O’Donnell told other inmates that “Phil Smith needed to be killed” so that “charges would be dropped off her.” In exchange for the hits, the inmates were told they could take a bag of “gold and silver” from Smith’s home—which investigators said had been appraised to be worth between $20,000 and $30,000 during his divorce.O’Donnell, in addition to working on Collins-Smith’s campaign, had served as a witness in the couple’s acrimonious divorce, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.They Were Hired to Murder a Man’s Ex-Wife, But Accidentally Killed Her Sister: SheriffThe former campaign staffer also allegedly tried to enlist the inmates to go to Randolph County Jail to blow up her 2005 Honda Civic so she could “destroy any evidence” that could be used in her murder trial because “police had planted stuff in her truck,” the affidavit states. On top of that, she allegedly asked two inmates to kill a judge and prosecutor connected to her murder case.The prosecutor, Henry Boyce, was taken off the case in December without citing a reason. “My family’s faith in Becky is unwavering. We cannot imagine the evidence will actually substantiate these allegations. The allegations defy believability. I won’t even comment on the informant’s extensive criminal history but instead will wait to see if the state produces credible evidence at trial,” Tim Loggains, O’Donnell’s fiancé, said a statement. One inmate told police that while she never considered killing Smith, she was worried “a more gullible” inmate might. The three other inmates who reported O’Donnell also stated they refused the murder requests.Maryland Millionaire Daniel Beckwitt Found Guilty of Murder in 2017 Death of Man Who Helped Dig Bunker TunnelsO’Donnell’s defense attorney, Lee Short, denied the allegations in a statement to ABC News, casting doubt on the inmates’ credibility, insisting they had an incentive to offer information for a reduced punishment. Short did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.“It’s not surprising at all—inmates do it all the time,” Short said. “In high-profile cases, especially homicides, people tend to seek opportunities to improve their situations by giving statements against people.”Collins-Smith was first elected to the state senate in 2014 but lost her re-election bid in 2018. Prior to her time in the Senate, the lawmaker served in the statehouse of representatives from 2011 to 2013. While she was elected as a Democrat, Collins-Smith switched parties just months after taking office, citing a change in “ideals.”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.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 13:51:07 -0500
  • Fires, then floods: How much can a koala bear?

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    A week ago, koalas at an Australian wildlife park were in the path of raging bushfires. On Friday, they were soaking wet and being carried to safety from flash floods. Months of drought that have contributed to Australia's catastrophic bushfire season have this week given way to huge downpours in some of the blaze-ravaged areas.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:53:25 -0500
  • A man who was put up in a Comfort Inn 'boardroom suite' discovered it was literally a boardroom with a bed

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    The stranded traveler shared his amusement on Twitter, where the photo of the "boardroom suite" hotel room went viral.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 17:37:03 -0500
  • Report: Israeli home demolitions in east Jerusalem spiked

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    Israeli authorities demolished homes in Palestinian areas of east Jerusalem at a significantly higher rate in 2019 than the previous year, according to an Israeli advocacy group. In a new report, Ir Amim said 104 housing units were demolished in 2019, compared() to 72 units in 2018. Aviv Tatarsky, the Ir Amim researcher who wrote the report released Wednesday, said the group found that only 7% of housing units advanced by city planners last year were for Palestinian neighborhoods.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:00:52 -0500
  • Trump threatened UK with 25% car tariffs unless it agreed to accuse Iran of breaking nuclear deal

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    Donald Trump threatened the UK with a 25 per cent tariff on its cars unless the British government officially accused Iran of breaking the 2015 nuclear deal, it has been reported.The secret threat last week, first reported by The Washington Post, which cited unnamed European officials, would have seen the tariff imposed on all European automobile imports to the US unless Britain, France and Germany agreed to the ultimatum.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 08:42:13 -0500
  • Royal Caribbean blames 'reckless' grandfather in toddler Chloe Wiegand's death

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    "His actions... were reckless and irresponsible and the sole reason why Chloe is no longer with her parents," Royal Caribbean said in court documents.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:48:54 -0500
  • France to deploy Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to support Middle East operations

    France will deploy the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and its battle group from January to April to support French military operations in Middle East, Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday. "The aircraft carrier will support Chammal operations (in the Middle East) from January to April 2020 before deploying to the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea", Macron said at a New Year speech to the French military.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:17:38 -0500
  • Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln shatters US Navy's record for longest post-Cold War deployment with 10-month around-the-world tour

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    The Lincoln broke a cruise record the ship set nearly two decades earlier, sailed around the world, and sent warnings to both Russia and Iran.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:25:59 -0500
  • Therapist charged with killing family faced fraud probe

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    A physical therapist charged with killing his wife, three children and dog in a home near Walt Disney World and leaving their bodies there for days was being investigated in Connecticut for health care fraud motivated by his need to pay off personal loans, according to court documents unsealed this week. Anthony Todt was being investigated for submitting fraudulent claims for physical therapy by the FBI and agents with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to an affidavit and criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Connecticut. According to agents, the allegations involved Todt and his Colchester, Connecticut-base clinics submitting claims to Medicaid and private insurers for physical therapy services that weren't given to patients.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:28:40 -0500
  • Researchers Discover Five New Exoplanets in Our Cosmic Backyard

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    Meet 'Cold Neptune,' a newly discovered exoplanet that redefines the word 'cold.'

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:41:13 -0500
  • McConnell says 'the House's hour is over'

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    During an address on the floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "The House's hour is over. The Senate's time is at hand."

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 11:02:53 -0500
  • DOJ Is Investigating Comey’s Role in Leak of Classified Document during Clinton-Email Probe

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    Department of Justice prosecutors reportedly are investigating the possibility that former FBI director James Comey leaked a classified Russian intelligence document to the media during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, according to a Thursday report from the New York Times.Per the Times, the investigation is centered around two 2017 articles from the Times and the Washington Post describing the Russian document, which played a key role in Comey’s unilateral decision to announce in July 2016 that the FBI would not pursue charges against Clinton for using a private email server to conduct official business during her time as secretary of state.The document, which Dutch intelligence shared with the U.S., includes an analysis of an email exchange between Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), who was then chairing the Democratic National Committee, and Leonard Bernardo, an official with the Soros-backed non-profit Open Society Foundations. Wasserman Schultz assures Bernardo in the email that then–attorney general Loretta Lynch would make sure Clinton wasn't charged in the email probe.Both Bernardo and Wasserman Schultz have denied ever having the exchange, and the FBI’s assessment claimed that the document was a fake and part of a Russian disinformation campaign.Department of Justice inspector general Michael Horowitz said in a review of Comey’s actions over the Clinton probe — and its subsequent reopening in October 2016 — that the former FBI director had a “troubling lack of any direct, substantive communication” with Lynch over his decisions.Both 2017 articles cite Comey’s private concern that if Lynch had announced no charges for Clinton, the Russians could have released the document to cast doubt on whether the investigation was ethical. They also cite Comey’s decision not to tell Lynch that he was declining to charge Clinton as a way of protecting the FBI’s political independence.Investigators are examining whether Comey’s personal lawyer, Daniel Richman, gave the Russian document to reporters. Richman played a key role in a different, confirmed leak that Comey orchestrated to hand over memos of his private encounters with President Trump in the early days of the Trump administration.“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter,” Comey testified to Congress in June 2017. “I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”In August, Horowitz found that Comey violated policy and set a “dangerous example” for the rank-and-file by retaining and leaking the memos. Horowitz referred Comey for potential prosecution over the matter, but the DOJ declined to prosecute.Comey has long taken criticism for his handling of the Clinton investigation from Republicans and President Trump, who suggested in December that Comey could get jail time.> So now Comey’s admitting he was wrong. Wow, but he’s only doing so because he got caught red handed. He was actually caught a long time ago. So what are the consequences for his unlawful conduct. Could it be years in jail? Where are the apologies to me and others, Jim?> > -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2019

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 18:04:36 -0500
  • Iran crown prince predicts regime will collapse within months

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    The heir of Iran's deposed monarchy predicted Wednesday that the clerical regime will collapse within months and urged Western powers not to negotiate with it. Reza Pahlavi said that major protests which erupted in November and again this month, after the accidental downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet, reminded him of the uprising that ousted his father in early 1979. The 59-year-old heir to the Peacock Throne, who has not been to Iran since he was a teenager, cited as evidence what he called an easing of fear among protesters and the growing distancing of self-described reformists from the Islamic regime.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:08:29 -0500
  • These Are the Crazy High-Tech Weapons America Would Fight World War III With

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    Better to deter than to actually fight.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:59:00 -0500
  • Delta plane slides off taxiway amid winter storm; airlines issue travel advisories into weekend

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    Airlines are issuing travel waivers on account of a winter storm headed for much of the northern U.S. this weekend.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:03:31 -0500
  • After India's Amazon snub, BJP slams Bezos-owned Washington Post

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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party on Friday slammed editorial policies of billionaire Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, even as his e-commerce firm Amazon announced plans to create a million jobs in the country by 2025. Vijay Chauthaiwale, the chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) foreign affairs department, said there was "a lot of problem" with the newspaper's coverage of India, without giving any specific examples. The swipe at the Post came a day after a cabinet minister gave short shrift to Amazon's investment plans for India.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 01:40:21 -0500
  • Microsoft's newest internet browser is fast and finally does the things that makes Google's Chrome so popular — here's how to get it

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    It's basically Google Chrome dressed in Microsoft clothing, and it could actually make you think twice about immediately downloading Chrome.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 15:41:00 -0500
  • Japan convicts Australian who sought to see his children

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    An Australian journalist based in Japan says he is a victim of Japanese child custody laws that allow only one parent access to children of broken marriages, a day after he was convicted of trespassing at the apartment building of his estranged wife's parents to try to find his children. Scott McIntyre was arrested in November, a month after he entered the apartment building. The Tokyo District Court on Wednesday sentenced McIntyre, a former sports journalist for Australia's SBS network, to six months in prison.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 11:13:15 -0500
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