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  • Eleven US troops flown to medical centers after Iran strike

    Golocal247.com news

    Eleven U.S. troops were flown out of Iraq for evaluation of concussion-like symptoms in the days following an Iranian missile strike that President Donald Trump had said caused no harm to American forces, officials said Friday. The Pentagon's chief spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said Defense Secretary Mark Esper did not know of the injuries until he was told Thursday afternoon that the 11 troops had been sent for evaluation at U.S. medical facilities — eight in Germany and three in Kuwait.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 13:00:27 -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
  • Political Turmoil to Be ‘New Normal’ for 2020, Risk Firm Says

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    (Bloomberg) -- The violent protests and political upheaval that marked 2019 and challenged governments from Hong Kong to Chile is set to stay and is now the “new normal,” according to a global risk firm.Verisk Maplecroft, which advises corporate clients on political risk around the world, said in a new report released Thursday that it predicts “continued turmoil in 2020” as administrations around the world continue to be surprised by demonstrators and ill-prepared to address the underlying social grievances that spur them.“We all need to buckle up for 2020,” said Miha Hribernik, the Singapore-based head of Asia risk insight for Verisk Maplecroft. “The rage that caught many governments off-guard last year isn’t going anywhere and we’d all better adapt.”Many governments were caught by surprise by the scale and ferocity of the protests and ended up attempting to crackdown on the movements, deploying what human rights group have said were arbitrary arrests and indiscriminate violence. That response has ended up further radicalizing protesters and provoking more violent demonstrations, Verisk Maplecroft said in its Political Risk Outlook 2020.Rising UnrestOf the countries seeing significantly more angry protests than usual, some of the steepest increases on firm’s unrest index were in Chile and Hong Kong. Chile rose from 91st place to 6th on the index as simmering social strife transformed Latin America’s richest and most stable nation into a focal point of chaotic protests that caused some $2 billion of property damages and killed more than two dozen people.Hong Kong similarly rose from 117th to 26th after seven months of pro-democracy street protests, the firm said. Although prompted by a since-withdrawn bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, Verisk Maplecroft added that the “root cause of discontent has been the rollback of civil and political rights since 1997.”India and Iraq, which have both seen determined protests recently, ranked much lower on the list of worsening hot spots because they began last year with heightened levels of unrest. In New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi now faces the most significant challenge to his rule since being first being elected in 2014, as protesters take to the streets criticizing his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party for its anti-Muslim policies.Many governments have “reacted with a combination of repression and limited concessions” which achieved little because resilient protest movements have adapted rapidly to police tactics, Hribernik said.“During 2019, governments worldwidescrambled to find an effective response to protests,” he said. “We don’t see much changing during 2020, and January has so far borne this out -- protesters have continued to turn out in their thousands in Iran, Iraq, India, Chile, Hong Kong and Lebanon -- to name just a few places.”To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Hannah Dormido in Hong Kong at hdormido@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Muneeza NaqviFor 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.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 19:01:00 -0500
  • Princess Cruises responds after 'Marriage Story' actress speaks out, sues alleging bedbugs

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    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
  • 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
  • Secrets Stolen: What Will China Do With Data On Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense?

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    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
  • The TSA apologized after an agent pulled a Native American passenger's braid and said "giddyup!" during a pat down

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    Tara Houska was going through security at the Minneapolis airport on Monday when she said an agent humiliated her by whipping her braids.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:43:20 -0500
  • WH press secretary 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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    In a Thursday morning interview on "Fox & Friends," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said she doesn't want to hold televised press briefings because reporters "just want their moment to peddle their books."

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:56:19 -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
  • 'Days of God': A look at Iran's mounting crises

    Golocal247.com news

    The Islamic Republic has been reeling from one crisis to another, from the targeted killing by the United States of its top general to the Revolutionary Guard's accidental shootdown of a passenger plane carrying scores of young people, most of them Iranians. U.S. sanctions have crippled its economy as tensions with America have soared. In a rare Friday sermon in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stuck to the playbook Iran has relied on since 1979, blaming the country's woes on the U.S. and other Western powers, and proclaiming that Iranians still support the Islamic Revolution.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 07:50:14 -0500
  • Jordan, Meadows Send Letter to FISA Court Questioning Kris Appointment

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    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
  • Texas carries out first US execution of 2020

    Golocal247.com news

    Texas on Wednesday carried out the first execution of the year in the United States, putting to death by lethal injection a man convicted of killing his wife 15 years ago because she wanted a divorce. John Gardner, 64, was sentenced to death in 2006 for killing his fifth wife, who had left him after multiple incidents of physical violence and filed for divorce. Tammy Gardner died two days later.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 20:40:59 -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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Did Russian Prime Minister Medvedev Drop a Grim Hint About Putin’s Latest Power Grab?

    Golocal247.com news

    At a celebration of the Russian Orthodox New Year on Tuesday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev chose a grim message, the sarcasm of which left his audience on edge. But, then, Medvedev probably knew what Wednesday would bring—the resignation of his entire government—and the audience did not.Putin’s Power Play: Shuffle the Cabinet But Keep CommandOn national television, the prime minister read at length from Anton Chekhov’s story "A Night in the Cemetery," which suggests with ironic wit that celebrating the coming of the New Year is a foolish pursuit, unworthy of a properly functioning mind, since “every coming year is as bad as the previous one,” and the newest year is bound to be even worse. Instead of celebrating the New Year, Chekhov wrote—and Medvedev read—one should suffer, cry and attempt suicide. Every new year brings you closer to death, makes you poorer, your bald spots larger and your wife older, he said.Medvedev’s sour greetings brought on some awkward laughs and sparse applause from confused Russian bureaucrats in the studio audience, most of whom remained stone-faced. The prime minister seemed nervous and almost dropped his papers at the end of the speech.Then Wednesday dawned, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in his annual state of the nation address proposed a constitutional overhaul. It supposedly is designed to boost the powers of parliament and the cabinet, but more likely is intended to give Putin, 67, a firm grip on the country for many more years, even decades, to come. A few hours later, Medvedev submitted his resignation, and his entire cabinet submitted theirs as well. And while some of them may stay on, Medvedev, who once served a term as Putin's placeholder president, will move to a previously nonexistent post.Putin offered the prime minister slot to Mikhail Mishustin, the head of the Russian Tax Service, who has been described as “the taxman of the future,” digitally acquiring receipts of every transaction in Russia within 90 seconds. It's unclear whether Mishustin will be a placeholder technocrat or assume other responsibilities currently known only to Putin. But in his annual address, Putin articulated the need to identify any persons with current or former double citizenships and foreign holdings, eliminating them from government service. Mishustin might become instrumental in such a reshuffling of Russia’s power elites, who are perceived to be unpatriotic by maintaining residences or bank accounts abroad. The added pressure will also give Putin further leverage over them. In the past, Putin and Medvedev have choreographed moves that allowed Putin to remain in charge under different titles, swapping places to circumvent term limits.This time around, Medvedev will assume a newly created position as the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council and all current ministers will remain in an acting capacity until a new government is appointed.Meanwhile, the leader of Chechnya in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region, Ramzan Kadyrov has declared himself to be “temporarily incapacitated,” relegating his duties to the current prime minister of Chechnya, Muslim Khuchiyev.Putin’s sweeping changes are widely interpreted as designed to weaken his successor, reshaping Russia’s power structure in order to create additional opportunities for Putin's continued control over the government, even after the conclusion of his fourth presidential term in 2024. Putin proposed amending the Russian constitution to expand the powers of the legislative branch and investing additional powers in the State Council, leading to speculation Putin is contemplating his future return at the helm of a newly empowered Parliament, after the expiration of his current presidential term.Commentary on the Russian president’s likely intention to carve out a new position for himself has been skillfully avoided by the Russian state media. Instead, Kremlin-controlled news outlets chose to focus on promised subsidies for families with young children, designed to address Russia’s demographic crisis by boosting the birth rate, and the general claim that Putin has, as it were, made Russia great again.On the Russian state television show, The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, the host proclaimed, “The greatness of the country is indisputably tied to the name of Putin.” Soloviev argued that the Russian president “restored respect” towards their country globally. His take was echoed by the State Duma Deputy Chair Irina Yarovaya, who pontificated that Putin, having achieved his foreign policy and national security objectives, could now move on to his domestic agenda. Yarovaya said, “We remember statements by [U.S. President Barack Obama] in 2014—very recently—that Russia is a regional power of minor importance. We remember all of that. We remember how the sanctions started. We remember how we weren’t invited to the G8. And today there is a line of world leaders waiting just to talk to our president over the phone…”The sanctions started and Russia was disinvited after it seized and annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014, then incited and abetted a separatist war in Ukraine's east. They were intensified after Russia's flagrant interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.Russian state media also highlight Putin’s promises of socioeconomic largesse and his prediction that “Russia's economy will grow faster than the global average in 2021.” During the last decade, the Russian leader has promised in vain that Russia will become the world’s fifth largest economy by 2024. It is currently ranked as the 11th largest economy in the world, with a smaller GDP than that of California. President Putin’s current growth prediction is much more modest. It’s still not realistic, but such promises had to be made as Russia’s declining standards of living have led to political unrest and mass protests.Without providing any direct answers as to his own plans, the Russian leader—who has now been in power for 20 years—created new venues for his continued reign in yet-to-be-revealed future capacities.Amid all the uncertainties, maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that Medvedev was reading Chekhov’s story about a blind drunk civil servant who stumbles out of a New Year’s celebration only to get lost in a graveyard—and then discovers in the morning he was somewhere else entirely.Russia Loves the Impeachment Hearings Because GOP Is Parroting Kremlin PropagandaRead 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.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:14:51 -0500
  • 10 Home Prep Tips Before Going on Vacation

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    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:00:00 -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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Alabama man charged with abusing missing woman's corpse

    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office charged Fredrick Hampton, 50, on Thursday with abuse of Paighton Houston's corpse. Hampton hasn't been charged with involvement in the 29-year-old's death, news outlets reported. Hampton was initially held in the Birmingham City Jail beginning Dec. 28 on suspicion of kidnapping, but he was released two days later after investigators failed to gather enough evidence to charge him with a crime, news outlets reported.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:31:49 -0500
  • Australia’s Wildfire Crisis: Key Numbers Behind the Disaster

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    (Bloomberg) -- Australia is in the grip of deadly wildfires burning across the country, triggering an emotive debate about the impact of climate change in the world’s driest-inhabited continent. The unprecedented scale of the crisis, and images of terrified tourists sheltering on beaches from the infernos, has shocked many Australians.With the nation only midway through summer and suffering a prolonged drought, authorities fear the death toll will continue to mount as more homes and land are destroyed. Here are some key details of the crisis:How many people have died?Since the fire season began months ago during the southern hemisphere winter, at least 28 people have died. Among the fatalities are volunteer firefighters, including a young man who died when his 10-ton truck was flipped over in what officials have described as a “fire tornado.” Australia’s worst wildfires came in 2009 when the Black Saturday blazes left 180 people dead.How big an area has burned?Massive tracts of land have burned. Almost 12 million hectares (30 million acres) have been destroyed -- that’s almost the size of England. In New South Wales state alone, more than 5.2 million hectares of forest and bush has been destroyed, while more than 1.4 million hectares has been burned in Victoria. The fires are so large they are generating their own weather systems and causing dry lightning strikes that in turn ignite more. One blaze northwest of Sydney, the Gospers Mountain fire, has destroyed about 512,000 hectares -- about seven times the size of Singapore.The scale of the blazes dwarfs the California wildfires in 2018, which destroyed about 1.7 million acres, and about 260,000 acres in 2019.How many homes have been destroyed?Some 2,600 homes have been destroyed, mostly in New South Wales. Scores of rural towns have been impacted, including the community of Balmoral about 150 kilometers southwest of Sydney, which was largely destroyed before Christmas.What’s the economic impact?The near-term cost is mounting. Toxic smoke shrouding Canberra has shuttered businesses and government departments and forced national carrier Qantas Airways Ltd. to cancel flights. The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2020 that brings in an estimated A$290 million, has seen qualification games disrupted due to the smoke. Economists estimate the wildfires and associated drought could cut up to half a percentage point off GDP growth as agriculture, tourism and sentiment take a hit.How has wildlife been affected?The University of Sydney estimates that 800 million animals have been killed by the bushfires in New South Wales alone since September and one billion have died nationally. The “highly conservative figure” includes mammals, birds and reptiles killed either directly by the fires, or later due to loss of food and habitat. The fires have raised concerns in particular about koalas, with authorities saying as much as 30% of their habitat in some areas had been destroyed. Images of the marsupials drinking water from bottles after being rescued have gone viral on social media.How can I help?Donations are flooding in to help with the relief effort, led by wealthy philanthropists, companies, investment banks and a string of celebrities. Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation has pledged A$70 million. Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman, who is Australian, is pitching in A$1 million, while pledges have come in from stars such as Elton John, Chris Hemsworth, Bette Midler and Nicole Kidman.\--With assistance from Jason Scott.To contact the reporter on this story: Edward Johnson in Sydney at ejohnson28@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Johnson at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net, Jason ScottFor 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.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 18:15:40 -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
  • The oath senators just took at the start of the impeachment trial is essentially meaningless

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    There's nothing in the rules that would allow Chief Justice John Roberts or anyone else to ensure lawmakers uphold impartial justice.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 16:18:06 -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
  • Researchers Discover Five New Exoplanets in Our Cosmic Backyard

    Golocal247.com news

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

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:41:13 -0500
  • A man who was put up in a Comfort Inn 'boardroom suite' discovered it was literally a boardroom with a bed

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • North Korea Fact: Trillions of Dollars in Wealth Is Sitting Below the Surface

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    The reclusive regime sits on $10 trillion in minerals.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 02:33:00 -0500
  • Guatemalan president says Mexico plans to contain new caravan

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    Guatemala's new president on Wednesday faced an early test of his ability to manage migration as a caravan of hundreds of people left Honduras for the United States, and said Mexico would halt its progress.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 19:54:23 -0500
  • Japan convicts Australian who sought to see his children

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • The Best Compact Fitness Equipment Under $300

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    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 12:56:52 -0500
  • Rand Paul Warns Republicans of Electoral Consequences if They Back Dem Witnesses But Refuse to Call Hunter Biden

    Golocal247.com news

    Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) warned fellow caucus members that voting against subpoenaing President Trump’s preferred witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial would be tantamount t0 “voting to lose your election.”“If you don’t want to vote and you think you’re going to have to vote against Hunter Biden, you should just vote against witnesses, period,” Paul said, adding that his “first preference” would be a trial with no witnesses.“. . . If they insist on having people like Bolton coming forward, my insistence will be not just one witness. But that the president should be able to call any witnesses that he deems necessary to his defense,” Paul stated.> My colleagues can’t have it both ways. Calling for some, while blocking others. If we are going to give a platform to witnesses the Dems demand, I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more! https://t.co/hrOzVyiG9x> > -- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 14, 2020Last week, McConnell signaled that Republicans, who hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, had secured the minimum 51 votes required to move forward with a trial mirroring that of former president Bill Clinton, in which a vote to call witnesses took place after opening arguments. But a vote to allow witnesses to be called seems likely, after GOP leadership suggested Republicans “generally are not interested in the motion to dismiss.”Paul said he believed an immediate dismissal was destined to fail, saying “there might be 10” Republicans who want to call witnesses.Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democrats have been clamoring to allow witnesses like John Bolton to testify. They've also argued that newly released documents should be admitted to illuminate Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas's attempts to oust former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 16:27:49 -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
  • Hong Kong Leader Says China Could Treat City the Same After 2047

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    (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong’s leader said China could continue guaranteeing the city its separate freedoms under the “one country, two systems” principle after it expires in 2047.“My view is that, as long as we insist on the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, with the in-depth implementation of the principle and ample understanding, which fits the interests of Hong Kong citizens, then there is sufficient reason to believe that ‘one country, two systems’ will be practiced smoothly in the long term, and will not be changed after 2047,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam told lawmakers at a question-and-answer session at the city’s Legislative Council on Thursday.The comments are some of Lam’s most detailed statements on the long-term political future of the former British colony, which was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 on the promise that Beijing would leave its capitalist economy and political freedoms untouched for 50 years. They echoed those made by China’s government in recent years.During a 2017 visit to the financial hub marking the anniversary of its handover, President Xi Jinping said he hoped for the “smooth and long-term successful practice” of “one country, two systems,” according to Hong Kong’s pro-China newspaper Wen Wei Po.Uncertain FutureAnxiety and fear about Hong Kong’s political future under an increasingly authoritarian administration in Beijing have fueled seven months of violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, initially triggered by since-scrapped legislation over extraditions to the mainland.Once the 50-year time period expires in 2047, China is under no obligation to continue permitting Hong Kong to keep separate freedoms -- including a free media and the right to protest -- that make the city distinct from the mainland. Protesters and pro-democracy lawmakers have frequently accused China of undermining the promises the country’s leaders made to Britain before the handover in 1997 and envision a bleak future beyond 2047, in which Hong Kong is treated like any other Chinese city.Some pro-establishment lawmakers have argued that violent protests in favor of greater democracy are likely to make Beijing feel threatened, and less likely to continue guaranteeing Hong Kong’s separate freedoms after 2047.Luo Huining, the new director of China’s Liaison Office in the city, said Wednesday that Hong Kong’s people should place their hope in “one country, two systems.”If the system is implemented well, “Hong Kong will win development opportunities and earn room for growth,” he said. If it isn’t, “there will be non-stop conflicts and chaos.”To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen Leigh, Adrian KennedyFor 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.

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:16:00 -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
  • 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
  • Justice Department Stonewalls Senate Democrats on Trump’s War-Crimes Clemency

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    More than a month after requesting information from the Department of Justice about the president’s decision to give clemency to convicted or accused war criminals, two Senate Democrats continue to be stonewalled by the administration, The Daily Beast has confirmed. In November, senior Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats Patrick Leahy (VT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) wrote to acting Justice Department pardon attorney Rosalind Sargent-Burns inquiring about “what advice President Trump received—and from whom—in deciding to exercise his clemency powers” following his decision to pardon Army Lt. Clint Lorance; pardon and preempt the military trial of ex-Green Beret Maj. Matthew Golsteyn; and restore the rank of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher.Instead of an answer, they have been stonewalled, according to three sources familiar with the communication, only receiving a brief missive Tuesday that the DOJ intends to respond but providing no timeline as to when it will.One of these sources with knowledge of the situation added that Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are also considering introducing additional legislative recourse for addressing the lack of transparency regarding President Trump’s decisions on this matter.The lack of answers from the Justice Department, which is supposed to play a key role in pardon reviews, is likely to fuel allegations that Trump recklessly decided on a round of clemency that has disgusted many in the military community. Eugene Fidell, a prominent military attorney, told Military.com that Trump’s actions may have “blown a hole in the prosecution of war crimes by this country.” At the same time, clemency for Lorance, Golsteyn, Gallagher, and others accused or convicted of war crimes has become a cause célèbre on Fox News, where top talent have for many months publicly urged and privately counseled the president on war crimes pardons. “Congress would be correct to engage in further oversight activity and explore legislative options that would help provide more transparency regarding President Trump’s unusual decisions,” said Benjamin Haas, advocacy counsel at Human Rights First and a former Army intelligence officer. “Trump’s decision to intervene in these war crimes cases, as well as his contemplated actions on the Blackwater case, are a flagrant snub to human rights and the ideals that the U.S. military seeks to uphold.”The senators, in a Nov. 26 letter, asked Sargent-Burns if the White House “reach[ed] out to your office” about the clemency and, if so, what recommendation her office provided. They noted the strong opposition to the pardons from within the Pentagon—clemency to Gallagher led to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer losing his job—and asked if Sargent-Burns’ office coordinated any such recommendations with the Defense Department. The two senators cited a department manual instructing the pardon office to review “all petitions” for clemency and “in every case” prepare recommendations. They referred to the pardon office as an “institutional safeguard” against abuse of a broad presidential authority. “If your office did not provide recommendations in these three cases, why not?” their letter asked. Leahy and Whitehouse gave the Justice Department a deadline of Dec. 13 to respond, which came and went. The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment on this story on Wednesday.Soon after pardoning Lorance and Golsteyn and restoring Gallagher’s rank, Trump mused to associates about the three joining him at 2020 campaign appearances. Early this month, The Daily Beast also reported that Trump is still quietly considering additional pardons for crimes committed in war, including one for Nicholas Slatten, a Blackwater contractor and ex-soldier convicted of murder in a prosecutorially tainted case stemming from the 2007 Nisour Square massacre of Iraqi civilians. But the Justice Department’s response, or lack thereof, to Senate Democrats’ pardons inquiries thus far fit with Team Trump’s broader pattern of telling liberal lawmakers on Capitol Hill to get lost.The Trump administration and White House have a well-established track record of stiff-arming congressional investigators and Democratic lawmakers requesting documents and testimony, particularly on issues related to probes aimed at the president’s inner circle, Trump himself, and scandals and major catastrophes of the era such as Trump’s management of the response to the hurricanes that ravaged Puerto Rico. This tactic has even led to an article of impeachment for obstruction of Congress. And despite the domestic and international backlash to the president’s decision to grant clemency to alleged and convicted American war criminals, Trump is promoting his decision as a significant accomplishment of his administration. Indeed, he’s already firmly integrated the topic into his campaign-trail pitch to voters.“I will always stick up for our great fighters,” the president assured the crowd at a Florida rally in November. “People can sit there in air-conditioned offices and complain, but you know what? It doesn’t matter to me whatsoever.” 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.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 05:02:01 -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
  • 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
  • Former Philippine police chief will be charged for drug war corruption

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    The former chief police enforcer of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly war on drugs will be charged with corruption for allegedly protecting officers linked to the narcotics trade, the country's justice department said Thursday. Oscar Albayalde resigned in October after serving as Philippine police chief for more than a year, having presided over an anti-narcotics crackdown that left thousands of drug suspects dead.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:25:37 -0500
  • Iran's president says 'no limit' to nuclear enrichment

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    Iran's president said Thursday that there is “no limit” to the country's enrichment of uranium following its decision to abandon its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal in response to the killing of its top general in a U.S. airstrike. In a speech before the heads of banks, Rouhani said the nuclear program is in a “better situation” than it was before the nuclear agreement with world powers. President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement in May 2018, in part because it did not address Iran's support for armed groups across the region and its ballistic missile program.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 06:12:45 -0500
  • Rain douses some Australian bush fires but flash floods now threaten wildlife

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    Heavy rains in fire-ravaged eastern Australia have brought welcome relief for firefighters and farmers, but sparked flash floods that have led to fresh scrambles to save native animals.  As the rain hit on Thursday the New South Wales State Emergency Services department warned that the sudden heavy downpours in some areas would bring flash flooding, falling trees and landslides where the fires have wiped out vegetation.  On Friday, the warnings were realised when flash floods hit the Australia Reptile Park on the NSW east coast, and the state's koalas - having lost thousands of their number and huge swathes of their habitat - needed to be rescued again as floods thundered down fire-blasted hills empty of vegetation.  Park director Tim Faulkner told local media that the sudden floods on Friday morning were “incredible”.  “Just last week we were having daily meetings to discuss the imminent threat of bushfires,” he said. “Today, we've had the whole team out there, drenched, acting fast to secure the safety of our animals and defend the park from the onslaught of water… We haven't seen flooding like this at the park for over 15 years.” And while the rains have doused fires in some areas, blazes continue to rage across many other parts of the country where the weather stayed dry, including in other parts of New South Wales where 82 fires were still burning, with 30 out of control, and in the state of Victoria, to the south. Parts of the state’s Alpine region were evacuated again as erratic winds caused spot fires around a large blaze at Mount Buffalo.  The rain also completely missed Kangaroo Island, the nation's third biggest off the southern coast of the mainland, where fires have devastated the formerly wildlife-rich national park.  The authorities have warned the crisis could worsen again with Australia only halfway through its summer. The unprecedented fires, fuelled by climate change and a years-long drought, have already claimed 28 lives over the past five months. They have scorched massive tracts of pristine forests in eastern and southern Australia, decimated livestock on already barren farms and destroyed 2,000 homes. In areas where rain has arrived, there are new concerns that muddy ash will be swept into rivers and lakes, exacerbating an emerging crisis as fish die in vast numbers due to ash poisoning the waterways. The NSW Department of Primary Industries has received reports of “hundreds of thousands” of fish dead in the Macleay river since December 2019.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 11:19:19 -0500
  • Merkel Spends Big to Kickstart Germany’s Stalled Coal Exit

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    (Bloomberg) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel clinched a deal to kickstart Germany’s stalled coal exit, offering billions in compensation to utilities and affected regions so that closures of plants can start this year.In talks that began Wednesday evening and lasted well into the night, the government hammered out a timeline with state leaders to shut down the country’s coal-fired power generation by 2038, a plan that includes 40 billion euros ($44.6 billion) in compensation for impacted regions.Utility RWE AG, Germany’s biggest coal-fired power producer, will receive 2.6 billion euros in payments, according to a person familiar with the matter. The stock was up 1.7% mid-morning and a spokesman said the company would comment later Thursday. Lignite operators in eastern Germany will receive 1.75 billion euros, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said at a press conference in Berlin. Merkel has been in a tight spot on the issue, facing pressure from environmentalists and miners alike. Climate tops voter concerns, and Germany will already miss its 2020 targets under the Paris Agreement. On the other hand, the poorer states in the former Communist East, where the bulk of the mines are, fear a growing gap to the West. Her predicament feeds into a broader political challenge, with the Greens party and the far-right Alternative for Germany gaining support on both sides of the political spectrum to squeeze Germany’s traditional mainstream parties, including her Christian Democrats. The AfD has been particularly strong in the eastern mining states.“It was a long night -- it lasted until 2 a.m. -- but we were able to achieve a sensible agreement,” Armin Laschet, premier of the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, said in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio. “The time frame that we’ve agreed on is ambitious, but realistic.”Laschet estimates that around 3,000 jobs in his state will be affected by the closures. The premier also confirmed closures will take place more rapidly in west German states. The biggest resistance to the plan had come from states in the former communist East, which relies most heavily on coal and has a lower per capita income than in the West.Under the agreement announced early on Thursday, LEAG’s Jaenschwalde power plant is to be transformed into a gas-fired unit. The Hambach Forest, which was threatened with destruction to make way for an RWE lignite mine, will be preserved, according to the government.The federal government will also pay for retraining programs for power and lignite mine workers affected by plant closures.The deal is part of a broader effort this week to showcase measures to combat climate change. On Tuesday, the government announced massive investment in railways so as to lure passengers from cars and planes, which have a higher carbon footprint.(Rewrites throughout)\--With assistance from Andrew Blackman and Chris Reiter.To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Parkin in Berlin at bparkin@bloomberg.net;Birgit Jennen in Berlin at bjennen1@bloomberg.net;William Wilkes in Frankfurt at wwilkes1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Raymond Colitt, Iain RogersFor 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.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 05:09:27 -0500
  • These clothes use outlandish designs to trick facial recognition software into thinking you're not human

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    Privacy-focused designers, academics, and activists have designed wearable accessories and clothes meant to thwart facial recognition tech.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:47:00 -0500
  • Why Is Saudi Arabia Is Buying 4 Littoral Combat Ships From America?

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    The LCS isn't very good.

    Thu, 16 Jan 2020 18:00:00 -0500
  • Antifa Group to March With Pro-Gun Protesters at Virginia Rally

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    An annual 2nd Amendment rally in Richmond, Va. scheduled for this Monday will see gun rights activists marching alonside an unusual ally: the local Antifa chapter.While Antifa groups are most famous for sometimes-violent protests against right-wing groups, the Richmond-based Antifa Seven Hills is joining 2nd Amendment supporters in support of gun rights."I think it’s been pretty important for us to focus on the fact that gun control in America has a legacy of racist enforcement," Seven Hills spokesperson James told Vice, requesting that his last name be withheld from publication. "Like taking guns away from black people, because black people were perceived as a threat to property and the sanctity of the state."Several leftist gun rights groups have formed in response to the election of President Trump. This includes Redneck Revolt, which was established in 2016, and the Socialist Rifle Association, which was formed in 2018 and has chapters in all 50 states."I think what’s particular about the South is that we have to be a bit more creative and sensitive to the people around us — instead of fulfilling some sort of meme of what antifa is," James said. "That’s really what we’re trying to work against right now, especially by talking to conservatives and showing we aren’t just a black-clad group of rabble-rousers who are out for attention and have jobs funded by George Soros.""The presence of an armed left is not discussed, it’s not understood," he added.The rally itself became the subject of controversy after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency citing "credible intelligence" of "groups with malicious plans" to appear at the rally. The FBI on Thursday arrested three suspected neo-Nazis who were planning to attend the rally. One of the men is a former Canadian army reservist, and all were linked to a group called The Base that aims to establish a state populated only by whites."No one wants another incident like the one we saw in Charlottesville,” Northam told reporters. “We will not allow that mayhem and violence to happen here.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 08:59:31 -0500
  • Meghan McCain: McSally ‘Didn’t Earn’ the Senate Seat She Inherited From My Dad

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    The View’s Meghan McCain took some shots at Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) on Friday after the lawmaker personally insulted a CNN reporter, pointing out that McSally didn’t “earn” the Senate seat she was appointed to after McCain’s father passed away.After CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju attempted to ask McSally whether the Senate should consider new evidence in the impending impeachment trial, the Arizona senator snapped at Raju: “You’re a liberal hack—I’m not talking to you.” McSally, meanwhile, quickly seized upon the instantly viral moment to fundraise for her tight election race before predictably appearing on Fox News to do a victory lap.Discussing the incident on Friday’s broadcast of the ABC talk show, the View hosts noted that Raju’s question was “very reasonable” and that the lawmaker also refused to answer it when asked by Fox News’ Laura Ingraham during a chummy Thursday night interview. View co-host Ana Navarro speculated that McSally likely lashed out at Raju because she’s on “thin ice” in her Senate race, prompting McCain to offer up even more background.“She’s actually appointed,” the conservative host added. “She didn’t win that seat. I think that’s important.”After losing her Senate bid to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in 2018, McSally was appointed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to permanently fill the seat that was vacated by Meghan’s father Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) after his death. (McSally succeeded retired Sen. Jon Kyl, who accepted a temporary assignment to the seat immediately following McCain's death.)“She didn’t earn it in the traditional sense of votes,” McCain added. “It’s an extremely tight race. Arizona could turn blue which would—pigs may start flying around the studio if that ends up happening, I never thought I’d see the day.”McCain went on to say that she believes that McSally is “playing her cards completely wrong” by fundraising off of the confrontation, adding that it is also a “thankless job” being a Capitol Hill reporter.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:16:46 -0500
  • 'We can't wait': Maldives desperate for funds as islands risk going under

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    The tropical Maldives may lose entire islands unless it can quickly access cheap financing to fight the impact of climate change, its foreign minister said. The archipelago's former president Mohamed Nasheed famously held a cabinet meeting underwater to draw attention to submerging land and global warming a decade ago. "For small states, it is not easy," Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid told Reuters in New Delhi.

    Fri, 17 Jan 2020 04:21:12 -0500
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