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  • Kurds 'may be releasing' IS prisoners in Syria to get US involved: Trump

    Golocal247.com news

    President Donald Trump suggested Monday that Kurdish fighters may be releasing imprisoned Islamic State group jihadists to bait the United States into remaining involved in northeastern Syria. The Pentagon said Sunday Trump had ordered the withdrawal of up to 1,000 troops from northern Syria -- almost the entire ground force in the war-torn country -- amid an intensifying Turkish assault on Kurdish forces. Trump's decision last week to pull out of the area -- clearing the way for the Turkish incursion -- has been attacked at home as a betrayal of America's Kurdish allies, that risks triggering a resurgence of IS.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 20:52:49 -0400
  • 'It's got to stop': Superintendent condemns teacher's racist rant in school parking lot

    Golocal247.com news

    A teacher at Drexel Hill Middle School in Pennsylvania has been placed on administrative leave after she used racial slurs in a viral Facebook video.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:19:40 -0400
  • Hong Kong protesters and police clash, metro and shops targeted

    Golocal247.com news

    Rallies in shopping malls on Hong Kong island and across the harbor in the Kowloon district began peacefully around midday with a few hundred people at each chanting "Free Hong Kong" and other slogans. Police said protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs at police, with one setting a police van alight in Kowloon's Sha Tin district. Police made several arrests and used tear gas to disperse protesters, saying they used "minimum force".

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 22:56:56 -0400
  • Gunman opens fire at church wedding ceremony, 2 people shot

    Golocal247.com news

    A gunman opened fire at a wedding ceremony inside a New Hampshire church Saturday, shooting two people including the presiding bishop before guests tackled the shooter and pinned him to the ground until police arrived, authorities said. Dale Holloway, 37, has been charged with first degree assault for shooting Stanley Choate, 75, in the chest at the New England Pentecostal church, according to the state's attorney general office. A second person, Claire McMullen, 60, was shot in the arm.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 20:13:44 -0400
  • The Army Wants Laser-Armed Drone Killers for its New 'Fighting Vehicle'

    Golocal247.com news

    But will it happen?

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 03:55:00 -0400
  • Climate change researchers recommend banning all frequent flyer reward programs to cut carbon emissions by targeting jet-setters

    Golocal247.com news

    A report commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change says that just 15% of the entire British population take 70% of all flights from the country.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:20:55 -0400
  • Anthony Scaramucci is desperately trying to recruit Mitt Romney for a 2020 run

    Golocal247.com news

    Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is running for president again -- at least in Anthony Scaramucci's dreams.The famously short-lived White House communications director has since turned on the president who appointed him, and has publicly said he's trying to knock President Trump off the 2020 ticket. Now, it seems Scaramucci has decided on his dream candidate, and has launched a website and line of T-shirts to persuade him to run.Scaramucci started making his support for Romney known earlier this month, tweeting a poll that showed the 2012 GOP nominee beating the presumptive 2020 nominee in a hypothetical primary. He then revealed last week he'd launched Mitt2020.org, and on Sunday night, showed off that the site was offering "commit to Mitt" campaign T-shirts. They are being sold at $20.20 each to "test demand," and so far Scaramucci has seen an "overwhelming" response, he told ABC News.> You may be proud of your "Where's Hunter?" T-shirt...but we're really proud of ours...You see, we know where Mitt is...he's listening, he's hearing, he's seeing, he's reading and he's coming.... https://t.co/sCUTWW6IHA committomitt mitt2020 @MittRomney MittRomney pic.twitter.com/gpgTdL33UY> > -- Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) October 12, 2019While Romney hasn't even hinted at granting Scaramucci's wishes, the "Mitt Happens" shirt is sure to be a collector's item in a few years.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 12:02:37 -0400
  • Pope Francis's main bodyguard resigns over a leak

    Golocal247.com news

    Domenico Giani, the Vatican's longtime security chief and Pope Francis's main bodyguard, resigned on Monday over a leak of information from an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing in the Vatican.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:52:17 -0400
  • Booker Scolds Buttigieg for Referring to Gun ‘Buybacks’ as ‘Confiscation’: ‘Doing the NRA’s Work for Them’

    Golocal247.com news

    Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) admonished fellow presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Monday for referring to a mandatory gun buyback proposal as "confiscation" on the grounds that doing so propagates a right-wing talking point."Calling buyback programs 'confiscation' is doing the NRA's work for them," wrote Booker on Twitter, "and they don't need our help."Buttigieg insisted on referring to buybacks as "confiscation" in an interview on the Snapchat show Good Luck America. Previously, the South Bend, Indiana Mayor shied away from such comparisons."As a policy, it’s had mixed results," said Buttigieg during an October 2 interview. "It’s a healthy debate to have, but we’ve got to do something now.”O'Rourke subsequently condemned Buttigieg's comments, saying Buttigieg was "afraid of doing the right thing" by supporting mandatory buybacks."[O'Rourke] needs to pick a fight in order to stay relevant," Buttigieg commented on Good Luck America.O'Rourke has previously pushed the issue of mandatory gun buybacks and outright confiscation, declaring at the third Democratic primary debate in September that he supports taking away certain semi-automatic rifles from their legal owners.“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore,” O'Rourke said at the time.Buttigieg is currently polling at five percent while O'Rourke stands at just 1.8 percent. The former Texas congressman has struggled to gain more than two percent of the vote, but has captured attention for radical policy proposals on gun rights and issues of church and state.During a CNN Townhall on October 11, O'Rourke called for institutions that don't support same sex marriage, such as churches, religious schools and charities, to be stripped of their tax-exempt status.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 14:05:06 -0400
  • Hunter Biden Steps Down From Chinese Board as Trump Attacks

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Hunter Biden is stepping down from the board of a Chinese-backed private equity company and promising to forgo all foreign work if his father, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president in 2020.After months of keeping a relatively low-profile as President Donald Trump leveled a barrage of unsubstantiated accusations of corruption at him, the younger Biden is publicly vowing to avoid any conflict of interest.According to a statement released on his behalf by his lawyer George Mesires, Biden said he’ll resign at the end of the month from the management company of a private equity fund that’s backed by Chinese state-owned entities. He also pledged that he wouldn’t work for any foreign-owned companies or serve on their boards during a potential Biden administration. He reiterated that he never discussed his business activities with his father.“Hunter always understood that his father would be guided, entirely and unequivocally, by established U.S. policy, regardless of its effects on Hunter’s professional interests,” the statement said. “He never anticipated the barrage of false charges against both him and his father by the President of the United States.”Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have repeatedly claimed, without providing evidence, that Hunter Biden made millions of dollars from China while his father was vice president. They’ve also made unsubstantiated claims that Joe Biden used his position as the U.S. administration’s point person on Ukraine to help quash an investigation in 2016 into the owner of one of the country’s largest private gas companies where Hunter sat on the board.Earlier this month, Trump publicly called on China to investigate the Bidens. China’s foreign ministry rejected that notion, saying the country’s wouldn’t interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined to comment on the younger Biden’s board departure, calling it “a personal and commercial decision.” “Under a Biden Administration, Hunter will readily comply with any and all guidelines or standards a President Biden may issue to address purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts, including any restrictions related to overseas business interests,” the statement said. “He will continue to keep his father personally uninvolved in his business affairs.”Hunter Biden released the statement on his own and not at the direction of the former vice president, according to a person familiar with the matter.Joe Biden told reporters Sunday that he didn’t consult with his son about the decision to resign from the board, nor about the releasing the statement announcing the decision.“The statement my son put out today, I saw when he put it out,” Biden said after he spoke at a union forum in Altoona, Iowa. “I was told it was going to be put out. I did not consult with him.”Ukraine, ChinaThe statement aims to set the record straight on Biden’s past work in Ukraine and China, which Trump and Giuliani have fixated on as the 2020 campaign heats up. He served a five-year term on the board of Burisma, one of Ukraine’s biggest private gas companies, whose owner had been under investigation for alleged money laundering and abuse of power. The allegations predated his joining the board in April 2014. He stepped down earlier this year.Trump has alleged that Vice President Biden in 2016 threatened to withhold billions of dollars in loan guarantees unless Ukraine fired the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, as a way to quash the probe and help his son. But U.S. and Ukrainian officials said the investigation at the time was dormant and that Shokin was fired for the opposite reason: failing to fight corruption.“Despite extensive scrutiny, at no time has any law enforcement agency, either domestic or foreign, alleged that Hunter engaged in wrongdoing at any point during his five-year term,” the statement said.At the time he joined the Burisma board, Hunter was “of counsel” at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, a U.S. law firm, and had been advising the company on “its corporate reform initiatives,” it said. He urged Boies Schiller to hire Nardello & Co., a consulting firm specializing in investigations, to assess Burisma’s “corporate structure and governance practices.”Aleksander Kwasniewski, the former president of Poland, sat on the board of Burisma at the time and recruited Hunter as a non-executive director because of his advisory work for the gas company, the statement said. “At no time was Hunter in charge of the company’s legal affairs,” it said.Hunter Biden also sought to counter increasing Trump campaign attacks on his ties to China. He denied Trump’s repeated allegations that he procured $1.5 billion from China for a private equity fund after he flew on Air Force Two with his father in December 2013 to Beijing.He serves on the board of BHR (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Company, which was set up in 2013 to invest Chinese capital outside China. He previously acknowledged meeting with Jonathan Li, a Chinese banker and partner in the fund, during the 2013 trip but has said it was a social visit and they didn’t talk business.BHR has the backing of several Chinese state-owned companies. Trump’s claim that Hunter walked away with $1.5 billion from China appears to be based on a fund-raising target that BHR announced in 2014. But BHR never raised a discreet pool of capital, Mesires said, and instead raised money deal by deal. BHR now says it manages about $2.1 billion in investments.Biden denied he played a role in forming the company or having any equity in it while his father was vice president. The board position was unpaid, he said. After his father’s term ended in 2017, Biden bought 10% of the management company for about $420,000. He hasn’t made money from the venture to date, the statement said.He announced he’ll resign from the BHR board on Oct. 31. He didn’t comment on whether he would retain his equity stake, but his pledge to not do any foreign work under a Biden Administration indicates he would sell the stake if his father wins.Trump ChildrenBiden’s pledge to avoid foreign work if his father wins the White House sets him apart from Trump’s children, who have continued working with foreign business partners from Dubai to Indonesia and India while their father sits in the White House. After Trump won the presidency in 2016, he handed the running of the Trump Organization to his sons, Don Jr. and Eric, and said they wouldn’t do any new overseas deals.But they have continued to push the Trump Organization’s existing foreign deals, including visits to promote luxury resorts in Indonesia, condo sales in India and an expansion of their golf resort in Scotland.Trump has launched increasingly personal attacks on Hunter as Democrats in the Houses of Representatives ramp up their impeachment inquiry examining the president’s pressuring of Ukraine’s president to investigate what he claims is corruption by the Bidens in the country. At a rally in Minnesota this week, Trump lashed out at the Democratic front-runner’s son, taunting him over his personal struggles with drug use and his low profile during his father’s campaign.“Whatever happened to Hunter? Where the hell is he?” Trump bellowed at the crowd. “Let’s do another t-shirt. Where’s Hunter?” Soon after the rally, Trump’s 2020 campaign website started selling $25 t-shirts emblazoned with “Where’s Hunter?”Despite continuing to advance their own foreign business deals while their father is in the White House, the Trump sons have joined in on the attacks, accusing Hunter Biden of using his family name for personal gain while his father was vice president.“At the VERY LEAST, there’s an appearance of impropriety,” Don Jr. tweeted.At the rally in Minneapolis, Eric Trump attacked Hunter, whipping up the crowd with chants of “Lock him up,” a replay of his father’s familiar campaign stump speech targeting Hillary Clinton in 2016.Joe Biden has defended his son and vowed to make him a visible part of his campaign. “He’s a fine man. He’s been through hell,” Biden told the Reno Gazette Journal earlier this month. “I’m also confident the American people know me, and they know my son.”(Updates with Chinese comment in seventh paragraph)\--With assistance from Tyler Pager, Jennifer Epstein and April Ma.To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Baker in London at stebaker@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Matthew G. Miller at mmiller144@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 03:56:57 -0400
  • View Photos of Our Sports Sedan Battle Between the Dodge Charger and Kia Stinger GT

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

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:59:00 -0400
  • Disney Skyliner reopens with modified hours after stranding passengers last week

    Golocal247.com news

    Disney's Skyliner is back in action after the new aerial cable car system stranded passengers for hours the night of Oct. 5.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:39:49 -0400
  • British paedophile who operated in Malaysia, Cambodia found dead in prison

    Golocal247.com news

    One of Britain's most prolific child sex offenders, Richard Huckle, has died three years into a life sentence for abusing Malaysian and Cambodian children, Britain's Ministry of Justice said on Monday, with media saying he had been stabbed to death. Huckle, 33, who abused children and babies during a nine year period, was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to 71 offences. Dubbed the country's worst paedophile by Britain's media, he was found stabbed to death in prison on Sunday after being attacked with a makeshift knife, the BBC reported.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 08:29:41 -0400
  • South Korean pop star Sulli found dead at her home

    Golocal247.com news

    South Korean pop star and actress Sulli was found dead at her home south of Seoul on Monday, police said. The 25-year-old was found after her manager went to her home in Seongnam because she didn't answer phone calls for hours, said Kim Seong-tae, an official from the Seongnam Sujeong Police Department. "The investigation is ongoing and we won't make presumptions about the cause of death," said Kim, adding that security camera footage at Sulli's home showed no signs of an intrusion.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:34:00 -0400
  • Mobile phones back in Indian Kashmir, but internet still down

    Golocal247.com news

    Mobile phone networks were restored in Indian Kashmir on Monday after a 72-day blackout, authorities said, but the internet remains off-limits to the region's seven million-plus people. India cut access to mobile networks in the restive Kashmir Valley in early August citing security concerns as it scrapped the region's semi-autonomous status and imposed a lockdown. The easing on Monday covers around four million post-paid mobile phone contracts, but only for calls and text messages.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 04:08:04 -0400
  • Meet the Massive Ordnance Penetrator: The Air Force's Newest Bunker Buster Bomb

    Golocal247.com news

    Huge and very powerful.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 22:00:00 -0400
  • States are cutting university budgets. Taxpayers aren't interested in funding campus kooks

    Golocal247.com news

    University campuses have abandoned their central mission in their pursuit of utopia. The American public has had enough.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 12:22:08 -0400
  • Police Respond to Reports of Mall Shooting in Florida, Confirm 1 Person Injured

    Golocal247.com news

    Authorities have not yet identified the circumstances which led to the shooting

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:06:02 -0400
  • Assad troops enter north-east Syria after Russia-backed deal with Kurds

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    Bashar al-Assad’s forces swept into cities across northeast Syria for the first time in seven years on Monday after the West’s former Kurdish allies agreed to a Russian-brokered deal to try to hold off a Turkish attack.  The Syrian regime’s black-and-red flag went up across the region as Russia seized on Donald Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds to restore Assad’s rule over swathes of territory he has not controlled since 2012.  Assad’s troops clashed with Turkish-backed Syrian rebels outside Manbij, a key city on the Turkey-Syria border where US forces are evacuating on Mr Trump’s orders.  Western officials are watching closely to see if the skirmishes escalate into a direct confrontation between Turkey and the Syrian regime, or whether Russia can broker another deal to keep the two countries from clashing. Several European countries joined France and Germany in halting arms sales to Turkey, as the EU put out a joint statement condemning the offensive.  A Syrian regime soldier waves the national flag a street on the western entrance of the town of Tal Tamr in the countryside of Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on October 14, 2019 Credit: AFP Fears were also rising over an Islamic State (Isil) resurgence as it emerged that US forces had failed to secure dozens of the most hardened jihadist fighters, and Isil prisoners once again rioted against their Kurdish guards.  Mr Trump suggested the Kurds were deliberately freeing Isil prisoners in a bid to get the West’s attention, a talking point that has been repeatedly used by Turkey’s government to discredit its Kurdish enemies.    Assad’s re-entry into northeastern Syria marks a dramatic redrawing of the lines of control in the war-torn country and likely signals the beginning of the end of seven years of Kurdish autonomy in the area.  Regime fighters began entering the provinces of Hasakah and Raqqa and were moving quickly to consolidate their control over long swathes of the Turkish-Syrian border with the permission of Kurdish troops.  The exact details of the agreement between Damascus and the Kurds remains unclear. Kurdish authorities insisted that they would maintain their political autonomy and that the deal was focused solely on military issues.  Syrian regime forces are pictured as they patrol a street on the western entrance of the town of Tal Tamr in the countryside of Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on October 14, 2019 Credit: AFP But other reports suggested that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Western-backed Kurdish units who led the fight against Isil, would be folded into Assad’s army and that northeast Syria would come back under direct rule from Damascus.     The immediate focus of the newly-aligned SDF and Assad regime is to repel Turkish-backed rebels from seizing control of Manbij, a border city west of the Euphrates River which is currently in Kurdish hands.  The Syrian rebels, known as the National Army, said Monday night they had launched an operation to “liberate Manbij and its surroundings from the terrorist gangs”. The National Army claimed to have engaged Assad’s forces and captured a tank in a first round of fighting. The battle for Manbij will pose a test for Turkey, which must decide whether to back its Syrian rebel allies with airstrikes at the risk of sparking a confrontation with the Syrian regime. Turkey - Syria map Russia is believed to be relaying messages between the two sides to try to avert conflict.  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, said he was determined to put the city under the control “our Arabic brothers” in the National Army. But while Turkish warplanes thundered overhead there were no reports they were striking Assad’s forces in support of the rebels.  US forces have been ordered to evacuate northern Syria but many troops remained caught up in the chaos as different armed groups maneuvered and the roads remained clogged with refugees.  Sen. Lindsey Graham Credit: AP The situation in northeast Syria collapsed into disorder so quickly that US special forces did not have time to carry out a plan to seize around 60 of the top Isil fighters in Kurdish custody, according to the New York Times.  US commandos had planned to take the prisoners from the Kurds and move them to Iraq but were unable to reach a key road in time.  It is not known if any British fighters were among the 60 men on the US list. America has already taken custody of Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, the two surviving members of the “Beatles” group of alleged British executioners.      The report appeared to drastically undercut Mr Trump’s claim that “the US has the worst of the Isil prisoners”.  Mr Trump also said the “Kurds may be releasing some [Isil prisoners] to get us involved” in trying to stop Turkey’s offensive. Mr Erdoğan and other Turkish officials have made the same claim repeatedly in recent days.  The Turkish military released a video which it claimed showed its commandos entering a Kurdish prison only to find that the guards had released all the inmates. But Kurdish officials suggested the video was staged at an empty facility never used as a prison.  SDF guards at a prison were wounded during a riot by Isil prisoners at Ain Issa, according to Kurdish media. The Isil suspects still in Kurdish custody are panicked at the prospect they could be handed over to the Assad regime, which has a long history of torturing detainees.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 13:20:45 -0400
  • China Built a Flying Saucer

    Golocal247.com news

    The UFO is still on the ground—for now.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 09:55:00 -0400
  • A Florida dog went missing. 12 years later, she reunited with her owner in Pittsburgh

    It took 12 years for Katheryn Strang to be reunited with Dutchess, her fox terrier. But the moment arrived over 1,100 miles from Strang's home.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 14:08:58 -0400
  • Special Report: The hunt for Asia's El Chapo

    Golocal247.com news

    He is Asia’s most-wanted man. Tse Chi Lop, a Canadian national born in China, is suspected of leading a vast multinational drug trafficking syndicate formed out of an alliance of five of Asia’s triad groups, according to law enforcement officials. The syndicate, law enforcers believe, is funneling tonnes of methamphetamine, heroin and ketamine to at least a dozen countries from Japan in North Asia to New Zealand in the South Pacific.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:59:08 -0400
  • Japan storm victims felt worst was over, then floods came

    Golocal247.com news

    After the worst of Typhoon Hagibis passed over this town north of Tokyo, Kazuo Saito made sure there was no water outside his house and went to bed. The storm, which made landfall in the Tokyo region late Saturday, had dumped record amounts of rain that caused rivers to overflow their banks, some of them damaged. It turned many neighborhoods in Kawagoe into swamps.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:04:31 -0400
  • North Cyprus head stands firm in row over Turkey criticism

    Golocal247.com news

    The leader of breakaway northern Cyprus, Mustafa Akinci, stood firm in the face of calls to resign on Monday after criticising Turkey's military offensive in Syria. Akinci, president of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, took the rare step over the weekend of criticising Turkey, the only country that recognises the TRNC. "Even if we call it 'Peace Spring', it is blood that is spilling and not water," he wrote on Facebook, referring to the codename of the Turkish military operation against Kurdish-held northeast Syria launched last Wednesday.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 11:52:20 -0400
  • In 1986, a Russian Submarine with 27 Nuclear Missiles Sank (And Exploded)

    Golocal247.com news

    "Seawater combined with missile fuel to produce heat and toxic gases. Despite a crewman venting the tube, an explosion erupted in the silo, ejecting the missile and its warheads into the sea."

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 15:00:00 -0400
  • Russia's submarines are getting harder to find, and the Navy is sending more people to keep an eye on them

    Golocal247.com news

    Russian naval activity around Europe is a growing concern, and the US Navy is reactivating command units to help manage its own forces in the region.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 13:51:23 -0400
  • Polls show a 17-point swing toward impeaching Trump

    Golocal247.com news

    As of three weeks ago, a majority of Americans, 51.1 percent, on average, opposed impeaching President Trump, with only 40 percent supporting it. But the results came before the Ukraine scandal snowballed. As of today, opposition to impeachment has plummeted 7 percentage points (to 44 percent) and support has climbed nearly 10 points (to 49.8 percent), according to FiveThirtyEight’s preliminary polling tracker.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 12:59:46 -0400
  • The U.S. Spoiled a Deal That Might Have Saved the Kurds, Former Top Official Says

    Golocal247.com news

    Ismail Coskun/APABU DHABI—Abandoned by the Americans, their former allies, Syria’s Kurds reportedly are allowing troops from the Assad regime to enter territory they had under their control. The Kurds also are putting out feelers to Russia for support against an onslaught by Turkish troops and Turkish-supported militias.A return of Bashar al-Assad’s forces to northeastern Syria for the first time in seven years would make visible the end to the bitter, controversial U.S. mission there against the so-called Islamic State. That’s not because of any concerted decision to withdraw by President Trump, whose antiwar rhetoric obscured his vacillation about leaving. It’s because Assad will deny his American adversary the room to operate that the Syrian Kurds had provided their deceitful American partners. “We know that we would have to make painful compromises with Moscow and Bashar al-Assad if we go down the road of working with them,” the Kurdish commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) wrote in an op-ed published Sunday in Foreign Policy. “But if we have to choose between compromises and the genocide of our people, we will surely choose life for our people.”More in sorrow than in anger, the commander, Mazloum Abdi, wrote, “When the whole world failed to support us, the United States extended its hands. We shook hands and appreciated its generous support.”But under Turkish pressure, at Washington’s request, the Kurds “agreed to withdraw our heavy weapons from the border area with Turkey, destroy our defensive fortifications, and pull back our most seasoned fighters. Turkey would never attack us so long as the U.S. government was true to its word with us.”Or so they believed. “We are now standing with our chests bare to face the Turkish knives,” Mazloum wrote.Brett McGurk, who resigned as the presidential special envoy to the coalition against ISIS last December, told The Daily Beast on Sunday that such a move by the Syrian Kurds was predictable under the circumstances. Even last year, when McGurk was still serving, Kurdish leaders in Syria were telling the Americans that if support for them and deterrence against a Turkish attack was not going to continue, they needed to make a deal with the Assad regime and Russia for protection. “We have given our road map to the Russians. We are just waiting on a decision,” one senior Kurdish official told The Washington Post.McGurk said he supported that idea at a time when Trump already was talking about pulling out of Syria, but he met firm opposition within the administration. (Special Representative for Syria Engagement Jim Jeffrey, for one, “told the Kurds on multiple occasions, ‘we’ll manage Turkey, don’t make a deal with the [Assad] regime,’” according to a source familiar with the matter.) Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton and crew insisted the U.S. must stay in Syria until Iran was out, or at least on its way. (Representatives for Bolton, whom Trump fired last month, did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Neither did State Department spokespeople.)Since McGurk’s resignation, he has stayed in touch with the members of the SDF and some contacts in the U.S. departments of state and defense. He says the Kurds asked repeatedly if the support and protection of the United States could be relied upon, and they were told repeatedly that the Americans had their backs. But that was not the case. McGurk told the Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi that when the Russians first got heavily involved in Syria in 2016, an oft-repeated truism about Kremlin duplicity was, “Everybody knows not to get into a well with a Russian rope.”“But now what I hear,” McGurk told the audience, “is that nobody should get into a well with an American rope.”In other words, once it became clear in 2018 that Trump was hostile to the open-ended U.S. presence in Syria he inherited, the Kurds had options to help ease the end of their relationship with the Americans. But Trump’s State Department and Pentagon, unwilling to face up to a final withdrawal—and the unequivocal loss of U.S. influence in a part of the Middle East where it is increasingly impotent, if not irrelevant—convinced the Kurds not to plan for an American departure. Had the Kurds done so, their new Russian and Syrian partners might have been able to spare them the devastation that Turkey is now wreaking as the U.S. pulls back and stands by. And now that the slaughter has begun, Mazloum has made clear that his forces and his people have no choice but to look to Russia and Damascus for support. Unfortunately for the Kurds, as McGurk points out, after Trump’s betrayal dramatically weakened their position, when they call the Russians or the Syrian regime it’s not clear that anyone is picking up the phone.Meanwhile, mass escapes of ISIS prisoners and alleged war crimes by Turkish-backed militia members in northeast Syria reflected the mounting chaos as Ankara drives ahead with an assault that already is deeper into Syria than originally announced.“I think we are likely to see a significant comeback by ISIS,” McGurk told the audience in Abu Dhabi. In Washington and in the field, confusion among the Americans is rampant. Ever since last Sunday’s phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the administration has aggressively insisted that its green light to Erdoğan, complete with a presidential invitation to the White House next month, was really a red light.Trump Says U.S. Troops Have Quit Syria. It’s Not True.On Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS, “Look, it's a very terrible situation over there. A situation caused by the Turks, by President Erdoğan. Despite our opposition they decided to make this incursion into Syria.” Trump has escalated his rhetoric about the generation-long disaster of the U.S. military in the Mideast, but he has still yet to withdraw from Syria–and has in fact deployed 14,000 new troops to the Gulf region in the past six months. Incoherence, deceit and betrayal are now the most conspicuous characteristics of U.S. policy. Esper said that because the Kurds are looking to cut a deal if you will with the Syrians and the Russians to counter-attack against the Turks in the north, American troops could find themselves “caught between two opposing advancing armies and it's a very untenable situation. So I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria.”But as it dawns on Trump that his “end endless wars” mantra could ignite a new endless war, he is reluctant to carry out a full troop withdrawal. Esper spoke about withdrawing from “northern Syria” two days after he and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted there were “no additional changes to our force posture.” Two knowledgeable U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that the U.S. planned to remain in Syria, just further away from the Turkish fighting positions. Some undisclosed hundreds of the 1,000 U.S. forces currently in Syria will indeed leave the country—for elsewhere in the Mideast, however, not home. U.S. ‘Withdraws’ as Kurds Strike Deal to Let Assad's Forces Into RegionBut all of that improvisation, the consequence of senior officials attempting to salvage something after the Trump-Erdogan accord, may now be overtaken by events. Assad’s forces are unlikely to permit continued U.S. operations. The end of a war never declared by Congress may come not by American decision, let alone negotiation, but by American adversaries seizing the initiative that Trump has been comfortable abandoning. Already reports are coming in from Syria of ISIS fighters breaking out of their Kurdish detention facilities as the Kurds fight for their lives. According to the New York Times, the rapid pullback, sometimes under fire from their Turkish NATO ally, has cost the Americans their plans to move a handful of senior ISIS detainees to U.S. military custody in neighboring Iraq. All of it raises the prospect of ISIS grabbing victory—meaning a new lease on life—out of the jaws of defeat after the Kurds, sponsored by the U.S., finished off the Caliphate in 2018.Meanwhile leaders in the Middle East are trying to come to terms with the fact that the Americans have proved to be fatally unreliable allies.Hoshyar Zebari, the former deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Iraq, told the Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi that in the Syrian war, “The Russians did not walk away from their partners. The Iranians did not walk away from their partners. But the Americans did.”“Definitely the Turks will be emboldened,” Zebari told The Daily Beast. “We expect about 50,000 refugees to cross the border,” he said, mostly into the Kurdish region of Iraq.  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.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 20:06:52 -0400
  • 12 Hours. 4 Syrian Hospitals Bombed. Evidence Reveals One Culprit: Russia.

    Golocal247.com news

    The Russian Air Force has repeatedly bombed hospitals in Syria in order to crush the last pockets of resistance to President Bashar Assad, according to an investigation by The New York Times.An analysis of previously unpublished Russian Air Force radio recordings, plane-spotter logs and witness accounts allowed The Times to trace bombings of four hospitals in just 12 hours in May and tie Russian pilots to each one.The 12-hour period beginning on May 5 represents a small slice of the air war in Syria, but it is a microcosm of Russia's four-year military intervention in Syria's civil war. A new front in the conflict opened this week, when Turkish forces crossed the border as part of a campaign against a Kurdish-led militia.Russia has long been accused of carrying out systematic attacks against hospitals and clinics in rebel-held areas as part of a strategy to help Assad secure victory in the eight-year-old war.Physicians for Human Rights, an advocacy group that tracks attacks on medical workers in Syria, has documented at least 583 such attacks since 2011, 266 of them since Russia intervened in September 2015. At least 916 medical workers have been killed since 2011.The Times assembled a large body of evidence to analyze the hospital bombings on May 5 and 6.Social media posts from Syria, interviews with witnesses, and records from charities that supported the four hospitals provided the approximate time of each strike. The Times obtained logs kept by flight spotters on the ground who warn civilians about incoming airstrikes and cross-checked the time of each strike to confirm that Russian warplanes were overhead. We then listened to and deciphered thousands of Russian Air Force radio transmissions, which recorded months' worth of pilot activities in the skies above northwestern Syria. The recordings were provided to The Times by a network of observers who insisted on anonymity for their safety.Spotter logs from May 5 and 6 put Russian pilots above each hospital at the time they were struck, and Air Force audio recordings from that day feature Russian pilots confirming each bombing. Videos obtained from witnesses and verified by The Times confirmed three of the strikes.Recklessly or intentionally bombing hospitals is a war crime, but proving culpability amid a complex civil war is extremely difficult, and until now, Syrian medical workers and human rights groups lacked proof.Russia's position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has shielded it from scrutiny and made U.N. agencies reluctant to accuse the Russian Air Force of responsibility."The attacks on health in Syria, as well as the indiscriminate bombing of civilian facilities, are definitely war crimes, and they should be prosecuted at the level of the International Criminal Court in The Hague," said Susannah Sirkin, director of policy at Physicians for Human Rights. But Russia and China "shamefully" vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have referred those and other crimes in Syria to the court, she said.The Russian government did not directly respond to questions about the four hospital bombings. Instead, a Foreign Ministry spokesman pointed to past statements saying that the Russian Air Force carries out precision strikes only on "accurately researched targets."The U.N. secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, opened an investigation into the hospital bombings in August. The investigation, still ongoing, is meant in part to determine why hospitals that voluntarily added their locations to a U.N.-sponsored deconfliction list, which was provided to Russia and other combatants to prevent them from being attacked, nevertheless came under attack.Syrian health care workers said they believed that the U.N. list actually became a target menu for Russian and Syrian air forces.Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the secretary-general, said in September that the investigation -- an internal board of inquiry -- would not produce a public report or identify "legal responsibility." Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian permanent representative to the U.N., cast doubt on the process shortly after it was announced, saying he hoped the inquiry would not investigate perpetrators but rather what he said was the U.N.'s use of false information in its deconfliction process.From April 29 to mid-September, as Russian and Syrian government forces assaulted the last rebel pocket in the northwest, 54 hospitals and clinics in opposition territory were attacked, the U.N. human rights office said. At least seven had tried to protect themselves by adding their location to the deconfliction list, according to the World Health Organization.On May 5 and 6, Russia attacked four. All were on the list.The first was Nabad al Hayat Surgical Hospital, a major underground trauma center in southern Idlib province serving about 200,000 people. The hospital performed on average around 500 operations and saw more than 5,000 patients a month, according to Syria Relief and Development, the U.S.-based charity that supported it.Nabad al Hayat had been attacked three times since it opened in 2013 and had recently relocated to an underground complex on agricultural land, hoping to be protected from airstrikes.At 2:32 p.m. on May 5, a Russian ground control officer can be heard in an Air Force transmission providing a pilot with a longitude and latitude that correspond to Nabad al Hayat's exact location.At 2:38 p.m., the pilot reports that he can see the target and has the "correction," code for locking the target on a screen in his cockpit. Ground control responds with the green light for the strike, saying, "Three sevens."At the same moment, a flight spotter on the ground logs a Russian jet circling in the area.At 2:40 p.m., the same time the charity said that Nabad al Hayat was struck, the pilot confirms the release of his weapons, saying, "Worked it." Seconds later, local journalists filming the hospital in anticipation of an attack record three precision bombs penetrating the roof of the hospital and blowing it out from the inside in geysers of dirt and concrete.The staff of Nabad al Hayat had evacuated three days earlier after receiving warnings and anticipating a bombing, but Kafr Nabl Surgical Hospital, 3 miles northwest, was not as lucky.A doctor who worked there said that the hospital was struck four times, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The strikes landed about five minutes apart, without warning, he said, killing a man who was standing outside and forcing patients and members of the medical staff to use oxygen tanks to breathe through the choking dust.A spotter logged a Russian jet circling above at the time of the strike, and in another Russian Air Force transmission, a pilot reports that he has "worked" his target at 5:30 p.m., the time of the strike. He then reports three more strikes, each about five minutes apart, matching the doctor's chronology.Russian pilots bombed two other hospitals in the same 12-hour span: Kafr Zita Cave Hospital and Al Amal Orthopedic Hospital. In both cases, spotters recorded Russian Air Force jets in the skies at the time of the strike, and Russian pilots can be heard in radio transmissions "working" their targets at the times the strikes were reported.Since May 5, at least two dozen hospitals and clinics in the rebel-held northwest have been hit by airstrikes. Syrian medical workers said they expected hospital bombings to continue, given the inability of the U.N. and other countries to find a way to hold Russia to account."The argument by the Russians or the regime is always that hospitals are run by terrorists," said Nabad al Hayat's head nurse, who asked to remain anonymous because he feared being targeted. "Is it really possible that all the people are terrorists?"The truth is that after hospitals are hit, and in areas like this where there is just one hospital, our houses have become hospitals."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:03:03 -0400
  • An American Airlines pilot gifted his wings to a 2-year-old passenger for this sweet reason

    An American Airlines pilot passed on his wings to a passenger with Down syndrome on his final flight.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 15:01:47 -0400
  • Son of sheriff who called immigrants ‘drunks’ at White House event arrested for public intoxication

    Golocal247.com news

    The son of a Texas sheriff who used a White House press conference to describe immigrant offenders as “drunks” likely to repeatedly break the law has been arrested for public intoxication.Sergei Waybourn, 24, faces a count of indecent exposure as well as public drunkenness just days after his father, Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, was criticised for the comments.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 08:04:35 -0400
  • 7 Indigenous Pioneers You Need to Know

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

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 14:19:00 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate action

    In a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne. Wearing white laboratory coats to symbolise their research credentials, a group of about 20 of the signatories gathered on Saturday to read out the text outside London's century-old Science Museum in the city's upmarket Kensington district. "We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and non-violent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law," said Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster with a PhD in molecular biology.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 07:53:22 -0400
  • The USS Enterprise: How One Aircraft Carrier Changed Naval History

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    What was really remarkable about the Enterprise was that it marked the debut of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, which are the backbone of U.S. naval power.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0400
  • The Latest: 2nd person dead in building collapse

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    New Orleans' officials say a second person has been killed in the partial collapse of a hotel under construction. The city's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness released the news on its Twitter feed. Officials called off the search Saturday night but will resume Sunday morning.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 00:42:53 -0400
  • Canadian Snowbird plane crashes during Atlanta air show

    Golocal247.com news

    The remaining festivities associated with the annual air show were cancelled following the crash

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 15:54:44 -0400
  • US troops in northern Syria ordered to leave country: US official

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    The Pentagon has begun removing all its troops in northern Syria, a US official said Monday, after President Donald Trump ordered them to leave in the face of Turkey's attacks on Kurds in the area. Nearly 1,000 troops will vacate the country, leaving behind only a small contingent of 150 in the southern Syria base at Al Tanf, the official said. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been pressing a deadly assault against Kurdish forces -- a key US ally in the five-year battle to crush the Islamic State group -- in northeastern Syria since Wednesday last week.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 11:28:25 -0400
  • Is San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer a Model for the Struggling California GOP?

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    From Ted Cruz’s sneering at “New York values” to the gratuitous scorn President Trump heaped on the city of Baltimore, Republicans seem to have tacitly accepted that they will never again be able to compete in urban centers. But at least one major city still has a viable, even thriving, Republican administration: San Diego, the eighth-largest urban area in America, whose mayor, Kevin Faulconer, has enjoyed two popular and successful terms in city hall despite a constituency that is actually less red than deep-blue California as a whole.In an interview, Faulconer attributes his ability to win elections in a city where only 22 percent of voters are registered Republicans to a political brand that is “not about partisanship, but leadership.” This may sound like a boilerplate talking point, but it contains a lesson that Republicans seeking a toehold in blue states could learn from: Mayors are simply not subject to the same partisan pressures as legislators and other elected officials. If they eschew divisive, bomb-throwing bombast in favor of a focus on competent, productive governance, voters will reward them.Faulconer’s rise and tenure is a case study in this dynamic. He was elected in the wake of the resignation of scandal-ridden Democratic mayor Bob Filner, with San Diego’s finances in deplorable shape. He promised to fix the city budget and did, establishing a low-key, technocratic image that helped him easily win his bid for a full term. It helped that he made an effort to reach out to voters who wouldn’t typically vote for a Republican. His campaign headquarters was located in a historically black city neighborhood, and he stressed throughout our interview how important that physical presence was in connecting with local residents. The result was that people knew him not “as a Republican,” he said, but as a competent mayor.If Faulconer’s success were just a matter of personal temperament and a concerted effort to transcend party labels, other California Republicans might be forgiven for assuming he doesn’t have much to teach the struggling state party. But as he closes out his second term, Faulconer has zeroed in on an issue that the state’s overwhelmingly Democratic leadership has failed to address: the homelessness crisis. Though the issue is not his only his policy focus, he trumpets it as one that Republicans should zero in on.At the recent California Republican party convention in Palm Springs, Faulconer devoted the bulk of his keynote address to discussing the explosion in the state’s homeless population. It is, he said, “not merely an issue in California, but the issue,” one that offers California Republicans a golden chance to present themselves as a viable alternative to their Democratic rivals. In our interview, he highlighted San Diego’s recent efforts to grapple with the crisis. Most crucially, he has committed the city to providing enough shelter beds for every member of its homeless population, which no other comparably large city on the West Coast is even close to doing. San Diego can now offer any persons living on the street housing, and compel them to enter it if they refuse. It’s a real accomplishment, though he is quick to caution that “housing first” cannot become “housing only.” If the goal is to keep people off the streets long-term, he argues, it is just as important for shelter services to connect homeless people with treatment and counseling as it is to give them a place to stay.The results of Faulconer’s fight against homelessness in San Diego have been mixed. Expansion of shelters, greater use of law enforcement against tent encampments, and increased spending on services have led to a 6 percent decrease in the homeless population, which he concedes is far from a massive improvement. But San Diego is the only major West Coast city to have seen any kind of decrease in homelessness, and it is one of the few with a clear plan to address the crisis.It remains to be seen what kind of impact Faulconer’s singular success — there are a smattering of other Republican mayors statewide, but the next-largest California city with a Republican administration is Fresno, just over a third the size of San Diego — will have on the state party. In our interview, he reiterated a long-standing refusal to announce plans for higher office, and the upcoming mayoral race in San Diego won’t feature a Republican candidate. But he is adamant that the state party could learn from his experience in office.In his convention keynote, he spoke about the need for a California Republican party clearly differentiated from the national party. This is sound advice. A state with as many acute problems as one-party Democratic rule has created in California might look like easy pickings for an opposition party. But state voters are significantly out of step with the national GOP on everything from support for the president to environmental issues to immigration, and the state GOP has failed to establish a brand of its own to account for that divergence.Faulconer is an example of what such a brand could look like. He has backed stronger environmental legislation, strongly opposed President Trump’s wall, and is pro-choice. There is nothing particularly radical about his tenure, no grand new vision for a conservative renewal in California or cities nationwide. What he has done is identify a crisis that defines the state — homelessness — and pledged to tackle it. Whether other California Republicans can do the same — delivering on local issues while staying as insulated as possible from divisive national politics — could be key to determining their party’s future.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 06:30:08 -0400
  • Newly discovered comet is confirmed as an interstellar visitor – with a surprisingly familiar look

    The comet is only the second interstellar comet ever detected in our solar system and the first that looks like a traditional comet.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 15:39:43 -0400
  • Man Convicted in Murder of Law Professor Locked in Family Feud

    Golocal247.com news

    MIAMI -- The killing shook Florida's capital and stunned the international legal community: A prominent law professor locked in a rancorous battle with his ex-wife and in-laws was gunned down in his garage, in what prosecutors depicted as a murder-for-hire plot.State prosecutors charged three people with the murder of the professor, Dan Markel, hoping to pressure them into revealing whoever may have financed the murder.Two of the accused, Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua, maintained their innocence and went to trial late last month, five years after the professor's death. Over 11 days, the case played out inside a courtroom in Tallahassee, the state capital, revealing a web of tumultuous relationships around Markel's murder.On Friday, a jury found Garcia, 37, guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and not guilty of solicitation of murder. He faces the death penalty, and sentencing will begin Monday.After more than 11 hours of deliberation, jurors told Judge James C. Hankinson that they were unable to reach a verdict on the same charges against Magbanua, 35. Hankinson declared a mistrial.The other man charged with the murder, Luis Rivera, a close friend of Garcia and a former leader of the North Miami Latin Kings gang, cooperated with law enforcement. In exchange for testifying against Garcia and Magbanua, Rivera, 36, was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and avoid the death penalty. He received a 19-year sentence instead, and is concurrently serving a 12-year sentence in an unrelated federal racketeering case.After a contentious divorce in 2013, Markel, 41, a professor at the Florida State University College of Law who had helped build a network of online legal scholarship, and his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, were given joint custody of their two young sons.Prosecutors argued that Markel was murdered because a court order prevented Adelson from relocating to South Florida with the children. They said her brother and mother then got involved, and arranged for Magbanua, Garcia and Rivera to carry out the murder for $100,000."What enemy or enemies had Mr. Markel made that set into motion such a brutal act?" Georgia Cappleman, the lead prosecutor in the case, asked during closing arguments Thursday. "The answer: his own family."Markel was shot twice in the head on the morning of July 18, 2014, shortly after he pulled his car into the garage -- his keys were still in the ignition. A neighbor thought he heard a gunshot and saw a light-colored Toyota Prius drive away.From cellphone records and surveillance footage, investigators determined that a light green Prius had followed Markel the morning he was killed. They found that Rivera had rented the Prius in Miami. On the rental contract, Rivera listed cellphone numbers for himself and Garcia, his best friend since childhood.Toll transponder data showed the Prius making the 450-mile-plus trip from Miami to Tallahassee and returning after the murder. That night, the men stopped at a drive-through ATM in South Florida, where they were photographed with Rivera behind the wheel and Garcia in the passenger seat.Finding Rivera and then Garcia led investigators to Magbanua, with whom Garcia has two children and an on-again-off-again relationship. At the time of the murder, the couple was broken up, and Magbanua was dating Charles Adelson, Adelson's brother and Markel's former brother-in-law.Magbanua did part-time clerical work at a Miami Beach dental office where she met Adelson, 42, a periodontist.Her finances improved considerably after Markel's murder. Bank records showed she began receiving regular checks from a different dental practice, owned by Adelson's parents in Broward County. The checks were handwritten and signed by Adelson's mother, Donna Adelson.Two assistants who worked at the practice testified that they did not know Magbanua to be an employee. A few months after the murder, Magbanua paid a plastic surgeon $4,000 in cash for breast implant surgery.In April 2016, police tapped the cellphones of Garcia, Magbanua, Charles Adelson and Donna Adelson. To get them to talk to one another, an undercover FBI agent posed as a member of the Latin Kings gang and asked Donna Adelson for more compensation for the family of Rivera, who was in prison. Garcia was arrested the following month, and Magbanua some months later.None of the Adelsons have been charged. For years, as Markel's sensational murder has been dissected in news articles, blog posts, a popular true-crime podcast and episodes of "Dateline" and "20/20," lawyers for the Adelsons have maintained their innocence.Donna Adelson, 69, had figured prominently in her daughter's divorce. About a year before the murder, she suggested that her daughter pretend the couple's sons had converted to Catholicism -- Markel was an observant Jew -- to pressure Markel to agree to the children's relocation. Donna Adelson also floated offering Markel $1 million to allow the move.The day of the shooting, the police brought in Wendi Adelson, 40, a former clinical law professor at Florida State, to tell her what had happened to her ex-husband. She cried and buried her face in her hands, according to police video of the interview. She also mentioned that her brother, after buying her a television as a divorce present, had joked, "I looked into a hiring a hit man and it was cheaper to get you this TV.""But he would never," Adelson added. "It's such a horrible thing to say."Wendi Adelson testified at the trial that she had no knowledge of the murder. She moved her sons to South Florida a few days after Markel was killed.Magbanua took the rare step of testifying in her own defense. She said she began receiving the checks from the Adelsons after she asked Charles Adelson to hire her as his assistant -- a favor so she could qualify for state health insurance for her children. The money for her surgery, she added, had been saved up from cash tips she made working in nightclubs.Magbanua denied any part in the murder but said she believed that Charles Adelson was involved. Her defense lawyers suggested that Garcia, the father of her children, agreed to kill Markel in exchange for Adelson to stop dating her. Garcia briefly confronted Adelson 17 days before the murder."The only thing she's guilty of is terrible taste in men," Tara Kawass, one of Magbanua's lawyers, said during opening arguments.Rivera testified that Magbanua had served as the conduit for the murder plot, and that Garcia had pulled the trigger.Garcia's defense posited a different theory: that Rivera must have been the shooter because Garcia disliked Adelson too much to kill someone for him. Saam Zangeneh, Garcia's lawyer, argued that Adelson had bought drugs from Rivera and hired him directly to commit the murder."I don't think that you can believe anything that he says out of his mouth," Zangeneh told jurors of Rivera. "Do you think he would have gotten the deal that he got if he admitted to being the shooter?"Investigators found no direct link between Adelson and either Rivera or Garcia. David Oscar Markus, a lawyer for Charles Adelson, said the mistrial against Magbanua showed why prosecutors have never charged the Adelson family."The case simply isn't there," Markus said in a statement. "Professional prosecutors rightfully understood that they couldn't prove a case against Charlie before this trial. After the hung jury, their prospects have gone down, not up."Lawyers for Markel's parents said they expect a new trial against Magbanua."After waiting five long years, we are relieved that at least one of the people responsible for Danny's murder was convicted today," their statement said. "Yet justice was only partially served."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:02:51 -0400
  • California becomes first state to ban fur

    Golocal247.com news

    California has become the first U.S. state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products. On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law to prohibit residents from making or selling items such as clothing, shoes or handbags made of fur.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:20:17 -0400
  • Malaysia to study impact of India's planned trade action

    Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said his government will monitor the trade situation with India, which is reported to be considering trade curbs on the Southeast Asian nation over his criticism of actions in Kashmir, news wire Bernama reported. Government and industry sources told Reuters last week that New Delhi is looking for ways to limit palm oil imports and other goods from Malaysia, in retaliation for Mahathir's speech at the United Nations in September when he said India had "invaded and occupied" Jammu and Kashmir. Malaysia had said it did not receive "anything official" from India.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 22:13:14 -0400
  • A Real Threat: Why Russia's Air Force Should Be Taken Seriously

    Golocal247.com news

    And why countries love to buy them.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 08:00:00 -0400
  • Oil Tanker Rates Roar to New Records Amid Geopolitical Risks

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    (Bloomberg) -- Nothing right now is stopping a surge in oil tanker rates that’s given owners of the vessels one of the biggest boosts in years.Rates have rallied so high that a secondhand supertanker could theoretically pay for itself in a couple of voyages, according to estimates from Clarkson Platou Securities AS. A normal payback period would often be about a decade. The combined market value of Frontline Ltd. and Euronav NV -- two pureplay owners -- has gained by 78% to $4.8 billion since mid-August.Multiple forces, most of them geopolitical, are driving the rally in vessel earnings that reached a record on Friday. Probably the most important bull factor was U.S. sanctions on two units of a Chinese shipping company in September, placing a part of its fleet of oil carriers off-limits for traders. That fired up a freight market that had already gained due to increased Middle East tensions this year.“This is an exciting dynamic that could create the foundation for a steady improvement in rates and a sustainable period of out-sized cash generation,” said Robert Hvide Macleod, the chief executive officer of Frontline’s management company. “Given the geopolitical climate, we wouldn’t be surprised to see episodic periods where rates spike in the future as well.”Daily rates for so-called very large crude carriers to ship oil to China from the Persian Gulf soared by 90% to $300,391 a day at the end of last week, according to data from the Baltic Exchange in London. Those same vessels, which can carry 2 million barrels of crude, were earning $25,000 a day just a month ago.The latest surge began in late September following the Trump administration’s sanctions on units of China COSCO Shipping Corp., the world’s largest merchant vessel owner. Traders were unclear about exactly which tankers were affected, making them wary of booking COSCO carriers even though only a unit was impacted.Red Sea IncidentThe latest lift came from another moment of tension in the Middle East. Iran said on Friday that missiles hit one of the country’s ships in the Red Sea. The incident comes less than a month after an unprecedented attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, which prompted traders to rush for crude supplies from elsewhere.Earnings for ships on the benchmark Persian Gulf-China route began to pass the $100,000-a-day mark -- already a very high level by historic standards -- early last week. On Friday, the VLCC Ardeche, was booked for a journey in early November from the Middle East to Singapore at a rate equating to $327,853, excluding idle days, according to a fixture report listed by shipping pool Tankers International.New Thing“It’s important to remember that rates were trending higher and well above our breakeven levels before the sanctions on COSCO added fuel to the fire,” Macleod said. “The fundamentals were in place due to U.S. exports, falling vessel deliveries, the highest refinery growth in 40 years, and healthy oil demand.”In addition to that, hundreds of tankers are to be fitted with equipment to help them to meet International Maritime Organization sulfur-emissions rules that come into effect from January. Reports of some shippers shunning vessels that have called at Venezuelan ports in the past 12 months also played a part.“Most people in the market haven’t seen this kind of market movement,” Jonathan Lee, chief executive officer at Tankers International, said of the rates rally. “It’s a unique situation but I think you’ve got to put this into perspective. What this is, is a cumulative effect of many things.”The rush to secure vessels to ship oil in the market continues, according to Clarksons Platou.“At current rates, owners could pay back a 10-year-old VLCC, valued at $47m including scrap value of $16m, after only two trips,” Clarksons Platou analysts including Frode Morkedal said in a research note Monday. “Even at half the current VLCC rate, most owners have an earnings yield of above 75% and could thus earn back their entire market cap within a year.”Frontline, controlled by the Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen, in August agreed to buy 10 Suezmax crude oil tankers built in 2019 from Trafigura Pte Ltd. for as much as $675 million in cash and shares.There are some signs of oil-market stress from the surge in rates. Refining margins are being eroded, according to data from Oil Analytics Ltd. That means crude exporters will either need to discount their barrels to make it profitable for refineries to process them, or prices of fuel will need to climb.Frontline’s Macleod says freight rates will settle in at significantly higher levels than seen earlier in the year as demand for vessels is exceeding supply.“U.S. exports are leading to higher ton-mile demand, effective fleet supply will be reduced through the first half of next year as maintenance-driven off-hire increases,” he said. “And most importantly fleet growth will not be as dramatic as in years past.”(Updates language in 10th paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Olivia Konotey-Ahulu in London at okonoteyahul@bloomberg.net;Firat Kayakiran in London at fkayakiran@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net, John DeaneFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 16:22:50 -0400
  • $20,000 worth of ride props were reportedly stolen from Walt Disney World

    Golocal247.com news

    The Orlando Sentinel reported on Thursday that the items were taken from a shed behind Test Track in Epcot.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:03:59 -0400
  • NY Times: Violent parody video shown at Trump resort

    Golocal247.com news

    A graphically violent parody video, shown at a meeting of President Donald Trump's supporters at his Miami resort, depicted a likeness of the president shooting and stabbing his opponents and members of the news media in a church, The New York Times reported Sunday. In the video, Trump's critics and media members are portrayed as parishioners fleeing his gruesome rampage. The fake Trump strikes the late Sen. John McCain in the neck, hits and stabs TV personality Rosie O'Donnell in the face, lights Sen. Bernie Sanders' head on fire and shoots or otherwise assaults people whose faces are replaced with news organization logos.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:18:59 -0400
  • Thousands of Ukrainians march against a troop pullback

    Golocal247.com news

    It was the second of two marches in Kiev on Monday, a national holiday designated "Defenders Day". October 14 also marks the anniversary of the foundation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a group of nationalists who fought against Soviet troops in World War II alongside Nazi forces, and are accused of slaughtering Poles and Jews. Protesters chanted "No to capitulation!", "Ukraine above all" and "Russian language today, Russian tanks tomorrow".

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 14:46:29 -0400
  • Tight squeeze: Cruise ship passes through Greek Canal with only 5 feet of breathing room

    Fred Olsen Cruise Lines says its MS Braemar set a record for the biggest ship to pass through Greece's narrow Corinth Canal on Oct. 9.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:02:26 -0400
  • Porn Producers Are Charged With Sex Trafficking

    Golocal247.com news

    In a case that could test the online pornography industry, the owners and two employees of two popular pornographic websites were charged this week with sex trafficking and other crimes, accused of coercing several women to engage in sex videos that were posted on the internet.According to a criminal complaint, the owners and employees "used deception and false promises" to lure women who had answered modeling advertisements on Craigslist to participate in the videos, telling them that their identities would be shielded and that the videos would not be posted online.The owners, Michael James Pratt, 36, and Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 37, and one employee, Ruben Andre Garcia, 31, were each charged with three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion.A second employee, Valorie Moser, 37, who the authorities said helped recruit the women, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion.Wolfe, Garcia and Moser pleaded not guilty. Wolfe and Garcia were being held in federal custody Friday and the authorities said Pratt had left the country and was considered a fugitive.Pratt, Wolfe and Garcia are currently on trial in a civil case in San Diego Superior Court that mirrors the criminal filing. In that case, 22 women said they were tricked into performing in internet pornography.Ed Chapin, the lead trial lawyer representing the 22 women, called the alleged scheme "outrageous.""It is despicable," he said, "and I am glad that the feds are stepping up and that they've seen it and are doing something about it."Corey D. Silverstein, a First Amendment lawyer based in Michigan whose practice is focused on issues of pornography and similar entertainment, said this was the first case he knew of in which a content producer was prosecuted under these types of charges."The government has a pretty high burden," he said. "They have to be able to show that someone knowingly recruited, enticed, harbored and patronized a person and then gained value from it." He said he was "not convinced the government has a case," adding, "Was the line crossed from content production to sex trafficking?"In court filings, Pratt and Wolfe, who own the websites GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys, said the women had signed contracts that stated the videos they appeared in could be "used anywhere, anyhow, for any purpose."The women also recorded videotaped statements stating that they consented to the videos being used in any way and were not under the influence of drugs or mind-altering substances, according to civil filings from the defendants.Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami who is the president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, said many women in the pornography industry have lodged similar complaints of coercion but have not felt comfortable telling anyone. Or, she said, they were afraid that complaints would lead to their not working again."There's just a massive amount of fraud and coercion," said Franks, who coproduced a documentary about the world of amateur pornography. "It's a very welcome development that all porn companies will be put on notice that there is an appetite to investigate these cases."Significant criminal charges have not been brought by federal authorities against pornography producers for more than a decade. In 2008, Paul F. Little was sentenced to 46 months in jail after being convicted on multiple obscenity charges.Last year, a federal law strengthened the policing of sex trafficking online.Southern California, especially the San Fernando Valley, has historically been home to major pornography studios and producers, but the internet has made it possible for anyone with a cellphone camera to produce and upload explicit content. And the internet involves interstate commerce, which is regulated by the federal authorities."Traffickers use many ways to trick, coerce and manipulate," said Samantha Vardaman, vice president of Shared Hope International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to rescue victims of sex trafficking. "These brave women suffered exploitation and exposure but they are using the legal remedies to get control back. With the extraordinary abuses of the internet, we will surely see more criminal activity like this."Mike South, a former pornography producer who has chronicled the inner workings of the business for his blog MikeSouth.com, said he hoped the case would encourage young women to exercise caution before answering online advertisements in the future."There might be a few girls that will read about it and take heed," he said.Brian Gross, who has worked closely with pornography producers and actors for more than two decades, applauded the criminal charges."I hope it makes people take this industry as a legitimate business," Gross said. "If you think you're going to come in here and behave in this kind of manner you know there will be consequences."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:02:50 -0400
  • Portland antifa activist killed in hit and run, police say

    Golocal247.com news

    City’s antifascist group says death of Sean D Kealiher, 23, was not ‘related to fascist activity’ and police did not specify a motiveThe Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/ReutersA Portland antifascist activist was killed in the early hours of Saturday in an apparent hit-and-run near Cider Riot, a cidery and taproom popular with the city’s anarchist left that has been the scene of conflict with rightwing groups. According to the Portland police bureau, the car involved was fired upon and crashed into a nearby building. Its occupants fled the scene. Police said in a statement that the 23-year-old victim, Sean D Kealiher, was taken to a local hospital by associates. The Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Police said homicide squad detectives would investigate and called on witnesses to come forward. Kealiher was a prominent participant in antifascist and anti-Trump protests in Portland, speaking and marching in opposition to events held by rightwing groups. His activities occasionally attracted the attention of rightwing bloggers and social media personalities. Rose City Antifa, the city’s longest-standing antifascist group, said in a tweet addressing Kealiher’s death that it “was not related to fascist activity”. Police did not specify a motive. Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler ,and the Oregon Democratic party, outside whose building the incident happened, expressed condolences on Twitter. Memorial tributes were laid at the site. Six men, including the Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, are awaiting trial on charges arising from a violent incident at Cider Riot on 1 May. In an affidavit in support of Gibson’s arrest warrant, police officer Brad Kalbaugh described the group approaching Cider Riot “in an effort clearly designed to provoke a physical confrontation”. Multiple videos of that incident show punches, thrown drinks and pepper spray being exchanged. One of the men awaiting trial, Ian Kramer, is alleged to have struck a woman with a baton, fracturing her vertebra. More video appears to show members of the group planning violence ahead of the brawl. Gibson and the other men are charged with riot. Some face felony assault charges.Cider Riot’s owner, Abram Goldman-Armstrong, has commenced a $1m lawsuit against Gibson and several others. Goldman-Armstrong’s lawyer, Juan Chavez, says his client has been subject to “homophobic and antisemitic” harassment since the suit was filed.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 11:40:37 -0400
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