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  • Ukraine's president says he backs prisoner swap with Russia Fri, 19 Jul 2019 09:29:19 -0400

    Ukraine's president says he backs prisoner swap with RussiaUkraine's president on Friday outlined the details of an impending prisoner swap with Russia, saying that Kiev is willing to release a jailed Russian journalist in exchange for a Ukrainian film director. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's statement comes at the end of the week of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev. The flurry of activity around imprisoned Russians and Ukrainians follows last week's first telephone call between Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • Closer to War: U.S. Troops Aboard Amphibious Assault Ship Force Down Iranian Drone Thu, 18 Jul 2019 16:42:00 -0400

    Closer to War: U.S. Troops Aboard Amphibious Assault Ship Force Down Iranian DroneU.S. troops aboard an amphibious assault ship on July 18, 2019 forced down an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. president Donald Trump announced.The downing comes just a few weeks after Iranian forces downed an American drone in the same area. The mutual shoot-downs could escalate the already tense situation in the Persian Gulf region.Trump said the unmanned aerial vehicle threatened USS Boxer.Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told The New York Times that Boxer was in international waters at the time of the incident. The drone “closed within a threatening range” before Boxer took action.U.S. Marines embarked on Boxer used radio-jamming gear to bring down the drone, CNN reporter Ryan Browne tweeted.“The drone was immediately destroyed,” Trump said.It’s unclear what kind of drone the Marines forced down. Iran’s aviation industry produces a wide range of inexpensive UAVs, including several variants of the Mohajer drone that first entered service in the late 1980s.Iranian forces in 2011 captured a secretive U.S. Air Force RQ-170 stealth spy drone. Tehran’s engineers reverse-engineered the batwing RQ-170 and produced crude copies of their own.Tehran equipped the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad with an array of UAVs.Iran around a decade ago began arming some of its drone types with missiles and bombs. Iran Aviation Industries Organization in 2014 revealed a Mohajer variant that Iranian media claimed could shoot down other aircraft.

  • Cyprus detains 12 Israeli men over allegations of gang rape of British teenager Thu, 18 Jul 2019 12:58:27 -0400

    Cyprus detains 12 Israeli men over allegations of gang rape of British teenagerTwelve Israeli tourists were remanded in custody for eight days by a court in Cyprus for the alleged gang rape of a 19-year-old British woman at a popular holiday resort on the island. The Israelis were arrested on Wednesday after the British teenager told police that she had been raped at the hotel where she was staying in the beach resort of Ayia Napa. Doctors who treated the woman said they found bruises and scratches on her body. The suspects, aged 16 to 18, were staying in the same hotel. The young men covered their faces with their t-shirts as they arrived handcuffed at the court in the nearby town of Paralimni, in the southeast of Cyprus. One broke down in tears. Some were accompanied by their parents. The hearing was held behind closed doors because some of the suspects are minors. The suspects covered their faces as they arrived at court Credit: Petros Karadjis/AP A judge accepted a request by Cypriot police to remand the men in custody for eight days while an investigation is launched into the rape allegation. They have not yet been charged with any offence. Three of the men allegedly raped the British tourist while others filmed the attack on their mobile phones, local media reports said. Ioannis Habaris, a lawyer representing four of the suspects, told The Associated Press it was unclear exactly how many of the men were implicated in the alleged rape. He said there was "some evidence" the British woman was involved in a "relationship" with one of the suspects. Tourists on a beach on the outskirts of the resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus Credit: Amir Makar/AFP Nir Yaslovitzh, an Israeli lawyer representing three other suspects, said the 12 teenagers had arrived in Ayia Napa in three separate groups. Some were having a holiday prior to being drafted into the Israeli army for compulsory military service. He said police were trying to flush out the perpetrators among the group by arresting all 12 and having them detained. "I think it's a trick," Mr Yaslovitzh told AP. "They want to know how my clients will (react)." The Foreign Office said British authorities were "supporting a British woman who was assaulted in Cyprus and are in contact with local police". Cyprus’s sandy beaches, bars and nightclubs attract around 1.3 million British tourists a year. Ayia Napa has a reputation for being a party town, with booze cruises and pub crawls.

  • Brazil's Petrobras refuses to refuel Iran ships due to US sanctions Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:03:13 -0400

    Brazil's Petrobras refuses to refuel Iran ships due to US sanctionsUS-listed Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras said Friday it will not refuel two Iranian vessels that have been stuck for weeks at a Brazilian port for fear of violating American sanctions. Washington has imposed a slate of sanctions on Tehran and companies with ties to the Islamic republic since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark nuclear pact last year. The ships Bavand and Termeh, which reportedly belong to Iranian company Sapid Shipping, arrived at Paranagua port in the southern state of Parana early last month, an official at the port told AFP.

  • DNC tells 2020 presidential candidates to stop using FaceApp as Schumer calls for investigation Thu, 18 Jul 2019 14:28:27 -0400

    DNC tells 2020 presidential candidates to stop using FaceApp as Schumer calls for investigationSchumer asked the FBI to determine whether the data uploaded to FaceApp "may be finding its way into the hands of the Russian government."

  • China Is Drafting Urgent Plan to Resolve Hong Kong Chaos, SCMP Says Thu, 18 Jul 2019 04:37:41 -0400

    China Is Drafting Urgent Plan to Resolve Hong Kong Chaos, SCMP Says(Bloomberg) -- Chinese officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs are working on an urgent strategy to solve the city’s political chaos and have ruled out the use of military force, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the discussions.They will soon present top leaders in Beijing with both an immediate plan to handle the mass protests and a longer-term strategy that could result in China overhauling its management of the former British colony, the newspaper said, without elaborating on a date.Beijing maintains that the crisis is best left for Hong Kong authorities to resolve and doesn’t want to get directly involved, according to the report. Beijing has expressed public support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam throughout weeks of unrest and political gridlock, saying this week that it “firmly supports” her leadership.On Thursday, China condemned a joint motion for a resolution in the European Parliament that called on EU member states and other nations to investigate export controls “to deny China, and in particular Hong Kong, access to technologies” that could be used to violate human rights.“China strongly opposes this,” spokesman Lu Kang said. “China does value its relations with Europe, but maintaining a healthy relationship requires joint efforts.“Lam on Monday vowed she would remain in office, after a Financial Times report said she had offered to resign but that Beijing insisted she stay and clean up “the mess she created.”The Chinese officials also see Hong Kong’s police force as key to maintaining stability, the newspaper said. Officers’ tactics have come under fire after they used rounds of tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and pepper spray in dispersing the protests. Demonstrators have demanded an independent investigation into what they deem a use of excessive force, while opposition lawmakers have called for the resignation of security chief John Lee.Earlier: Hong Kong Police Tactics Under Fire as Legislature ResumesMainland officials want to avoid bloodshed and ensure the financial hub remains largely stable, the newspaper reported, citing the people familiar. China’s approach will be to “lure the snake from its hole,” according to one adviser cited by the SCMP, taking a defensive position until the opposition reveals its strategy.They’re also considering whether the current environment makes it too risky for President Xi Jinping to visit another former European colony, Macau, later this year for 20th anniversary celebrations of its return to Chinese rule, the paper reported.Crowds of Hong Kong protesters have turned out in unprecedented sizes every week since mid-June. In recent gatherings, their anger has focused on China. More protests are being planned in neighborhoods across the city by demonstrators vowing to spread the word until Lam responds to their demands, including the official withdrawal of legislation that would allow extraditions to the mainland and first sparked the rallies.There are indications that Xi and his top officials are preparing for their annual summer conclave in the seaside city of Beidaihe, which this year will bear even closer watching than usual as China faces growing risks at home and abroad, including Hong Kong’s unrest and an ongoing trade war with the U.S.(Updates in fourth paragraph with China foreign ministry comments)\--With assistance from Dandan Li.To contact the reporters on this story: Karen Leigh in Hong Kong at kleigh4@bloomberg.net;Dominic Lau in Hong Kong at dlau92@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, James Mayger, Iain MarlowFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Students at Georgetown University slam Donald Trump over Obama immigration quote Fri, 19 Jul 2019 05:44:32 -0400

    Students at Georgetown University slam Donald Trump over Obama immigration quoteCampus Reform media director Cabot Phillips speaks with students about comments made by the former president.

  • View Photos of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO Thu, 18 Jul 2019 08:00:00 -0400

    View Photos of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO

  • Navy warship sunk by German sub in WWII finally located Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:15:06 -0400

    Navy warship sunk by German sub in WWII finally locatedA private dive team has located the last U.S. Navy warship to be sunk by a German submarine in World War II, just a few miles (kilometers) off the coast of Maine. The sinking of the USS Eagle PE-56 on April 23, 1945, was originally blamed on a boiler explosion. The patrol boat's precise location remained a mystery — until now.

  • Russia summons U.S. diplomat in Moscow in protest over visa row Thu, 18 Jul 2019 11:44:13 -0400

    Russia summons U.S. diplomat in Moscow in protest over visa rowRussia summoned a representative of the U.S. embassy in Moscow on Thursday to issue a protest after U.S. officials alleged Russia had refused visas to teachers at an international school in Moscow, the Russian foreign ministry said. The ministry said in a statement it had not denied the visas, but that teachers at the school were entering Russia under diplomatic visas, despite not being diplomats. It said Russia was ready to issue visas promptly to U.S. diplomatic personnel as soon as Washington started issuing visas promptly to Russian diplomats in the United States.

  • ‘I am disgusted’: New Yorkers react to Trump telling congresswomen to ‘go back’ to their countries Thu, 18 Jul 2019 16:14:11 -0400

    ‘I am disgusted’: New Yorkers react to Trump telling congresswomen to ‘go back’ to their countriesNew Yorkers, like much of the country, have some strong opinions about the latest controversy engulfing President Trump. “I am disgusted at the Republicans,” said Randi, of Manhattan. “I can’t believe no one stands up to him. I thought of myself as independent, and I’m forced into being a Democrat.”

  • Five guys arrested for fighting at Five Guys burgers in Florida Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:09:57 -0400

    Five guys arrested for fighting at Five Guys burgers in FloridaAn appropriate number of guys were arrested when a fight broke out at a FiveGuys restaurant in Florida on Wednesday

  • The Navy's 6th Generation Fighter Could Put the F-35 in a Museum Fri, 19 Jul 2019 03:47:00 -0400

    The Navy's 6th Generation Fighter Could Put the F-35 in a MuseumNew much-longer range sensors and weapons, incorporating emerging iterations of AI, are expected to make warfare more disaggregated, and much less of a linear force on force type of engagement. Such a phenomenon, driven by new technology, underscores warfare reliance upon sensors and information networks. All of this, naturally, requires the expansive "embedded ISR" discussed by the paper. Network reliant warfare is of course potentially much more effective in improving targeting and reducing sensor-to-shooter time over long distances, yet it brings a significant need to organize and optimize the vast, yet crucial, flow of information.The Navy is currently analyzing air frames, targeting systems, AI-enabled sensors, new weapons and engine technologies to engineer a new 6th-Generation fighter to fly alongside the F-35 and ultimately replace the F/A-18.(This first appeared earlier in the year.)The Navy program, called Next-Generation Air Dominance, has moved beyond a purely conceptual phase and begun exploration of prototype systems and airframes as it pursues a new, carrier-launched 6th-Gen fighter to emerge in 2030 and beyond, service officials explained.“Some important areas of consideration include derivative and developmental air vehicle designs, advanced engines, propulsion, weapons, mission systems, electronic warfare and other emerging technologies,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Chatmas told Warrior earlier this year.A formal Analysis of Alternatives, expected to complete this year, is weighing the advantages of leveraging nearer-term existing technologies such as new variants or upgrades to cutting edge weapons, sensors and stealth configurations - or allowing more time for leap-ahead developmental systems to emerge.

  • Squeezed by sanctions, Iranians seek day jobs in Kurdish Iraq Fri, 19 Jul 2019 05:51:25 -0400

    Squeezed by sanctions, Iranians seek day jobs in Kurdish IraqWhen the car pulled up to the curb in Iraq's Arbil, a half-dozen Iranian labourers swarmed around it. Squeezed by US sanctions on Tehran, they were hunting for work across the border. Mostly Kurds themselves, they have sought day jobs in construction and other menial labour in Iraq's northern Kurdish region to make up for the deteriorating economic situation at home.

  • 'Not what your mom sent you:' Teen takes legendary senior photos in a bathrobe Thu, 18 Jul 2019 12:25:44 -0400

    'Not what your mom sent you:' Teen takes legendary senior photos in a bathrobeEvan Dennison wanted to do something funny for his senior photos. No one believed he would actually do it. Now he is a "legend."

  • America will roast for 4 days Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:47:55 -0400

    America will roast for 4 daysTens of millions of Americans will feel triple-digit heat between Thursday and Sunday. The National Weather Service (NWS) noted that 20 to 30 high temperature records could fall between the Rockies and the East Coast. There will be little relief even at night: The weather agency expects 123 records for the warmest daily low temperature to be either broken or tied this week. The Midwest will see many of the highest extremes on Thursday and Friday, while the East Coast will feel its most intense heat on Saturday.The NWS labeled this excessive heat as "scorching." On Saturday in Washington D.C., the confluence of humidity and air temperatures are forecast to produce a heat index (or feeling) of around 110 F. Meteorologist Michael Ventrice called these forecasted conditions "dangerously hot." Indeed, heat waves kill more Americans than any other weather event.Although climate change doesn't produce weather -- like sprawling fronts of unusually warm air, hurricanes, or wildfire conditions -- it does make these events worse. Any heat wave today, for example, is sitting atop boosted global temperatures. These elevated temperatures are responsible for June 2019 being the warmest June in 139 years of record-keeping, and 18 of the 19 warmest years on record occurring since 2001.This added heat means more record hot weather becoming not just possible, but occurring more frequently. "A barely noticeable shift in the mean temperature from global warming can end up turning a 'once-per-decade' heatwave into a 'once-per-year heatwave' pretty easily," Patrick Brown, an assistant professor in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University, said over email. Shifting averages mean more heat.Image: Climate central / climatecentral.org> The likelihood of extreme heat, like what we are seeing in the US Midwest this week, increases nonlinearly with the warming of average temperatures (caused by increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations). pic.twitter.com/Q20frMvgVa> > -- Patrick T. Brown (@PatrickTBrown31) July 17, 2019"Heat waves are occurring more often than they used to in major cities across the United States, from an average of two heat waves per year during the 1960s to nearly six per year during the 2010s," noted the U.S. Global Change Research Program.SEE ALSO: Climate change will ruin train tracks and make travel hellBoosted temperatures translate to more heat records. In the last decade, for instance, twice as many daily high heat records have been set as daily low records in the U.S. > NYC has chance for hottest feels like temperature in the country on Saturday but DC and Philly will make a run at it also. pic.twitter.com/w6Hl31WhxK> > -- Bill Karins (@BillKarins) July 18, 2019The powerful driver of the increased frequency of extreme heat is clear. In the late 1850s, physicists like John Tyndall discovered that certain gases, like carbon dioxide, trap radiative heat on Earth -- meaning solar radiation reflected off the planet's surface and heat emitted from Earth itself. Today, atmospheric concentrations of the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide are at their highest levels in at least 800,000 years, though likely millions of years. What's more, atmospheric CO2 levels are now increasing at rates that are unprecedented in both the historic and geologic record. "What's important to recognize is the changes humanity is driving at present are commensurate with the most significant events in the history of life on this planet," Matthew Long, an oceanographer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told Mashable in March.  WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?

  • How Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution Was Resurrected—and Betrayed Fri, 19 Jul 2019 04:45:30 -0400

    How Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution Was Resurrected—and BetrayedCourtesy Bill GentileBill Gentile covered the Central American wars of the 1980s that haunt the United States to this day. In the first chapter of this series he wrote about the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. In the second, he looked at the U.S.-backed counter-revolution. Here he looks at what has become of the region, and of journalism.* * *Return Trips* * *MANAGUA, Nicaragua—Journalists follow the news. So when peace came to Central America at the beginning of the 1990s, I knew it was time for me to leave. The story there that had dominated front pages and nightly news for more than a decade dissipated almost overnight. In any case, I was ready to expand my work from Latin America and the Caribbean to more distant frontiers and Claudia, my Nicaraguan wife, was glad to escape the pressure cooker of a country mired in perpetual crisis. So we moved to Miami, a blend of developed and developing countries, where I still could cover major national and international stories, where my experience in conflict reporting and fluency in Spanish would be assets, and from where I could cover not just the region but stories far beyond.Central America’s Wars of the ’80s Still Haunt the U.S.It was a difficult transition. The logistics made sense, but the profession itself faced growing threats. By the end of the 1980s and especially at the beginning of the 1990s, the craft of photojournalism was contracting. Digital photography was becoming accessible to everyone; social media began to compete with the old mainstream operations, and 24/7 cable meant legacy outlets like Newsweek, my employer, became the platforms of old news before they even hit the stands.A peasant walks past a cotton plantation in western Nicaragua.Courtesy Bill GentileI moved to Philadelphia and began working for Video News International (VNI), the first company in the nation to use the new digital “prosumer” cameras to generate television content. Claudia and I separated and eventually divorced. When VNI fell apart, I turned to freelancing with video. By the year 2000 I had begun teaching as my main gig and freelancing as much as time and energy would allow.But Nicaragua never left me. And I never left Nicaragua.* * *‘The World Stopped Watching’* * *White Pine Pictures is a Canadian documentary film production company whose members in 1986 produced The World Is Watching, about the coverage of the Contra War in Nicaragua by Western media. I was one of the featured journalists. In 2002, some 16 years later, White Pine contacted me to ask whether I would be willing to return to Nicaragua to film a sequel.“Absolutely.”I proposed we scan a handful of images from my book, Nicaragua, and publish them in the country’s newspapers. We’d ask people to contact our producer in Managua if anyone recognized the people in the pictures, then we’d follow up on their stories since the Sandinista victory on July 19, 1979. A peasant man and daughter make adobe blocks for building their new home.Courtesy Bill GentileIt worked. Sandinista soldiers. Contra fighters. Peasants. Workers. Our producer’s phone rang off the hook. And in the end? I found myself trying to explain how terrible those days had been, in large part because they failed to advance the Sandinistas’ plan for a more equitable Nicaragua than the one they inherited from the Somoza dictatorship.‘Terrible and Glorious Days’ Covering the Contra War of the 1980sCalling their sequel The World Stopped Watching, the White Pine filmmakers produced a documentary explaining how the absence of international media loosens the restraints on the bad guys, who can do whatever they want because we, the international observers and watchdogs, are not around to hold them accountable. And that’s exactly what has happened.At their electoral defeat in 1990, the Sandinista government accepted the process and, with no small amount of urging by former President Jimmy Carter, handed over power to a new government. It was the first time in Nicaragua’s history that a sitting government peacefully handed over power as the result of a legitimate, internationally recognized election.At a news conference recognizing their landslide loss, Sandinista leaders, including ousted President Daniel Ortega, showed up with pallid, drawn faces. Most of the international press corps was stunned by the results as well.A mural of famed guerrilla fighter and liberator Augusto Cesar Sandino in the northern mountains.Courtesy Bill Gentile“El cuadro esta pintado,” one high-ranking Sandinista official declared just days before the vote. “The painting is finished,” he said, assuring me with blind confidence that the Sandinistas would crush the opposition. The result was a measure of how deeply the Sandinista leadership was disconnected from the people.But at a rally not long after the vote, Ortega promised his followers that, “We will rule from below.” In other words, the highly organized Sandinista party would flex its muscles and get its way no matter who was president.* * *Malign Neglect* * *Anthony Quainton is Distinguished Diplomat in Residence in the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, D.C. He spent 38 years in the U.S. foreign services as a diplomat in Nicaragua, Peru, Kuwait and the Central African Republic. He also served as Coordinator of the Office for Combating Terrorism. At a recent conference, Quainton delivered a keynote speech titled, “Managua and Washington in the Early Sandinista Revolution,” calling his his assignment in Nicaragua in the early 1980s “Mission Impossible.”He argued that had the United States made a major and long-term commitment to the social and economic development of the region and backed off its support for corrupt regimes, “some of the problems we are now encountering might have been avoided or at least ameliorated. Unfortunately when the Sandinistas were eventually voted out of power in 1990, the United States largely lost interest in the region. We are reaping the whirlwind of that neglect in the refugee and gang crises we are now facing,” he said.“Opportunities to create a more stable Central America existed four decades ago,” said Quainton. “They were lost. Both sides could not see beyond their ideologies. Neither could escape from its history. The Sandinistas believed that they were a vanguard party and that history had entrusted them a revolutionary mission. … They could not escape from the troubled history of Yankee intervention. We could not escape from Vietnam and the experiences of the Cold War. Bridging the historical, ideological and emotional divide between us was more than I or my colleagues could do. Try as we could, the Mission was always impossible.”Quainton’s argument is balanced and cogent, but it presumes there was some kind of parity in 1979 between a little country devastated by earthquakes and wars with no tradition of good governance, and a stable, global, functional democracy and superpower some 200 years old. Prior to 1979 much of the Sandinista leadership lived in La Montaña and in clandestine cells. They had little or no institutional foundation to build on. No Harvard or Oxford background to draw from. No Jefferson, Washington or Lincoln to emulate.A young woman washes clothes in Lake Managua, which borders the capital, Managua.Courtesy Bill GentileInstead, they were forced to cope with political, economic and military aggression by the single most powerful nation on the planet. To justify that action, Ronald Reagan warned a group of conservative supporters that defeat of the contras would create "a privileged sanctuary for terrorists and subversives just two days' driving time from Harlingen, Texas." He warned that “feet people” trudging north would be “swarming into our country” to escape communism.But if, as the Trump administration claims, Central Americans are now headed north in huge numbers, it’s because of the complete failure to address their hopes, their needs, and their safety.* * *Rule and Ruin* * *Yet none of this justifies what Sandinista rule has become.Today, most of the original Sandinista leadership has abandoned the Ortega regime, viewing it as a betrayal of the organization’s original promises to the Nicaraguan people. Daniel Ortega has been president, once again, for the past 10 years. His wife, Rosario Murillo, is vice president.Facing Down the Death Squads of NicaraguaDuring anti-government protests in the spring of 2018, Sandinista police and Sandinista-backed armed thugs killed an estimated 300 people. Media outlets are constantly harassed and shut down. Even international non-governmental organizations whose only agenda is to help the poor and underprivileged have abandoned the country because of government restrictions and intervention. Nicaragua continues to be rated as the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.So where do journalists and journalism fit into all this? How do we see our role? Four decades after my first arrival in Managua, have I helped bring about positive change? Did I do any good here?I certainly hope so. I hope the images I created and published via UPI, Newsweek magazine, my Nicaragua book and other outlets, have contributed to the visual record of that time and that place in history. It’s important to remember that, at the time when I was covering the region, there was no Facebook, no Google, no Instagram, no email. There was no internet! Television was limited to ABC, CBS and NBC. CNN was just beginning. Fox did not exist. So most of the world relied on a handful of magazines including Newsweek, Time and U.S. News & World Report, Life and National Geographic, for its visual explanation of the globe. Major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post published only black and white pictures back then.A tiny handful of women and men, including myself, were privileged to be part of a small cadre of photojournalists entrusted with the mission of providing the world with a visual explanation of itself. And we did so sometimes despite great peril.But there is another dimension to what we do, perhaps more important than our impact on the wider world. And that is the mere act of practicing our craft defines and validates us. Like La Montaña for the guerrillas, journalism is the anvil upon which we test, forge and mold ourselves into what we aspire to be.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.

  • Baby's family mad about hospital bills in cut-from-womb case Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:17:10 -0400

    Baby's family mad about hospital bills in cut-from-womb caseA Chicago-area hospital says it regrets sending bills to the family of a baby boy who died about seven weeks after attackers cut him from his mother's womb. Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn sent bills for Yovanny Lopez's care that totaled about $300,000, said the family's lawyer, Frank Avila. Some bills even referred to Yovanny as "Figueroa, boy" — the last name of Clarisa Figueroa, who is accused of orchestrating the attack on the baby's mother so that she could claim him as her own.

  • Mexico arrests former Pemex security head with allegations of fuel theft Thu, 18 Jul 2019 20:08:14 -0400

    Mexico arrests former Pemex security head with allegations of fuel theftThe Mexican attorney general's office said on Thursday it had arrested a retired general who was responsible for security at the state oil company Pemex during the previous administration for allegations of fuel theft. The office said in a statement that it had apprehended "Socrates H," whom a government source said is Brigadier General Socrates Herrera. Herrera was under the command of General Eduardo León, who led a strategic security unit for Pemex and has also been accused of fuel theft.

  • After census debacle, White House to knock out senior Commerce official Thu, 18 Jul 2019 13:24:46 -0400

    After census debacle, White House to knock out senior Commerce officialSenior Trump aides have sparred with the policy director for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over the census, 5G and other issues.

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  • GOP chair dismisses potential pact with Democrats banning candidates from using hacked material Fri, 19 Jul 2019 17:04:17 -0400

    The head of the National Republican Congressional Committee dismissed the idea of agreeing with Democrats not to campaign using hacked or stolen material Thursday.

    Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota said the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is "not serious" about the proposed pact.

    "It's all political hackery," the NRCC chairman said ...

  • Idaho music event canceled amid immigration enforcement fear Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:46:31 -0400

    JEROME, Idaho (AP) - A music festival in southern Idaho has been canceled because organizers say they feared potential raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

    The music festival called the El Tour de Idaho de Los Inquietos was supposed to take place in Jerome on Saturday.

    Event organizers with ...

  • Las Vegas police renew commitment to immigration program Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:37:59 -0400

    LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas police have renewed a partnership program with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - a move that county commissioners are questioning.

    The Las Vegas Sun reported Friday that the program was renewed last month for another year allowing police to continue to report people suspected ...

  • Guatemala's highest court blocks proposed amnesty law Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:37:25 -0400

    GUATEMALA CITY (AP) - Guatemala's highest court has ruled against a legislative proposal to grant amnesty for human rights abuses during the country's 1960-1996 civil war.

    The bill had failed to gain final approval in Congress, but was not completely dead.

    The Constitutional Court voted Friday to grant a provisional ...

  • Why no hush-money charges against Trump? Feds are silent Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:33:06 -0400

    NEW YORK (AP) - When special counsel Robert Mueller closed the books on the Russia investigation, he produced a report of more than 400 pages, and Attorney General William Barr held a news conference outlining the reasons the Justice Department didn't charge President Donald Trump.

    But in stark contrast to ...

  • Republicans dominate list of most popular governors despite legislative abortion battles Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:28:44 -0400

    Fifteen of the nation's most popular governors are Republicans, continuing to dominate the approval ratings despite a legislative session that saw some come under fire for signing bills restricting abortion, according to a newly released analysis.

    The Morning Consult ranking for the second quarter of 2019 found once again that ...

  • Trump tries to shift outcry from supporters to 'The Squad' Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:11:00 -0400

    President Trump on Friday tried to shift political pressure back onto four liberal lawmakers as he deals with backlash against his supporters' chants at a North Carolina rally, insisting the Democrats' comments on U.S. policy and Israel are the real offense.

    "They say things about Israel that's so bad I'm ...

  • Elijah Cummings, House Oversight chair, quizzes SDNY prosecutors for not indicting Donald Trump Fri, 19 Jul 2019 15:19:36 -0400

    House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings requested Friday the U.S. attorney overseeing the probe into alleged campaign finance violations give lawmakers information as to why President Trump wasn't indicted along with his former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

    In a letter sent to Audrey Strauss, the deputy U.S. attorney for ...

  • US judge denies bail for ex-Peruvian president Toledo Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:54:57 -0400

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A U.S. judge on Friday denied bail for former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo after prosecutors argued he was a flight risk and pointed out officials found a suitcase with $40,000 in cash during his arrest.

    Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered Toledo, 73, held pending an ...

  • David Cicilline: Mueller's testimony will illustrate 'the gravity' of Trump's actions Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:35:37 -0400

    House Judiciary Committee member Rep. David Cicilline said Friday next week's hearing with special counsel Robert Mueller will better illustrate the "gravity" of President Trump's conduct as detailed in his report.

    "It’s going to be a very sobering hearing," the Rhode Island Democrat said on The Hill newspaper. "I think ...

  • Intelligence community creates new election threats executive position to advise DNI Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:19:08 -0400

    The head of the U.S. intelligence community announced the creation Friday of a new government position created to counter ongoing threats to election security.

    Daniel R. Coats, President Trump's director of national intelligence, said he appointed Shelby Pierson to serve as the nation's first election threats executive, or ETE.

    "Election ...

  • White House says Iran drone taken down, despite Tehran's denials Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:57:00 -0400

    The White House said Friday there is "no question" the U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian drone over international waters in the Strait of Hormuz, despite Tehran's denials.

    "We shot it down," Mr. Trump said.

    National Security Adviser John Bolton reaffirmed the president's account from the Oval Office, saying the ...

  • 2020 Dems grapple with how to pay for 'Medicare for All' Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:32:38 -0400

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidates trying to appeal to progressive voters with a call for "Medicare for All" are wrestling with the thorny question of how to pay for such a dramatic overhaul of the U.S. health care system.

    Bernie Sanders, the chief proponent of Medicare for All, says ...

  • Ocasio-Cortez: Trump believes treating migrants humanely 'equals an open border' policy Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:14:15 -0400

    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday dismissed President Trump's claim that Democrats want an open border, stating what they want is the humane treatment of migrants.

    When asked if her party was advocating for open borders, the New York Democrat said, "No, I think we're advocating for a humane border, and ...

  • Trump urges Federal Reserve to lower rates: 'Don't blow it!' Fri, 19 Jul 2019 11:47:00 -0400

    President Trump urged the Federal Reserve Friday to lower interest rates to spur "unparalleled" growth, telling the central bank, "Don't blow it!"

    "This is our chance to build unparalleled wealth and success for the U.S., GROWTH, which would greatly reduce % debt," the president tweeted.

    The Fed will meet at ...

  • US to send asylum seekers back to dangerous part of Mexico Fri, 19 Jul 2019 11:44:13 -0400

    HOUSTON (AP) - The U.S. government on Friday expanded its requirement that asylum seekers wait outside the country to a part of the Texas Rio Grande Valley across from one of Mexico's most dangerous cities.

    The Department of Homeland Security said that it would implement its Migrant Protection Protocols in ...

  • Ocasio-Cortez amid Trump's attacks: 'We will not go back' Fri, 19 Jul 2019 11:16:31 -0400

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday it had taken two centuries for a group of minority women to be elected to Congress and promised: "we will not go back."

    "It has taken us 240 years to have this unique composite in the congress, in this moment, and we will not go back," ...

  • House Dems 'deeply concerned' about State Department's new human rights commission Fri, 19 Jul 2019 10:30:00 -0400

    A group of 50 House Democrats is questioning the State Department's latest commission on human rights, raising concerns that the new group could set back existing human rights policies.

    The group, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a letter Thursday ...

  • Lobbyist: Venezuela's Falcón not seeking presidency Fri, 19 Jul 2019 10:25:17 -0400

    WASHINGTON (AP) - A Canadian lobbying firm hired by a Venezuelan political party has filed amended paperwork showing that opposition leader Henri Falcón will not make a new presidential run.

    Falcón's adviser Francisco Rodríguez previously told The Associated Press that a reference to his client's presidential aspirations "was inadvertently included ...

  • Trump asks Nobel Prize winner her family's whereabouts after she twice says they were killed by ISIS Fri, 19 Jul 2019 09:19:46 -0400

    President Trump had an awkward exchange with Nobel Prize-winning activist Nadia Murad recently by asking her about her family's whereabouts after she told them twice they were killed by the Islamic State.

    During an Oval Office event to meet with survivors of religious persecution on Wednesday, Ambassador Sam Brownback introduced ...

Houston Chronicle

NY Daily News

  • NYC heat wave raises risks for your pooch Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:24:31 PDT

    New York City is bracing for its hottest day in over seven years on Saturday.

    The New York City Triathlon and OZY Fest, both set for this weekend, have been cancelled ahead of a heatwave potentially reaching 110 degrees.

    The City has also been placed under an Excessive Heat Warning until 8 p.m....

  • 3,000 prisoners to be released early as First Step Act takes effect Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:22:31 PDT

    More than 3,000 federal prisoners will be released, beginning Friday, now that the First Step Act has taken effect, according to the Department of Justice.

    The new law, signed in December, increases how much time prisoners can subtract from their sentences due to good behavior, according to a DOJ...

  • Man in Philadelphia climbs side of burning building thinking his mom was inside, neighbors say Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:19:41 PDT

    It was the mother of all climbs.

    A man in Philadelphia was caught on video climbing down from the 15th floor of a burning high-rise apartment building after he thought — falsely — that his mom was upstairs Thursday, neighbors told TV news station WPVI.

    “He got up there and couldn’t get in because...

  • Family of Bronx dad says he’s dying in ICE custody, pleads for his release Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:14:02 PDT

    A Bronx father who’s spent the last year and a half locked up at an ICE facility in New Jersey is hoping he’ll get out soon — and that he’ll do so alive.

    Inocencio Roman Solano, 46, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in February 2018 after he was arrested for a traffic offense.

  • Will Harold Baines change the Hall of Fame forever? Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:07:32 PDT

    Harold Baines played 22 MLB seasons on five teams. His average year was .289/.356/.465 22 homers and 93 RBI. Over his incredibly long career, Baines compiled 38.7 WAR and a OPS+ of 121. He was a nice player that could secure the No. 5 spot in your batting order, and he’ll be inducted into the Baseball...

  • A group of House Republicans want Amazon to lift ban on gay conversion therapy Fri, 19 Jul 2019 13:48:52 PDT

    Some House Republicans want Amazon to end its ban on “gay conversion therapy” books, and they are asking lawmakers to use their political power to pressure the online retailer.

    The Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus of House Republicans chaired by Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, issued...

  • ‘Veronica Mars’ returns a week early on Hulu Fri, 19 Jul 2019 13:20:17 PDT

    Surprise, Marshmallows!

    The fourth season of “Veronica Mars” dropped a week early on Hulu in a surprise announcement made by star Kristen Bell at San Diego Comic-Con Friday afternoon.

    The eight-episode revival takes the no-longer-a-teenage private eye back to Neptune where a serial bomber is trying...

  • Burglar takes $90G in cash and jewelry from Queens house Fri, 19 Jul 2019 13:17:45 PDT

    A backpack wearing burglar swiped $90,000 in cash and jewelry from a Queens home, police said Friday.

    The limber larcenist slipped into a window of the house on 196th St. in Bayside between 9:30 a.m. and 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, cops said.

    He snatched about $40,000 in cash and $50,000 worth of jewelry,...

  • Rain Pryor Vane, daughter of comedy legend Richard Pryor, running for Baltimore City Council Fri, 19 Jul 2019 13:07:59 PDT

    Actress Rain Pryor Vane has thrown her hat in the ring for a Baltimore’s City Council seat.

    The actress, author and singer and daughter of late comedy legend Richard Pryor formally filed to run as a Democrat on Tuesday, her 50th birthday. She posted the news on her Facebook page.

    Pryor is seeking...

  • Famed Peach Pit diner from ’90210’ to open as real-life pop-up eatery Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:52:01 PDT

    Want fries with that TV reboot?

    The famed and fictional Peach Pit diner from ’90s teen drama "Beverly Hills, 90210″ is opening as a real-life pop-up eatery timed to the debut of the show’s upcoming reboot.

    It’ll be open in Los Angeles from Aug. 1 to 3, just a few days before the Aug. 7 premiere...

  • Small plane crashes in upstate county Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:51:29 PDT

    A small plane crashed near a Dutchess County Airport Friday afternoon, leaving the pilot with serious injuries, officials said.

    The Piper PA46 was on final approach to Runway 24 at Hudson Valley Regional Airport, when it crashed less than one mile from the airport about 2:30 p.m., a spokesman with...

  • Israel gives green light to Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib for trip despite harsh criticism Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:45:35 PDT

    Israel will allow Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib to visit the Jewish state and the West Bank despite their harsh criticism and support for some economic boycotts.

    Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. said any member of Congress is welcome to visit, regardless of their political views.

    “Out of...

  • Alec Baldwin is left speechless after daughter Ireland’s bare-it-all Instagram photo Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:44:21 PDT

    Alec Baldwin can’t bare daughter Ireland’s bare-it-all Instagram photos.

    “I’m sorry. What?” Baldwin, 62, commented on Thursday’s revealing snap of 23-year-old Ireland, his only child with ex-wife Kim Basinger.

    In the photo, Ireland, seen from the back, is overlooking Manhattan while nude, save...

  • Alan Dershowitz praises his ‘perfect, perfect sex life’ in Jeffrey Epstein defense — and the internet cringes Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:40:51 PDT

    If the image of Alan Dershowitz doing the nasty is not your idea of fun, you may want to stay off the internet for a little while.

    President Trump’s favorite legal eagle was intending to push back against suggestions that his defense of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein came with more than...

  • A potential ‘paws-itive’ future for lost pets Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:22:56 PDT

    Searching for your lost pets may soon not be as ruff.

    A new collaboration between the Multnomah County Animal Services in Oregon and Finding Rover, a facial recognition technology platform, may provide advancements in returning lost pets to their owners.

    The organization began a pilot program with...

  • Couple celebrates first same-sex marriage in Ecuador Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:18:31 PDT

    Herstory was made in Ecuador Thursday.

    A lesbian couple took part in the country’s first same-sex wedding, after a landmark decision by the country’s highest court last month legalized marriage equality.

    Michelle Avilés, 23, and Alexandra Chávez, 41, tied the knot at the civil registry office in...

  • 13,000 in Wisconsin without power in dangerous heatwave following fire at electric substation Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:15:40 PDT

    The power’s out — and the heat is raging.

    Around 13,000 in Wisconsin are without power in a dangerous heatwave following a fire at an electric substation in Madison on Friday.

    A fire Friday morning at a substation with Madison Gas and Electric and American Transmission Company was extinguished,...

  • Three Democratic presidential candidates join calls for Puerto Rico governor to resign Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:09:59 PDT

    As thousands of fed-up Puerto Ricans continue to take to the streets to demand Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resign, at least three Democratic presidential candidates have publicly joined the growing movement.

    Several candidates have lashed out at the embattled leader, who remains defiant and refuses to...

  • Aaron Boone’s ‘tighten that up’ tirade earns him a one-game suspension Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:05:47 PDT

    Aaron Boone’s tirade was savage enough that the league took notice. The Yankee manager’s second-inning meltdown at home plate against umpire Brennan Miller earned him a one-game suspension for “inappropriate actions, including contact,” from Chief Baseball Officer for Major League Baseball Joe...

  • Son of mob boss ‘Chin’ Gigante sentenced to 2 years in prison for union shakedown Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:03:17 PDT

    The love child of late Genovese mob boss Vinnie “The Chin” Gigante was socked with two years in prison Friday for a 16-yearlong union shakedown.

    Vincent Esposito “personally extorted” a union official out of annual payments of more than $10,000, prosecutors said. In 2014 he sent a message to the...

CBS News


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