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  • Trump urges GOP to 'get tougher and fight' impeachment

    Golocal247.com news

    President Donald Trump called on fellow Republicans on Monday to "get tougher and fight" against the quickly moving House impeachment inquiry as Democrats blocked a GOP bid to censure Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, a leader of the impeachment inquiry. Trump, defending his conduct at a rollicking Cabinet meeting, insisted his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that sparked the impeachment inquiry was entirely unproblematic.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 20:17:03 -0400
  • U.S. Wins Court Seizure of North Korean Cargo Vessel

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. won a court battle to take control of a North Korean cargo ship that had been used to sell coal and import heavy machinery, skirting economic sanctions on the country.Federal prosecutors in New York said Monday that they secured a judgment from U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel awarding the ship, a Handysize bulk carrier known as the “Wise Honest,” to the U.S., after the government filed a forfeiture action to seize it this year.The ship was interdicted by Indonesia in international waters last year. North Korea did not contest the legal action in court but protested the seizure to the United Nations, calling the U.S. a “gangster country.”U.S. authorities have indicated they may auction the ship. Among those seeking compensation from the proceeds may be the family of Otto Warmbier, who secured an uncontested $500 million judgment against North Korea over the torture and death of their son stemming from his time in custody. The Warmbiers filed a claim against the ship when it was seized but then withdrew it to allow the case to move forward.To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Berthelsen in New York at cberthelsen1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 17:44:38 -0400
  • Rioting migrants torch cars, injure policeman at Maltese holding centre

    Rioting migrants in Malta set at least five staff cars on fire and injured a policeman in their holding centre as they demanded their freedom. The violence broke out Sunday night at a former British army barrack in Hal Far, close to Malta's airport. The migrants took control of part of the compound, but a police spokesman said the situation was brought back under control in the early hours of Monday.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 04:41:00 -0400
  • Three people hospitalised by chemical leak on board American Airlines plane

    Golocal247.com news

    Three people have been hospitalised after a cleaning product leaked on an American Airlines flight forcing it to make an emergency landing in Dublin. The plane was less than an hour into its flight from London Heathrow to Philadelphia when two crew members fell unconscious due to the powerful smell. Several passengers complained of burning eyes and skin irritation and one traveller was also taken to hospital in Ireland. 287 passengers and 12 Philadelphia-based crew members were on board flight AA729, which had been cleared for take off despite concerns over the leaked liquid. Reports suggest the product was left behind in one of the bathrooms. In audio from the cockpit, the pilot explained that although the product is believed to be non-toxic, the crew required immediate assistance.  He said: "We’ve actually covered the container of the substance. It was a cleaning product that was used at London Heathrow, if you wait a moment I actually have a picture of the container that I have in a plastic bag.  "It was spilled and for some reason the container itself was left behind in the aircraft in one of the lavatories and continued to seep into the carpeting and produce what I’m told is not, it is not a toxic substance. "We require paramedics to come on board the airplane and render immediate assistance. We’ve had two of our flight crew staff made, excuse me, the cabin staff have actually lost consciousness, but I think they’re back to a state of consciousness just now and there are general complaints about burning eyes and skin problems." The pilot added that the leaking product was an aircraft interior cleaner made by Callington, a leading specialty chemicals manufacturer.  One passenger told The Telegraph the plane had been delayed at Heathrow whilst reports of an "unusual smell" were investigated.  He said: "Before take off the captain came on the loudspeaker saying the flight attendants had reported an unusual smell, and the flight was delayed while they investigated. They must've judged it safe because we flew out after, only to be rerouted to Dublin a short time later." @AmericanAir There aren't even chairs, we're not allowed to leave this area where we're penned in like cattle, and we've not been fed by the likes of you since boarding four plus hours ago. You're the worst. pic.twitter.com/PqnelJ2P2u— Philip Ott (@Blasphevism) October 21, 2019 He added that the flight's 287 passengers were "penned in like cattle" at Dublin airport before been taken by bus to stay overnight in a hotel. They have not been told when they can expect onward travel.  Another passenger expressed concern for others onboard, calling the incident a "sickness outbreak".  Ok, so this hasn’t quite gone to plan. Chemical spillage has led to sickness outbreak and an emergency landing in Dublin. firecrewparamedicspolice— Katie Phillips (@KatieHJP) October 21, 2019 A statement released by American Airlines said: "American Airlines flight 729 from London Heathrow to Philadelphia diverted to Dublin due to an odor caused by a spilled cleaning solution in the galley." "The flight landed safely in Dublin at 1:15 p.m. local time, and taxied to the gate." "Medical personnel have met the aircraft to evaluate any crew members or passengers who may need additional assistance." The Telegraph has contacted Callington for comment.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 12:24:00 -0400
  • Thousands protest against Bangladesh police after deadly shootings

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    Thousands protested against police across Bangladesh on Monday, a day after at least four people died when officers fired on a crowd in one of the country's deadliest religious riots to date. Some 20,000 Muslims called for the execution of a young Hindu man on Bhola island Sunday for writing Facebook messages that allegedly defamed the Prophet Mohammed, with police saying they opened fire after rocks were thrown at officers. Mob attacks over online posts perceived to be blasphemous have emerged as a major headache for security forces in Bangladesh, where Muslims make up some 90 percent of the country's 168 million people.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 05:52:22 -0400
  • Poll: Iowa caucuses are 'up for grabs' as Pete Buttigieg surges into top tier

    Golocal247.com news

    South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has surged within striking distance of former vice president Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Iowa.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 09:32:26 -0400
  • The U.S. Army Has Big Plans to Smash Enemy Drones in a War

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. Army is fast-tracking what could be called an entire sphere of counter-drone weapons

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:56:00 -0400
  • 'Lost' Road Built by Christ's Executioner Unearthed

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    Pontius Pilate likely commissioned the street during or after 31 AD.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:52:00 -0400
  • Nestor heads into Georgia after tornados damage Florida

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    Nestor raced across Georgia as a post-tropical cyclone late Saturday, hours after the former tropical storm spawned a tornado that damaged homes and a school in central Florida while sparing areas of the Florida Panhandle devastated one year earlier by Hurricane Michael. The storm made landfall Saturday on St. Vincent Island, a nature preserve off Florida's northern Gulf Coast in a lightly populated area of the state, the National Hurricane Center said. Nestor was expected to bring 1 to 3 inches of rain to drought-stricken inland areas on its march across a swath of the U.S. Southeast.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 08:02:36 -0400
  • See Photos of 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

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    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:34:00 -0400
  • Rand Paul: There Are GOP Senators More Loyal to Deep State Than Trump

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    Fox NewsSen. Rand Paul (R-KY) took aim at several unnamed Republican senators on Monday night, telling Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that many of his GOP colleagues are more loyal to the so-called “Deep State” than to the president while criticizing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for not doing more to investigate Democrats.Noting at the top of his primetime Fox News broadcast that Graham promised to use his chairmanship of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee to get to the bottom of the Russia investigation, Carlson groused that the South Carolina lawmaker hadn’t made any progress exposing the “bureaucratic coup” against President Donald Trump.“So far, Graham’s tenure has been defined by total inaction,” Carlson grumbled. “He has subpoenaed neither [former Deputy FBI Director Andrew] McCabe nor [ex-Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein, nor has he launched an investigation. Now his inaction extends to the Ukraine saga.”Paul, meanwhile, claimed that he has urged Graham both publicly and privately to open up investigations and bring in people such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former British counterintelligence officer Christopher Steele to testify about the origins of the Russia probe.“So everything the Democrats have accused President Trump of doing, you know, investigating a political rival with a foreign country, all those same questions should be asked of the Democrats,” Paul exclaimed. “Did they do that to Trump?”Carlson wanted to know why Graham hasn’t moved on opening a Senate investigation into this, prompting Paul to say that the South Carolina lawmaker needs to exercise his power.“We’ve been waiting a long time on this,” Paul continued. “Some people, I’m not going to say Senator Graham, but there are other Republican senators up here whose allegiance is more to the Deep State than it is to the president. I do think Senator Graham does like the president and wants to get to the bottom of it, but a lot of us want to see it get started. We want to see subpoenas.”The Fox News host went on to complain that Graham hasn’t looked into the FBI raid on Trump associate Roger Stone’s house, implying that then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller tipped off CNN ahead of time. (CNN has contended that this is untrue.) “He needs to use his clout, and only he can do it,” Paul replied.Carlson would then ask Paul if Graham’s neoconservative views on foreign policy have caused him to possibly slow-walk the investigations, wondering if Graham’s disagreements with Trump on Syria are affecting his decisions.“There is an establishment in foreign policy and also in the intelligence community,” Paul noted. “The intelligence community truly is the Deep State.”The Kentucky senator concluded that he and Graham have had disagreements in the past over FISA warrants, adding that Graham wants to continue having them issued in private.“There may be a concern that if we look at the intelligence Deep State, that as we find out things, some of their power may diminish,” He said.Carlson, meanwhile, wasn’t the only pro-Trump Fox personality who railed against Graham—typically a reliable supporter of the president—on Monday night. During his Fox Business broadcast, Lou Dobbs called Graham an “embarrassment” who hasn’t “lifted a finger” to help Trump.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.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 21:53:56 -0400
  • Spain will exhume dictator Francisco Franco's remains on Thursday

    Golocal247.com news

    Spain will on Thursday remove the 1.5-tonne slab which has covered the tomb of dictator Francisco Franco for the past 44 years and fly his remains by helicopter away from a state mausoleum, government sources told reporters on Monday. The ruling Socialists have long sought to exhume Franco's remains and turn the Valley of the Fallen complex near the capital Madrid into a memorial to the 500,000 people who were killed during the 1936-39 civil war he unleashed. A crane will lift the slab and, if the original zinc-lined wood coffin is too degraded, the dictator's remains will be transferred into a new coffin, the sources said.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 05:24:37 -0400
  • Gun control advocate: Pushing mandatory buybacks will hand victory to the NRA, again

    Golocal247.com news

    We can pass significant gun safety laws but not if the 2020 campaign is about confiscating assault weapons. This is not timidity, it's reality.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 05:00:16 -0400
  • Trump 'like a squirrel caught in traffic' during Pentagon meeting: Aide

    Golocal247.com news

    In President Trump's first full briefing at the Defense Department, he requested a grand "Victory Day" parade with "vehicles and tanks on Main Street" and down Pennsylvania Avenue, like the "amazing" parade he'd just witnessed in France, Guy Snodgrass, a top aide to then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, recounts in his new book, "Holding the Line." "The Fourth of July is too hot," Trump added.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:41:23 -0400
  • Petrol bombs thrown in Hong Kong as anger flares over 'triad' attack on protest leader

    Golocal247.com news

    Police and protesters exchanged tear gas and petrol bombs in Hong Kong on Sunday amid anger over an attack on a leading activist by men allegedly linked to triad gangsters.   Clashes broke out as tens of thousands took to the streets for an unsanctioned anti-government march, many also defying a face mask ban introduced in a bid to curb the protests.  Tensions ran high after Jimmy Sham, the leader the Civil Human Rights Front which called the march, was attacked earlier in the week by a group of men wielding metal poles and hammers. Witnesses said that those responsible for the assault were associated with pro-Beijing triads that have been blamed for previous violence against protesters.   On Saturday afternoon, a 19-year-old man was also hospitalised after being stabbed in the abdomen while handing out pro-democracy flyers in Tai Po, a district in northern Hong Kong.  Politically motivated attacks and vandalism have been on the rise as the situation continues to escalate in what is now the twentieth consecutive week of protests.  Protesters are now vandalising and destroying shops, banks, and businesses associated with mainland China. As moderate, peaceful marchers branched off from the more radical, black-clad frontline protesters near Tsim Sha Tsui police station, violence flared. Riot police fired tear gas and water cannon, drenching Hong Kong's biggest mosque with blue dye in what they said was an accident Credit: Kyle Lam/Bloomberg Protesters threw molotov cocktails and set fire to makeshift barricades, while riot police charged with batons and fired volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets.  Throughout the afternoon a water cannon truck chased protesters down Nathan Road, one of the city's busiest shopping thoroughfares, leaving it streaked with blue dye from the vehicle's turrets. The dye, used to identify protesters, also contains a painful pepper solution. The entrance to the city's biggest mosque was painted blue when the truck fired at a handful of people outside. Police said hitting the building was an accident. Vivek Mahbubani, a Hong Kong-born comedian, stood with a group of friends on Nathan Road, handing out water and egg tarts to marchers. “People passing by today shared our smiles and instead of feeling worried when passing. They all agreed that we are all Hongkongers," he told The Telegraph.  “When I heard about the attack on Jimmy Sham, I was horrified. To think that Hong Kong has become a place where something like this can happen was shocking.”

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 11:34:32 -0400
  • Philippine police recommend drug charges against ex-chief

    Golocal247.com news

    Philippine police recommended graft and drug charges against its former chief on Monday over a new scandal that has put President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-narcotics crackdown under the spotlight. The police face allegations some officers are involved in the illegal drugs trade and that they had the protection of former chief Oscar Albayalde. It is the latest controversy to engulf the Philippine police force, which is waging a drug war launched by President Duterte in 2016.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 09:30:36 -0400
  • China Is Building 'The Mother of All Bombs': Report

    Golocal247.com news

    America already has one.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 10:44:00 -0400
  • Judge asked to stop student suspension over note about rape

    A high school activist's comment about rape posted on a bathroom mirror represents constitutionally protected free speech — and punishing her would discourage young victims from coming forward, an attorney said Monday. The sticky note that proclaimed "There's a rapist in our school and you know who it is" aimed to call attention to the unaddressed problem of sexual assaults, said Emma Bond from the American Civil Liberties of Maine. U.S. District Judge Lance Walker, who listened to the arguments on Monday, said he'll rule soon on Aela Mansmann's request to intervene to stop a three-day suspension imposed by school administrators.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:47:24 -0400
  • Michael Bloomberg ‘still looking at’ a presidential run ... but only if Biden is out

    Golocal247.com news

    The former New York mayor’s attitude towards wealth is staunchly opposite to Elizabeth Warren’s, with whom he’s repeatedly clashedMichael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, is teasing a presidential run if former vice-president Joe Biden were to fall back. Photograph: Ritzau Scanpix/ReutersFormer New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is at it again – teasing a presidential run. At 77, he won’t even be the oldest in the field, and the billionaire is certainly not short of funding to be able to throw his hat in the ring.Over the past several weeks, he’s signaled renewed interest in the democratic nomination, telling friends and associates he’s “still looking at” running for president. But he has cautioned he’d only join the race if former vice-president Joe Biden’s faltering centrist campaign takes a decisive hit or pulls out early in primary season, according to a report by CNBC.Biden’s collapse would likely leave Elizabeth Warren as frontrunner, a liberal candidate with whom he has repeatedly clashed over her anti-corporate policies and fears she will push the party too far to the left and eliminate the chance of a Democratic candidate unseating Donald Trump next year.Bloomberg’s disagreements with Warren are stark. In January, when he was considering a run for president, he described Warren’s wealth tax proposals in extreme terms .“We shouldn’t be embarrassed about our system,” he said. “You want to look at a system that’s not capitalistic, just take a look at what was perhaps the wealthiest country in the world and now people are starving to death. It’s called Venezuela.”More recently, at an anti-gun event in Iowa hosted by the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, a group Bloomberg founded and supports, he was again asked about Warren’s wealth tax proposals.“I just said to Senator Warren on the way out, ‘Senator, congratulations, it’s a nice talk. But let me just remind you if my company hadn’t been successful, we wouldn’t be here today, so enough with this stuff’,” he said.Bloomberg’s attitude to wealth is diametrically opposed to Warren, whose criticisms of the financial sector’s excesses are legion. Before he ever ran for New York mayor, his company threw a party in London complete with entertainers – representing avarice – instructed to wave bundles of cash and shout: ‘Money, ain’t it gorgeous?’Forbes recently put his wealth at $51bn.Bloomberg has previously flirted with presidential ambitions, but he decided not to run in 2016 after concluding he might split the Democratic vote. It is not clear that dynamic has changed, nor whether Democratic primary voters really have the taste for a billionaire candidate. But others see a possible centrist path to the White House.“The reality is both parties, Republican and Democrat, are in serious trouble, they are not functioning, and they’ve gone to extremes,” says veteran strategist Hank Sheinkopf. “Could Mike Bloomberg unite the centre of the party and bring people to the center if he can prove he can win? The answer is yes.”“Bloomberg has up-top professionals ready if he needs them, and he could assemble an operation in days and go to work. Whether the Democrats like him as centrist or not, they want to win the White House. He provides an extraordinary alternative to losing.”People familiar with Bloomberg’s thinking says his aims are clear – and they’re grouped neatly as gun control, climate change, coal, education and health.“He doesn’t understand why people don’t talk about his five points more. If he happens to mention something about the presidency at a cocktail party and they get talked about more, that’s a good thing for him,” one source said.Strengthening the rumor mill is Bloomberg’s appointment of his former deputy Patti Harris to his company’s management committee. Harris has been at the company since 1994. As Bloomberg’s deputy during his three terms as New York mayor, Harris was regarded, in personal and political terms, as the keeper of the Bloomberg brand, his personal gate keeper and point person on all strategic and staffing decisions.“She’s the most important person in his life and director of all his political aspiration,” says the source. “If you believe in this line of gossip, putting Harris in to run the company frees him up to run for president. You can argue that he’s setting himself up to do something.”When Bloomberg was last considering a run, almost exactly a year ago, a Quinnipiac University poll found he had an overall unfavorable rating of 32%, and 19% of Democrats viewed him negatively. Howard Wolfson, a top political advisor, hinted at how much Bloomberg would look to invest in a campaign for president.“Mike spent more than $100m in his last mayor’s race. Last time I looked, NYC is a fraction of the size of the country as a whole,” Wolfson explained, pointing out that he spent at least more than $110m backing Democrats during the 2018 congressional midterm elections.Asked what Bloomberg would spend on his own campaign, Wolfson replied, “Whatever is required.”With Biden appearing to be running low on funds, and a Warren or possibly Bernie Sanders candidacy looming, it’s not surprising that Bloomberg’s interest is again stirring. Last month, Fox Business reported that he still has a team of political advisors on the payroll.“I think it’s something he wants. He has not been shy about that,” a Bloomberg ally told CNBC. “Bloomberg is in if Biden is out,” a billionaire friend added.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 02:00:19 -0400
  • There's a reasonable explanation why this mom saw a 'ghost baby' in her sleeping son's crib

    Golocal247.com news

    This mom's 'ghost baby' baby monitor mix-up has us all laughing.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 16:38:46 -0400
  • Boeing expresses regret over ex-pilot's 737 MAX messages, faults simulator

    Golocal247.com news

    SEATTLE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Sunday it understood the outcry over leaked messages from a former test pilot over erratic software behavior on its 737 MAX jet two years before recent crashes, and added it was still investigating what they meant. The world's largest planemaker, under growing pressure to explain what it knew about 737 MAX problems before it entered service, said it had not been able to speak directly to former employee Mark Forkner but echoed his lawyer's subsequent claims that the problems were linked to a faulty simulator. The role of the simulator has emerged as a crucial issue since the 2016 messages surfaced on Friday, since investigators will want to know whether erratic movements reported by the pilot meant Boeing was aware of problems on the aircraft itself or only in the artificial cockpit.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 14:27:01 -0400
  • Nancy Pelosi led a bipartisan delegation to Jordan to talk Middle East peace amid the Syrian crisis

    Golocal247.com news

    Pelosi was joined by other House members in Jordan on Saturday for diplomacy meetings with top officials, including King Abdullah II and his son.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 16:30:37 -0400
  • Trump Cheated (Shocker!) on Property Tax; But Will Anyone Go to Jail?

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    Chip SomodevillaProPublica published a piece Wednesday that put the spotlight once again on some questionable financial practices of the Trump Organization, which showed one set of books to banks (inflating value) and another to New York City tax authorities (deflating value).Is this just the usual Trump mendacity, or can prosecutors see this as part of a pattern? And if so, could it be prosecuted? Who would be tagged as the defendant(s)? If not, what more is needed to bring the guilty parties to justice?Before we explore these questions, let’s look at the facts. Both versions of them.ProPublica obtained property tax docs for four Trump properties. These docs became public when Trump appealed the tax bills, and the loan records became public when Trump’s lenders sold the debt on the properties. Significant discrepancies were unearthed between the tax records and loan records for two of the properties: Trump International Hotel & Tower, on Central Park West, and 40 Wall St.Tax and loan documents for 40 Wall St. showed significant discrepancies in how certain costs such as insurance were reported. Further, Trump representatives reported different occupancy rates to lenders and tax officials: 81 percent to lenders (rising later to 95 percent), and just 59 percent to tax authorities. Rising occupancy rates are valued by lenders because they are indicative of rising income level which is material to securing refinancing, while lower rates, of course, mean lower taxes.Meanwhile, documents for the Trump International Hotel & Tower showed that city tax officials were advised that this property made about $822,000 in 2017 from renting space in the building to other businesses, while loan officials were told that the building made about $1.67 million. ProPublica further notes that Trump appeared not to report income from leasing space for television antennas on tax documents but did report the income on loan docs.Each of the above-noted discrepancies is indicative of potential fraud. But do they represent instances of a prosecutable case?The short answer is: not yet. The discrepancies do reflect a situational ethics approach toward financial obligations and responsibilities. But more evidence will be needed to prosecute anyone should criminal prosecution be considered by the authorities.Who might be prosecuted here? It is unclear just who is responsible for submitting the doctored financial statements to the lending authorities and tax officials. Were the folks who submitted the documents the same folks who prepared them? If so, what were their marching orders? Who directed the Trump Organization officials to tailor the financial statements to minimize property taxes or maximize occupancy rates to obtain loans?Investigators need to home in on the work papers prepared to support the finagled financial statements in order to determine “willful intent,” or “mens rea” that James Comey so infamously referenced. Such evidence may well be found at Mazars USA—the Trump Organization accounting firm that is the subject of intensive litigation with regard to subpoenas served by both the U.S. Congress and the Manhattan DA’s office.Accountant work papers have been found to be beneficial when uncovering evidence of intent to defraud in case after case of white-collar fraud, specifically tax fraud. In fact, accountant work files and testimony provided critical evidence leading to the conviction of Paul Manafort in the Mueller investigations and prosecutions. It should be noted that tax fraud, bank fraud, and the falsification of business records may result in felony charges that could be contemplated by the Manhattan DA and provide for prison sentences that could lead the convicted defendants to land in Rikers Island for a stretch with the aforementioned Manafort. Evidence of corrupt intent to defraud either a financial institution or a public tax authority is critical to a successful criminal prosecution. The use of a double or triple set of books and records by company officials for fraudulent purposes is a terrific example of overt acts of corrupt intent. But further evidence will be needed here to link all those involved in each of the instances denoted above. Email, texts, voice mail, notes to the file and other evidence of directions to finagle the financial docs are needed. Further forensic analysis of the documents, for example fingerprint analysis, ink chemistry analysis and handwriting analysis are investigative tools available to the prosecutors to tighten the vise and provide the links in the chain of potential targets.Cohen was reportedly debriefed in detail recently by the Manhattan DA’s office. His testimony will be needed to outline just who in the Trump Organization was responsible for the preparation of the questionable documents referenced above. Cohen’s credibility will clearly be attacked in court by the defendant(s) and will become a question for the jury to grapple with. Cohen provided the Southern District of New York with a prosecutive path for those responsible for cooking the books at the Trump Organization with regard to the reimbursement of “hush money” payments to Cohen. That path is now available to the Manhattan DA. Add Cohen’s now corroborated congressional testimony outlining the transactional financial ethics referenced above, used by the Trump team in their shady business dealings and the jury will likely be sitting on the edge of their seats. All the DA needs to do now is fill in some blanks in combination with demonstrating a pattern of fraud over time—the closing argument is shaping up to be very persuasive.The allegation that the Trump Organization appeared not to report income from leasing space for television antennas to tax authorities but did report the income on loan docs revives memories of the landmark New York Times tax fraud series on Fred Trump and Donald Trump’s financial shenanigans in the ’90s wherein the Times detailed multiple instances of unreported income streams tailored by Fred Trump for the Donald. While the statute of limitations has long expired with regard to the multi-million dollar gift tax evasion schemes entered into by Donald Trump, prosecutors can use evidence of historical frauds to depict a pattern of fraudulent conduct on the part of a defendant no matter how long ago the fraud occurred. It goes to willfulness or corrupt intent exhibited by Individual-1.The Manhattan DA’s case against the Trump Organization may appear to be on its surface just a mundane business fraud type of case. But fraudulent documents don’t change stories, particularly when there are witnesses available to tie the documents and the corrupt intent together. Add the historical pattern of fraud engaged in by Individual-1 and the Manhattan DA’s case appears to be silently moving along like a stealth nuclear submarine under the radar and there are no available defenses available like an Office of Legal Counsel opinion to protect the prospective defendants from a potentially lethal prosecutorial attack.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.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 07:00:33 -0400
  • Democrats Seek Insider Trading Probe After ‘Trump Chaos’ Article

    (Bloomberg) -- Democratic lawmakers are increasingly demanding that U.S. authorities investigate allegations raised in a recent magazine article that traders might be using non-public government information to reap huge illegal profits, even as the exchange where the transactions purportedly took place called the story “patently false.”In a Monday letter, 14 Democratic senators urged the heads of the Justice Department, FBI, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission to probe “disturbing reports of suspicious trading in our futures and equities markets” described in a Vanity Fair piece. The magazine referred to the transactions as “Trump Chaos Trades.”Since the story’s publication, the suggestion that White House leaks could be a factor in futures traders making billions of dollars from well-timed bets ahead of major geopolitical announcements has fueled endless chatter from Washington to Wall Street. Still, the article has been met with widespread skepticism from the financial industry.CME Group Inc., the world’s biggest futures exchange, has dismissed the claims, arguing that the trades highlighted in the story couldn’t have been based on inside information because too many market participants were involved. The article describes five big transactions in S&P 500 e-mini futures from June 28 to Sept. 13, ranging from 55,000 to 420,000 contracts.“As it relates to the Vanity Fair article published on October 17, 2019, regarding activities in the E-mini S&P futures contract, the allegations about the trading activity are patently false,” CME said in an Oct. 18 statement.In Monday’s letter, Democrats said they wanted federal authorities “to investigate immediately whether any rules, laws or regulations were violated.” The lawmakers added that “if any wrongdoing is uncovered, we demand that you swiftly hold violators accountable to the fullest extent possible.”Spokesmen for the SEC and Justice Department declined to comment, while spokesmen for the FBI and CFTC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.The wagers cited by Vanity Fair were made shortly before market-moving news -- three times involving the U.S.-China trade war, once involving the bombing of Saudi oil fields and once involving Hong Kong politics. Thanks to market reactions, the magazine said, people involved in the transactions could’ve booked gains of between $82.5 million on the smallest to $1.8 billion on the biggest.The story’s author, William D. Cohan, has said that finance professionals with decades of experience alerted him to the trades. Cohan, a former Bloomberg Opinion columnist, has said that factors other than illegal buying-and-selling could explain the transactions and that he doesn’t know whether any nefarious activity actually occurred.Earlier Monday, Angus King, an independent Maine senator who caucuses with the Democrats, also called on the SEC to investigate. Last week, Democratic Representatives Ted Lieu and Kathleen Rice requested a federal investigation into the timing around sales of e-mini futures contracts before significant geopolitical events or statements from Trump.\--With assistance from Nick Baker.To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Bain in Washington at bbain2@bloomberg.net;Matt Robinson in New York at mrobinson55@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 17:09:18 -0400
  • Teenagers charged with urinating on black classmate and shouting racist abuse

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    Two 17-year-old boys from New Jersey have been charged with harassment, lewdness and bias intimidation after allegations that they urinated on a black middle school student at a high school football game while calling her the n-word.Social media posts from at least one parent of a Lawrence High School student alleged that the boys used racist language while urinating on the girl during a Friday night game.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:43:49 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 Ford Ranger

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    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:32:00 -0400
  • US targets Cuba tourism with tighter airline sanctions

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    The US moved to further hurt Cuba's vital tourism industry by tightening the ability of the country's airlines to lease aircraft. The US Department of Commerce said it was revoking existing licenses for US companies leasing aircraft to Cuban carriers, and will deny future applications for aircraft leases. The move could make it harder for Cuba to service its rapidly growing tourism sector, a key source of foreign revenue for the poor country.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:57:01 -0400
  • Republicans to push for censure of Schiff in probe

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    For only the fourth time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives has started a presidential impeachment inquiry. House committees are trying to determine if President Donald Trump violated his oath of office by asking a foreign country to investigate a political opponent. House Republicans are expected to push a vote Monday on a resolution to censure Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, one of the panels investigating impeachment.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 17:04:47 -0400
  • We've already seen 780 anti-Semitic incidents this year and it's 'horrifying,' group says

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    At least 12 white supremacists have been arrested for their roles in attacks or plots against the Jewish community in the United States.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:58:38 -0400
  • Apology accepted, Hong Kong's Muslims lament water cannon staining mosque

    Municipal workers scrubbed away noxious blue dye from the steps of Hong Kong's biggest mosque on Monday, while Muslim worshippers expressed frustration over police firing a water cannon outside the mosque during a large anti-government march. Senior police officers visited the Kowloon mosque to explain it was hit accidentally during Sunday's clashes with demonstrators, and Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam met with community leaders on Monday to apologise. "It was unnecessary to drag this place of worship into this conflict between the government and the people," Arabi Mohideen, 60, said after attending dawn prayers at the mosque in the bustling Tsim Sha Tsui district.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:21:02 -0400
  • The story behind a soldier's act of solidarity with the US allies Trump is leaving behind in Syria

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    A US solider was photographed wearing a patch in apparent solidarity with the Kurdish-backed forces that the US is leaving behind.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:32:24 -0400
  • Poll: Majority of Mexicans say organized crime stronger than government after El Chapo’s son released

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    A majority of Mexicans see organized crime as more powerful than the Mexican government after government forces capitulated to drug-cartel strongmen and released the son of the former cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán, known as “El Chapo.”

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:41:22 -0400
  • Will Germany Choose America's F-15EX as Its New Fighter?

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    Or the F-35?

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 01:30:00 -0400
  • Warren Says She’ll Release a ‘Plan’ to Fund Medicare for All after Dodging the Issue during Debate

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    After facing heavy criticism from fellow candidates during the last Democratic debate for evading questions about funding her Medicare for All proposal, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) announced Sunday at an event in Iowa that she was “getting close” to a funding plan after “working for a long time on this question.”“I plan over the next few weeks to put out a plan that talks about specifically the cost of Medicare for All, and specifically how we pay for it,” Warren said. “Right now, the cost estimates for Medicare for All vary by trillions and trillions of dollars, and the different revenue streams for how to fund it — there are a lot of them. So this is something I’ve been working for months and months, and it’s got just a little more work until it’s finished.” During the fourth Democratic debate on October 19, Warren was chastised by fellow Senator Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) and South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg for refusing to acknowledge that an increase in middle-class taxes would be required to fund the plan.When Warren was asked again on Sunday if middle-class taxes would go up under her plan, she deflected, saying, “The whole plan will be out — you’ll be able to look at it.”Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), who introduced the legislation on the Senate floor in 2017, has not shied away from explaining that middle-class taxes will go up under Medicare for All, assuaging concerns with a pledge that total costs will be less than they are currently. “The tax increase they pay will be substantially less than what they were paying for premiums and out-of-pocket expansions,” Sanders said during the Ohio debate. The original bill does not address how the single-payer system will be funded.Buttigieg, who last week released an ad claiming that Warren and Sanders were “infringing on freedom” with their Medicare for All proposals, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that he thinks Warren is being “evasive” on the issue.“We need to see how this is going to be paid for,” Buttigieg said. “Right now, whether you copy-paste the Bernie Sanders math or do it some other way, there is a hole amounting to trillions of dollars in how this is supposed to work.”

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 08:52:02 -0400
  • The coming end of Christian America

    America is still a "Christian nation," if the term simply means a majority of the population will claim the label when a pollster calls. But, as a new Pew Research report unsparingly explains, the decline of Christianity in the United States "continues at a rapid pace." A bare 65 percent of Americans now say they're Christians, down from 78 percent as recently as 2007. The deconverted are mostly moving away from religion altogether, and the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated -- the "nones" -- have swelled from 16 to 26 percent over the same period. If this rate of change continues, the U.S. will be majority non-Christian by about 2035, with the nones representing well over one third of the population.Smaller details from the study are equally striking. Protestantism lost its narrow claim to an outright majority of Americans' souls around 2012. While older generations remain at least two-thirds Christian, millennials have an even 49-49 split of Christians vs. nones (40 percent) and those of other faiths (9 percent). Religious service attendance rates haven't dramatically declined in the last decade, but they will soon if generational trends hold.As even the strictest practitioners of laicite must concede, major religious shifts like this will have equally major political effects -- but we are in somewhat uncharted territory as to what those effects may be. In broad strokes, this decline keeps the U.S. trailing Western Europe's religious and political evolution: the end of Christianity as a default faith and a move toward left/right politics that can be roughly characterized as socialism against nationalist populism. Yet Europe can hardly provide a clear window to our future, not least because many European states have both multi-party parliamentary systems and state churches.So what, then, should we expect of an increasingly post-Christian American politics? I have a few ideas.For ChristiansIn what remains of the American church, reactions to this decline will vary. Some will see it as a positive apocalypse, which is to say a revealing of what was always true. America was never really a Christian nation. Our government and society have long made choices and embraced values that are difficult, if not impossible, to square with Christianity, so an end of any association between the two is welcome. Likewise, the proportion of Americans who actually practiced Christian faith in any meaningful, life-altering sense was always substantially lower than the proportion who would identify as Christian in a poll. What we're seeing is less mass deconversion than a belated honesty which may be an opportunity for new faithfulness, repentance, or even revival.Other Christians, especially on the political right, will respond to this shift with sadness, alarm, or outright fear. And this is not mere selfishness, mere worry over loss of political or cultural power -- though certainly that is a factor for some. But if you believe, as people of faith generally do, that your religion communicates a necessary truth about God, the universe, humanity, the purpose of life and how we should live it -- well, then a precipitous decline in that religion is an inherently horrible thing with eternal implications for millions.Still other Christians (and I count myself among them) will land somewhere in between these two views. Yet all across this spectrum of responses, I suspect, we'll see an increasing concern for religious liberty as an ever-smaller portion of the broader public has a personal stake in its preservation as a special right distinct from freedoms of speech, association, and so on.Dumping fuel on this fire are proposals from the post-religious left -- Pew's data shows religion is especially on decline among white Democrats -- like Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke's plan to revoke tax exemptions for religious institutions that don't affirm gay marriage. As O'Rourke's fellow candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg commented, "I'm not sure he understood the implications of what he was saying." That includes the panic the idea induces among traditionally religious people who are already feeling isolated, caricatured, misunderstood by their country's cultural mainstream. (For more on that panic, see this helpful explainer from Vox's Jane Coaston.)For nonesFor religiously unaffiliated Americans, the political consequences of declining Christianity feel more difficult to predict, because this group is legitimately a new phenomenon. That is not to say there has never been a mass movement away from religion in a relatively modern, Western, democratic context -- see revolutionary France, for example, or, again, most of Western Europe. But there has never been anything like this in America, and you don't have to take a big swig of the American exceptionalism Kool-Aid to concede our country is in many ways unique. Moreover, there is a substantial difference between the humdrum religious apathy or vague spirituality of a none as compared to the murderous anti-Catholicism of a French revolutionary. In fact, that lack of specific opposition is key here: Many nones aren't consciously deconverting out of atheistic fervor. They're not rebelling against Christendom but growing up entirely in its aftermath. That is what makes this situation unprecedented.This caveat aside, I'd suggest the lack of a state church (which persists in nations as irreligious as Iceland, Sweden, Scotland, and the like) in America means religious efforts to obtain or keep political power will strike the unaffiliated rather differently here. No established religion means religious political action feels less like a tiresome anachronism -- outdated and unnecessary, but nice for Grandma -- and more like a threat of theocracy. In Europe, the state church already has a certain territory staked out as part of an ancient status quo. Here, every bit of territory is up for grabs, so the fight is always on.Yet as contradictory as it may seem, I'll also suggest left-wing nones may come to find they miss the religious right when grappling with its successor. The New York Times' Ross Douthat has argued the post-religious right of which President Trump has given us a glimpse will be an ugly beast indeed. Polling shows the "churchgoers who ultimately voted for Trump over Clinton still tend to hold different views than his more secular supporters," he wrote last year, including being "less authoritarian and tribal on race and identity. ...The trend was consistent: The more often a Trump voter attended church, the less white-identitarian they appeared, the more they expressed favorable views of racial minorities, and the less they agreed with populist arguments on trade and immigration." In other words, on the right, the decline of Christianity looks to mean the rise of racism, as the communal life of active faith is replaced by darker impulses.For allFinally, for Americans of any religious affiliation or none at all, the decline of Christianity will make political communication more difficult. For centuries the Christian faith has indelibly shaped the English vocabulary -- it is no exaggeration to say the King James Bible specifically is unparalleled in its cultural influence. That's especially so with politics, which beside religion is the most common context in which we discuss the world as it is and as it should be.The ways of thinking and turns of phrase that Christendom once made normative in America will become newly strange as Christianity declines. Those of us who remain religious will have to thoroughly rethink our assumptions about other Americans' frames of reference. I am regularly reminded of this by revealing expressions of religious ignorance by my fellow journalists, the archetypal example of which is an Associated Press headline which announced, after the famous cathedral burned, that "Tourist mecca Notre Dame [is] also revered as [a] place of worship." (For the AP writers, if no one else, "mecca" is a metaphor from Islam, and Notre Dame was a place of worship for centuries before the concept of tourism emerged. I read this headline to religious friends to peals of rueful laughter.)Perhaps, whether you are among the nones or not, you think moving toward a more secular shared vocabulary is a good thing. But even if you're right, the transition will be no less challenging. In an era of social fracture, loss of common language patterns can only exacerbate our disintegration. We have always talked against each other in politics; now we are talking past each other, too. As the decline of Christianity in the United States "continues at a rapid pace," it will influence every level of our fractious project of self-governance, down to our very words.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 06:35:00 -0400
  • Summit showcases Russia's growing Africa clout

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    President Vladimir Putin opens Russia's first ever summit with dozens of African leaders on Wednesday as Moscow seeks to vie for influence on the continent with the West and China. The Russian leader called the two-day event "unprecedented" as the Black Sea resort of Sochi prepared to host over 3,000 business representatives and other delegates. Putin contrasted Russia's approach to cooperation with Africa to what he called the West's desire to "pressure, frighten and blackmail" African leaders in order to "reap superprofits".

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 04:38:17 -0400
  • Frustrated US diplomats fight back in impeachment probe

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    Three years of simmering frustration inside the State Department is boiling over on Capitol Hill as a parade of current and former diplomats testify to their concerns about the Trump administration's unorthodox policy toward Ukraine. Over White House objections, the diplomats are appearing before impeachment investigators looking into President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine and they're recounting stories of possible impropriety, misconduct and mistreatment by their superiors. To Trump and his allies, the diplomats are evidence of a "deep state" within the government that has been out to get him from the start.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 00:30:35 -0400
  • Ozone hole shrinks to smallest size on record, and it's not related to global warming

    Thanks to unusually warm temperatures high above Antarctica this month, the ozone hole shrank to its smallest size on record, scientists reported.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:25:23 -0400
  • Lonely Planet releases their picks for top destinations to visit in 2020

    A kingdom that has pledged to become completely organic by next year and the city that will toast the centenary anniversary of the world's most important classical music festival are among the top destinations to visit in 2020, as chosen by the tastemakers of travel guide Lonely Planet. 

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:06:37 -0400
  • U.S. Supreme Court tosses challenge to Republican-drawn Michigan electoral maps

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a challenge to Republican-drawn electoral districts in Michigan that Democrats said were illegally configured to dilute their voting power, an action taken in the aftermath of major rulings by the justices in June prohibiting federal courts from hearing such claims. The Supreme Court's action voided an order in April by a three-judge panel to rework 34 districts in the state legislature and U.S. House of Representatives whose boundaries were crafted purely to advantage Republicans, a practice known as partisan gerrymandering. In a blow to election reformers, the justices found that federal courts have no role to play in reining in electoral map manipulation by politicians aimed at entrenching one party in power.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 09:54:05 -0400
  • Trump cites ‘phony Emoluments Clause’ for G-7 controversy

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    At a Cabinet meeting, President Trump blamed the “phony Emoluments Clause” in the U.S. Constitution for the controversy over his decision to have the G-7 summit at his resort in Doral, Fla.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:19:46 -0400
  • Ex-model says Jean-Luc Brunel, model agent and Jeffrey Epstein's friend, spiked her drink and raped her

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    The fashion industry veteran is currently facing allegations of sexual assault and harassment from several former models.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 11:33:19 -0400
  • Does the U.S. Navy Have Too Many Admirals?

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    Today, there are more Admirals than during both World Wars. Problem?

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 22:00:00 -0400
  • Mark Zuckerberg Has Quietly Recommended Campaign Hires to Pete Buttigieg

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    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has privately recommended several potential hires to Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, a rare example of direct political involvement from one of tech’s most powerful executives.Earlier this year, Zuckerberg sent multiple emails to Mike Schmuhl, Buttigieg’s campaign manager, with names of individuals that he might consider hiring, campaign spokesman Chris Meagher confirmed. Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg’s wife, also sent multiple emails to Schmuhl with staff recommendations. Ultimately, two of the people recommended were hired.The emails between Zuckerberg and Buttigieg have come to light as Zuckerberg faces unrelenting attacks from politicians from both parties over such issues as misinformation, privacy, election meddling and bias. Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee on Facebook’s impact on the financial services and housing sectors.Zuckerberg used to make political contributions more frequently, including to former and current House speakers Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi in 2014, but he hasn’t made any political donations or endorsements to specific candidates in the 2020 election cycle. In June, he gave $5,000 to Facebook’s PAC, which contributes to both Democratic and Republican candidates.‘Top-Tier Organization’“Since the beginning of the campaign, we’ve built a top-tier operation with more than 430 staff in South Bend and around the country,” Meagher said. “The staffers come from all types of background, and everyone is working hard every day to elect Pete to the White House.”A spokesman for the Zuckerberg-Chan family told Bloomberg News that the employees asked the tech mogul and Chan to recommend them.“Having seen Mark’s visit to South Bend in 2017 and Facebook Live with Mayor Buttigieg, colleagues later asked Mark and Priscilla to connect them with the Buttigieg campaign as they were interested in joining,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement. Zuckerberg visited South Bend, Indiana, in April 2017 as part of his philanthropic work and got a tour from Buttigieg, that Zuckerberg live-streamed.LaBolt didn’t answer a follow-up question asking whether Zuckerberg has made similar connections for other candidates.Zuckerberg, asked about the emails on a call with reporters Monday, acknowledged that he and his wife passed along hiring recommendations but said that those actions should not be seen as an endorsement.“I think this should probably not be misconstrued as if I’m like deeply involved in trying to support their campaign or something like that,” he said.Making IntroductionsIn the emails, Zuckerberg and Chan recommended potential campaign hires, and two of them are now on staff: Eric Mayefsky, senior digital analytics adviser, and Nina Wornhoff, organizing data manager.Mayefsky previously worked as the director of data science at Quora, a 10-year-old question-and-answer startup founded by former Facebook employees. Mayefsky worked at Facebook for almost four years starting in 2010, according to his LinkedIn profile. Wornhoff previously worked as a machine learning engineer at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and in Democratic politics in Indiana, Buttigieg’s home state.The communication was initiated by Zuckerberg and Chan, Meagher said. It was sent shortly after Buttigieg officially launched his campaign in mid-April.“From the CNN Town hall in March to our launch a month later, we literally got 7,000 resumes,” Meagher said. “I think that he (Zuckerberg) thought Eric would be a good staff hire with a lot of experience and same with Nina and Priscilla.”Crimson ConnectionZuckerberg, 35, and Buttigieg, 37, overlapped at Harvard, and Buttigieg was friends with two of Zuckerberg’s roommates. He was also one of Facebook’s first 300 users. But they were only introduced years later by a mutual Harvard friend.The staff recommendations from Zuckerberg are the first evidence of the Facebook CEO actively assisting a presidential campaign. A number of other high-ranking Facebook executives, including David Marcus, the executive leading Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts, Naomi Gleit, one of Facebook’s longest-tenured executives, and Chris Cox, former chief product officer who is close friends with Zuckerberg, have donated to Buttigieg.In recent weeks, Democrats have escalated their criticism of Facebook for its refusal to moderate political ads. Elizabeth Warren, in particular, has repeatedly attacked Zuckerberg and Facebook over its decision not to fact check posts or ads shared by politicians. Joe Biden wrote the company on Thursday demanding that an ad paid for by a pro-Donald Trump super-PAC be pulled down for what he said were lies about his Ukrainian-related work as vice president.Silicon ValleyHe’s been more apprehensive about breaking up big tech companies than some of his Democratic counterparts, saying the issue of monopolies extends beyond tech. But he’s also raised concerns about tech companies having too much power and has floated regulation, including fines and the blocking of new mergers, for Facebook and other big tech companies.Republicans have accused Zuckerberg and Facebook of bias against conservative viewpoints, claiming that Facebook and other social media platforms unfairly suppress their views. Zuckerberg reportedly started to hold private meetings last summer with conservative leaders to hear their concerns.In the past, Facebook embedded staffers with political campaigns to give them guidance on how to best use the social media platform. The 2016 Trump campaign said it greatly benefited from having Facebook staffers on hand. The company announced in 2018 that it would pull back from offering on-site support.Now Zuckerberg needs friends in Washington, where Facebook is under unprecedented attack. His company is being investigated for possible antitrust violations by two federal agencies and Congress. It’s also trying to get skeptical regulators and lawmakers on board with its goal of launching a cryptocurrency.But this presidential cycle, Facebook has become one of Democrats’ top punching bags. In recent weeks, Warren’s campaign has bought ads on Facebook claiming Zuckerberg endorsed Trump, a deliberate falsehood that she used to draw attention to Facebook’s policies exempting politicians from fact-checking ads, and corrected later in the advertisement.(Adds new 9th, 10th paragraphs with Zuckerberg comment.)\--With assistance from Bill Allison.To contact the reporters on this story: Tyler Pager in Washington at tpager1@bloomberg.net;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:29:37 -0400
  • Haiti's dicey prison conditions made worse by crisis

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    Port-au-Prince (AFP) - With protests rocking the streets, some prison authorities in Haiti have confined inmates to cells that lack showers or toilets, in a country where most detainees are stuck awaiting trial for months or even years. The move is meant to stop protests from breaking out in Haiti's badly overcrowded prisons, but violates the law and risks the health of prisoners, human rights advocates say. "To prevent any kind of riot from the general tension in the country, prison officials decided to keep detainees in their cells without being allowed at least an hour of outdoor time," Marie Rosy Auguste Ducena of the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) told AFP.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 22:15:36 -0400
  • Artist sues over Missouri's 'Indian-made' law

    Peggy Fontenot alleges that the law is a violation of her First Amendment right to free speech. The lawsuit over the Missouri law, which was passed last year, was filed in August in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Fontenot previously sued over a similar law in Oklahoma and won.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 10:57:30 -0400
  • Britain's leader Boris Johnson denied new Brexit after weekend Parliament snub

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    New blow for Boris Johnson's Brexit plans as Parliament denies him a vote Monday on his EU withdrawal agreement.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:51:18 -0400
  • Democrats are lining up to take Elijah Cummings' Oversight Committee chairmanship

    There's a long line of Democrats ready to take up one helm of the impeachment probe.House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) died last week after longstanding health problems, leaving open his spot at one of the committees investigating President Trump. Talks of his replacement have been quiet out of respect for Cummings, but a handful of Democrats have said they're looking to take the position, The Washington Post reports.Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) is the most senior Democrat on the oversight committee and is currently serving as its active chair. She briefly told the Post on Friday she's looking to become the full-time chair, but wouldn't expand on her goals due to how recently Cummings had died. She'll likely campaign for the role based on past legislative wins like the permanent 9/11 victims' compensation fund.Reps. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), both on the committee, are also reportedly looking to take up Cummings' gavel, two people familiar with their plans tell the Post. They declined to comment, but have both "been noticeably more involved in the impeachment probe than Maloney," the Post writes. Also in the running is Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), the third-highest ranking Democrat on the panel who some members of the Congressional Black Caucus are attempting to get into the role, people familiar with background discussions tell the Post. Washington, D.C., Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who is the second-highest ranking Democrat, will try for the role if Maloney opts out, people familiar with her plans say.Cummings will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, followed by a Friday funeral at his longtime Baltimore church.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:43:00 -0400
  • Lopez Obrador, Trump call marks 'before' and 'after' in illegal arms trafficking -Mexico foreign minister

    Mexico's foreign minister said on Monday that a call between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart following gang shootouts in the city of Culiacan would mark a turning point on illegal arms trafficking to Mexico. "There will be a 'before' and 'after' following the call on Saturday between Presidents (Andres Manuel) Lopez Obrador and Trump," Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:30:18 -0400
  • The FBI says at least 3 American tourists died of natural causes in the Dominican Republic, not tainted alcohol

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    This year saw a spate of tourist deaths that sparked fears over tainted alcohol or other mysterious conditions before the investigation was launched.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:18:07 -0400
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