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  • Bloomberg pledges $70 billion to bolster black America in new plan

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    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his presidential campaign's plan for bolstering economic opportunity for black Americans.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:00:21 -0500
  • The images of Australia's storms are downright apocalyptic

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    Australia just can't catch a break. As wildfires continued to devastate parts of the country, a miles-long dust storm rolled across New South Wales Sunday, blotting out the sun. As CNN reports, the area has been experiencing drought since 2017, so dirt is loose and easily kicked up by high winds.> In Australia, people have been filming rolling clouds of dust sweeping across New South Wales. > > The massive dust storms blanketed entire towns and blacked out the sun over the weekend. https://t.co/59EwemGKFX pic.twitter.com/RA7nMgMsjN> > -- CNN (@CNN) January 20, 2020In other parts of the southeast, thunderstorms over the past two days brought hail stones the size of baseballs, bringing down trees, battering cars and buildings, and leaving thousands of people without electricity, according to The New York Times. There's also been flash flooding. And the Bureau of Meteorology says the storms could continue for another few days.> Parts of eastern Australia has been pelted by golf-ball sized hail - the storms have helped to fight some bushfires, but many continue to burnhttps://t.co/aaGqbxlEIa pic.twitter.com/VVuWXINivH> > -- BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) January 20, 2020More stories from theweek.com Dershowitz tells CNN he wasn't wrong about Clinton's impeachment but is 'far more correct' defending Trump The strongest case for Joe Biden Under McConnell's rules, Trump's impeachment trial could last well past midnight or end immediately

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 10:21:00 -0500
  • How Trump Twisted Iran Intel to Manufacture the ‘Four Embassies’ Threat

    Golocal247.com news

    When President Donald Trump publicly claimed earlier this month that he had seen intel showing Iran’s now-deceased top military leader Qassem Soleimani was plotting attacks on “four [American] embassies,” senior officials in Trump’s national security apparatus shook their heads. They weren’t sure exactly why the president leaned on that particular talking point, and scrambled in the following days to formulate answers to a barrage of questions from the media on exactly what the president had meant. Other officials wondered aloud whether the president had misrepresented the intelligence. “There were definitely questions [at the time, internally] about whether he had just made it up on the spot,” recalled one White House official.It turns out Trump—technically—didn’t get his eyebrow-raising claim out of nowhere, The Daily Beast has learned. According to three sources familiar with the matter, the president had simply seized on a small part of what he’d heard in private briefings, exaggerated that aspect of the intelligence, then began sharing the inflated intel to the American public during his post-Soleimani victory lap. In doing so, President Trump generated yet more confusion and discord among the national security brass that had already struggled to sell the American people on its case for the strike that just brought Iran and the United States to the precipice of all-out warfare. For weeks the Trump administration had struggled to get on message in talking about why the U.S. decided to strike Soleimani and what it would do in the future to manage any diplomacy with Tehran. Trump’s embassy claim didn’t help, officials said.The White House did not comment on the record for this story.Shortly before he began announcing to the media and rally-goers that the Iranian general was planning assaults on multiple U.S. embassies, the president received briefings at the White House from both national security officials and communications staffers. The purpose of some of these meetings were to prepare Trump on how best to talk to the press regarding his administration’s justifications for killing Soleimani. The president received a briefing shortly before he entered the Roosevelt Room Jan. 9 and said Iran was “looking to blow up our embassy.” According to two people familiar with this briefing, Trump was told that following the killing of Soleimani, Iran could retaliate against American assets in the region. The president was again told this in a subsequent briefing that day, one of these sources added. However, embassies were a part of a long list of American outposts and bases potentially under threat from Iran but sources familiar with those internal briefings do not remember the number four ever being specified, and they certainly do not recall any imminent danger to those embassies.When administration officials briefed Trump, they mentioned possible targets for Iranian retribution; they were not discussing intel on what anyone in the regime was actively plotting against U.S. interests, the sources noted.However, the moment he heard the word “embassies,” Trump immediately chimed in, interrupting the meeting to grill his briefers on that issue, according to one U.S. official. From there, he began to treat this possible threat as a near-certain danger. Trump received another intelligence briefing shortly before his interview with Fox’s Laura Ingraham Jan. 10 where he repeated the claim that Iran probably would have attacked four embassies. When the president started publicly trotting out his claims of “four embassies,” national security aides were dumbfounded. The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Trump’s “four embassies” talking point clashed with intelligence assessments from Trump’s own officials. CNN also reported that security officials at the State Department weren’t even notified of an imminent danger to any specific set of four American embassies.Secretary of Defense Mark Esper himself admitted during an interview on the CBS Sunday show Face the Nation that while “the president said that he believed that it probably could have been attacks against additional embassies,” Esper personally “didn’t see [a specific piece of evidence] with regard to four embassies.”Esper added, “What I’m saying is I shared the president’s view that probably, my expectation is they were going to go after our embassies.”At that point, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad had of course already been stormed by an Iranian-supported militia, but that was prior to Soleimani’s death.Senior Trump administration officials have canceled several of their past scheduled briefings with Congress on specific threats to U.S. embassies pre-Soleimani strike. Briefers were also supposed to delve into more detail about what exactly U.S. intelligence said prior to the strike. The administration has held two briefings so far with both the House and the Senate, but sessions left lawmakers frustrated and overwhelmingly uninformed. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rescheduled his briefing on the embassy threats with the House Foreign Affairs committee for next week.‘OK, Now What?’: Inside Team Trump’s Scramble to Sell the Soleimani Hit to AmericaBut people close to Trump say his embassy fixation lies in his obsession with avoiding the kind of catastrophes that befell his predecessors Barack Obama and George W. Bush. President Trump, who has long bashed Obama for the 2012 Benghazi attack and Bush for the Hurricane Katrina response, is particularly concerned with opening himself up to accusations of having suffered “Trump’s Benghazi” or “Trump’s Katrina,” according to two sources who’ve spoken to the president about this. “Multiple times I’ve heard him talk about how you don’t want a Katrina moment,” said a former senior White House official. “You can’t do anything about what weather is going to do, but you can certainly manage the response and the optics of what you’re doing in addition to the substance of what you’re doing.”With Trump’s shambolic, even scandalous, handling of the response and relief efforts to the hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico, this president seems to have already had his “Katrina.” He is, however, determined not to experience a direct parallel to Benghazi. Indeed, on New Year’s Eve, the president took to Twitter to enthusiastically brand the embassy attack that occurred on his watch “The Anti-Benghazi!” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 21:04:13 -0500
  • You Should Get an Electric Fireplace

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    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 12:00:00 -0500
  • Five die in Russian hotel after boiling water floods basement

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    Five people, including one child, were killed in the Russian city of Perm on Monday when a hot water pipe exploded in the night and flooded a basement hotel room with boiling water. At least three other people were taken to hospital with burns after the incident in the Mini Hotel Caramel, which is located in the basement of a residential building, the region's investigative committee said. A doctor treating the victims, Andrei Babikov, said a 33-year-old woman had burns covering 35% of her body.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 01:33:13 -0500
  • Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ river

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    Vanessa Smallwood of Maple Shade, N.J., was 46 at the time of her disappearance. She was identified in a statement from New Jersey State Police.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:10:56 -0500
  • Trump's Russia adviser 'escorted from White House' amid investigation

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    President Trump's latest Russia expert has reportedly been escorted from the White House amid claims of a security-related investigation.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 16:06:55 -0500
  • Illegal crossings plunge as US extends policy across border

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    Adolfo Cardenas smiles faintly at the memory of traveling with his 14-year-old son from Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border in only nine days, riding buses and paying a smuggler $6,000 to ensure passage through highway checkpoints. Father and son walked about 10 minutes in Arizona's stifling June heat before surrendering to border agents. Instead of being released with paperwork to appear in immigration court in Dallas, where Cardenas hopes to live with a cousin, they were bused more than an hour to wait in the Mexican border city of Mexicali.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:24:36 -0500
  • Double trouble: Too many show for Sri Lanka twins record bid

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    A Sri Lankan attempt to set a world record for the largest gathering of twins may have failed Monday after an unexpectedly large turnout overwhelmed organisers who vowed to try again. Organisers from the Sri Lanka Twins group had called on multiples across the island to pack a sports stadium in the capital Colombo to try to break Taiwan's Guinness World Record set in 1999 of 3,961 pairs of twins, 37 sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 10:26:30 -0500
  • Ex-Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line workers reveal the things they couldn't live without on board

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    Workers for cruise lines like Carnival and Norwegian might be away from home for over six months, so they need to be thoughtful about what they pack.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 09:35:05 -0500
  • We met as doctor and patient, but a life-saving abortion was the start of our friendship

    Patients can't fight for their rights in court if they're fighting for their lives. Doctors must be able to advocate for them every step of the way.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 17:38:40 -0500
  • ‘Sorry for Lying to You for 13 Years’: Iranian State TV Host Turns on Regime after Ukrainian Jet Downing

    Golocal247.com news

    A number of Iranian TV hosts and other public personalities have denounced the regime in the wake of Iran's missile strike on a Ukrainian passenger jet that killed 176 people after the military mistook the jet for an enemy target."Apologies for lying to you for 13 years," state TV host of "Good Morning Iran" Gelareh Jabbari posted on Instagram last Monday. "It was very hard for me to believe our people have been killed, forgive me for believing this late."The post, which was seen by NBC News, has since been deleted.Taraneh Alidoosti, one of Iran's most popular actors and a star of the Oscar-winning 2016 movie The Salesman, also criticized the regime in a post to her 5.8 million Instagram followers."We are not citizens, we are captives, millions of captives," Alidoosti wrote. That post has also been deleted."The Islamic Republic is facing the worst legitimacy crisis in its 40-year history, and the pressures are mounting from every angle," Afshin Shahi, associate professor of Middle East politics at Bradford University, England, told NBC. "The gap between the state and society has widened to an extreme extent."Iran admitted to accidentally shooting down the plane after several days of official denials. U.S., Canadian and European intelligence had already indicated the plane was shot down in a missile strike.Several hours earlier, Iran launched 15 ballistic missiles at U.S. positions in Iraq, in retaliation for the U.S. killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. The Iranian military later said the strikes were not intended to kill U.S. troops.However, the Pentagon later acknowledged that 11 Americans were injured in the strikes, and were being treated for concussive symptoms.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 15:14:52 -0500
  • Attorney: Due to a conflict of interest, William Barr must recuse himself from Lev Parnas' criminal case

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    An attorney for Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Monday, requesting the he recuse himself from Parnas' criminal case.Parnas was arrested last October and charged with campaign finance violations. In the letter, which was also filed in New York federal court, attorney Joseph Bondy said Barr has a conflict of interest and asked that a special prosecutor from outside the Justice Department handle Parnas' case. "Federal ethics guidelines bar federal employees from participating in matters in which their impartiality could be questioned, including matters in which they were personally involved or about which they have personal knowledge," Bondy wrote.Bondy cited several reasons why Barr should recuse himself, noting that the reconstructed transcript released by the White House of President Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump telling Zelensky that Barr could help him facilitate an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Last week, Parnas told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that Barr knew about efforts in the Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden, saying, "Attorney General Barr was basically on the team." Read Bondy's letter here.More stories from theweek.com Dershowitz tells CNN he wasn't wrong about Clinton's impeachment but is 'far more correct' defending Trump The strongest case for Joe Biden Under McConnell's rules, Trump's impeachment trial could last well past midnight or end immediately

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 22:35:00 -0500
  • 'I stayed alive to tell' - Auschwitz's dwindling survivors recount horrors of Nazi death camp

    Golocal247.com news

    A strip of skin tattooed with the Auschwitz death camp number 99288 sits in a silver frame on a shelf in Avraham Harshalom's living room. As the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation on Jan 27, 1945, nears, Harshalom, 95, is very clear about why he kept it. Harshalom is one of some 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:14:38 -0500
  • China's Navy Warships Are Now Armed With Land-Attack Missiles

    Golocal247.com news

    China says its newest destroyer is capable of launching land-attack missiles.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 11:20:00 -0500
  • Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats declare open season on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg

    Golocal247.com news

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used to be Facebook's friends. Things have changed.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 21:16:59 -0500
  • Leopard runs into house before being captured in south India

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    A leopard that ran into a house and sparked a frantic search and a frenzy of attention in southern India on Monday has been caught and tranquilized. The big cat emerged from the Kamdanam forest and ran into a house in Shadnagar town in Telangana state, said Dr. Mohammad Abdul Hakeem, a wildlife official. Deadly conflict between humans and animals has increased in recent years in India largely due to shrinking forest habitats and urban expansion.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 09:15:50 -0500
  • Evacuation crackdown ordered as Philippine volcano 'recharges'

    Golocal247.com news

    Philippine authorities ordered a crackdown Monday on evacuees' daily visits to their homes in the danger zone around Taal volcano as scientists warned it could be "recharging" for a more powerful explosion. More than 110,000 people have taken refuge in evacuation centres since Taal burst to life a week ago, but many hard-hit towns have let residents back for hours each day to fetch items, feed livestock and clean up their houses. "We are directing DRRMCs (civil defence officers)... not to allow anyone to enter the danger zone," said Epimaco Densing, undersecretary for the Department of Interior.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 04:42:11 -0500
  • Two More Bodies Found at Tijuana Property Where Missing California Couple Were Buried Under the Dirt Floor

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    Two more bodies have been discovered at a Tijuana, Mexico, property where investigators earlier found the remains of a missing California couple buried under the dirt floor of a house on Friday. Jesús Rubén López Guillén, 70, a U.S. resident, and his wife Maria Teresa Guillén, 65, a naturalized U.S. citizen, were reported missing by their daughter Norma López after they traveled from Garden Grove to Tijuana on Jan. 10 to collect more than $6,400 in overdue rent from their 37-year-old son-in-law. Police in Garden Grove launched a missing persons investigation after López said she could no longer track her parents’ movements through the Find My Phone app. She said the last signal she received before their phone went dead was at the property they owned where her husband was living in southern Tijuana, about 4 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. Their bodies were found buried under the dirt floor of one of the property’s three homes late Friday.While conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the Guilléns’ murder, Mexican investigators say they discovered the bodies of another couple buried in the property. It is not known if they were found in the same house as the Guilléns’ remains. The new victims have not yet been identified, but police in Mexico say they also may have been involved in a monetary dispute with the son-in-law.The son-in-law, a Mexican national who was deported from the U.S. in 2012 and identified only as “Santiago” in court documents, was first charged with the California couple’s disappearance and taken into custody while the property was searched. Baja California state prosecutor Hirán Sánchez confirmed that when his in-law’s bodies were found, he was charged with their murder.Sanchez told reporters that when the son-in-law was first questioned about what happened to his in-laws, he offered up a “series of contradictions” including a tale that they had walked across the border and that he had picked them up. López says her parents had instead driven their own pickup truck to retrieve the money. The son-in-law also told police that he first took them to their property and then they went together to a bank to exchange currency he paid them, after which he said he drove them back to the border. Instead investigators say that the son-in-law tried to extract money with the couple’s bank cards.“The Guilléns drove themselves to their houses, not Santiago,” Sanchez said at a news conference. “They never left.”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.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:00:13 -0500
  • Double trouble: Sri Lanka's twin gathering marred by overcrowding

    Golocal247.com news

    Thousands of twins packed two-by-two into a stadium in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday - so many that officials struggled to count them in time to prove they had organised a record-breaking gathering. Huge queues built up at the open-air venue in Colombo as sets of siblings waited to get their birth certificates checked. The last record was set in Taiwan in 1999, when 3,961 sets of twins, 37 sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets gathered outside Taipei City Hall.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 22:16:32 -0500
  • Iran confirms two missiles fired at Ukraine airliner

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    Iran has confirmed two missiles were fired at a Ukrainian airliner brought down this month, in a catastrophic error that killed all 176 people on board and sparked angry protests. The country's civil aviation authority said it has yet to receive a positive response after requesting technical assistance from France and the United States to decode black boxes from the downed airliner. The Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines plane was accidentally shot down shortly after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on January 8.

    Tue, 21 Jan 2020 03:05:19 -0500
  • Cult slayed pregnant woman and five of her children in Panama

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    A religious sect whose members believed to be “anointed by God” forced a pregnant woman and five of her children to walk through fire as part of a cult ritual, according to local residents.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:14:25 -0500
  • The 25 Best PSP Games

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    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 09:00:00 -0500
  • Trump's legal team calls on Senate to dismiss impeachment charges

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    President Trump's lawyers filed a brief on Monday urging the Senate to dismiss the impeachment charges against him and calling the House's impeachment process a "perversion" of the Constitution, The Associated Press reports.The 110-page brief calls the House's impeachment case "flimsy," insists Trump did "absolutely nothing wrong," and says he has "been the victim of an illegitimate partisan effort to take him down," The New York Times reports. The House filed two impeachment articles against Trump — abuse of power for withholding aid to Ukraine in order to pressure that country to investigate his political rivals, and obstruction of Congress for blocking the House's impeachment inquiry. The brief "does not deny that Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine to open investigations into Democrats," the Times writes. Instead it argues that this was within Trump's rights as president. As to the obstruction of Congress article, the lawyers say the president has a right to confidential deliberations. The Senate trial on Trump's impeachment begins Tuesday. He is just the third sitting president to face such a trial. The Republican-controlled chamber is unlikely to convict him. More stories from theweek.com Dershowitz tells CNN he wasn't wrong about Clinton's impeachment but is 'far more correct' defending Trump The strongest case for Joe Biden Under McConnell's rules, Trump's impeachment trial could last well past midnight or end immediately

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 12:16:39 -0500
  • Biden pulls ahead in new Iowa poll

    Golocal247.com news

    There's some indication of fallout for Sanders and Warren over their recent spat.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 10:06:13 -0500
  • Chinese sentences ex-boss of Interpol to 13 years for bribes

    Golocal247.com news

    China has sentenced the former president of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, to 13 years and six months in prison on charges of accepting more than $2 million in bribes. Meng was elected president of the international police organization in 2016, but his four-year term was cut short when he vanished after traveling to China from France in late 2018. Interpol was not informed and was forced to make a formal request to China for information about Meng's whereabouts amid suspicion he had fallen out of political favor with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    Tue, 21 Jan 2020 03:12:35 -0500
  • El Chapo 701 craft lager coming soon thanks to drug lord's daughter

    Golocal247.com news

    The mug shot of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, imprisoned leader of the ruthless Sinaloa Cartel, is not just for police blotters anymore.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 13:23:33 -0500
  • Pair of storms to unleash rain, snow across Middle East this week

    Golocal247.com news

    More unsettled weather is set to grip the Middle East this week after several storms have battered the region in recent weeks.The first of two storms to impact the area this week has dampened locations from the Mediterranean coast to Iraq on Monday. This slow-moving system will continue to bring wet weather to the region on Tuesday and Wednesday.The steadiest rainfall is expected from northern Israel and Lebanon into southern Syria and central Iraq. Downpours are possible in Beirut, Damascus, Homs and Baghdad. Rain will also spread into the lower elevations of western Iran with snow falling in the mountains. In the higher terrain of Lebanon and Syria, snow accumulation can be expected.On the southern side of this storm, showers may briefly dampen southern Jordan, far northern Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from Tuesday into Wednesday. This storm will then push into eastern Iran with rain and high-elevation snowfall on Thursday.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPA second storm will race southward from Turkey into the Middle East late Thursday into Friday, bringing soaking rain and mountain snow to Syria, Lebanon and Israel on Thursday night through Friday morning.The storm will then lash Jordan, Iraq and northwest Iran on Friday with impacts continuing into Friday night in Iraq and Iran.Local downpours and high-elevation snowfall may result in travel impacts across the region, before drier weather builds across the Middle East this weekend.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 11:10:00 -0500
  • Sending back climate refugees may violate right to life: U.N. body

    Governments need to take into account the climate crisis when considering the deportation of asylum seekers, the United Nations said in a landmark ruling that could pave the way for future climate refugees. The ruling by the U.N. Human Rights Committee was given in the case of Ioane Teitiota, from the Pacific nation of Kiribati, who brought a case against New Zealand in 2016 after authorities denied his claim of asylum as a climate refugee. Teitiota migrated to New Zealand in 2007 and applied for refugee status after his visa expired in 2010.

    Tue, 21 Jan 2020 01:15:34 -0500
  • Troops fire gas as migrants try to storm into Mexico

    Golocal247.com news

    Hundreds of Central Americans from a new migrant caravan tried to force their way into Mexico Monday by crossing the river that divides the country from Guatemala, prompting the National Guard to fire tear gas. The Central Americans, from the so-called "2020 Caravan" of around 3,500 undocumented migrants, gathered on the Guatemalan side of the Suchiate River at dawn, demanding migration authorities let them continue their journey to the United States.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 13:25:11 -0500
  • The 11 most expensive cities to live in around the world in 2020

    Golocal247.com news

    The 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey reveals cities bordering the Pacific Ocean are the most expensive.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:27:00 -0500
  • China confirms human-to-human transmission as SARS-like virus spreads

    Golocal247.com news

    A SARS-like virus that has spread across China and reached three other Asian nations is contagious between humans, a government expert said Monday, fuelling fears of a major outbreak as millions travel for the Lunar New Year holiday. The new coronavirus strain, first discovered in the central city of Wuhan, has caused alarm because of its connection to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. The total number of people diagnosed with the virus rose to 218, as Beijing and Shanghai confirmed their first cases on Monday while more than a dozen more emerged in southern Guangdong province and and 136 new ones were found over the weekend in Wuhan, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 11:51:13 -0500
  • Iran Could Still Strike Back at the U.S.

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    How might Iran respond to the death of Qasem Soleimani? Ever since the Trump administration’s January 3 killing of Soleimani, the Islamic Republic’s top military commander, that question has been on the mind of policymakers in Washington and the American public at large.Iran’s January 8 rocket attack on U.S. military bases in Iraq clearly constituted part of its response, but Iranian leaders quickly made clear that more retaliation is forthcoming. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself has said that, while the rocket attack was a “slap” at the United States, it was “not enough,” and the Islamic Republic will continue its opposition to the United States with the ultimate goal of driving America out of the Middle East altogether.Doing so, however, is likely to prove difficult for Iran. As a recent analysis by CNBC notes, sanctions leveled by the Trump administration over the past two years have inflicted extensive damage on the Iranian economy. The country’s GDP shrunk by nearly 10 percent last year, and its exports of crude oil declined from a peak of 2.5 million barrels per day to less than 500,000 daily.Domestic conditions, meanwhile, are deteriorating. Inflation is on the rise within the Islamic Republic and is now pegged at over 30 percent. So, too, is joblessness; nearly a fifth of the country’s workforce is currently estimated to be unemployed. Meanwhile, governmental expenditures have surged as Iran’s ayatollahs struggle to keep a lid on an increasingly impoverished, and discontented, population.All of this, according to CNBC’s analysis, profoundly limits Iran’s ability “to fund a war” against the United States. But that doesn’t mean the threat from Iran is nonexistent. Iran still has the ability to “ramp up its aggression against the U.S.” through the use of its network of proxy forces in the region.That network is extensive — and lethal. It comprises not only Iran’s traditional terrorist proxies, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and the Palestinian Hamas movement, but also assorted Shiite militias in Iraq (the so-called “Hashd al-Shaabi”) and even Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Recently, it has also made use of the “Shi’a Liberation Army” (SLA), a group of as many as 200,000 Shiite fighters — drawn from Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and elsewhere — that has been trained and equipped by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and deployed to foreign theaters such as Syria.Notably, these forces appear to have been thrown into chaos, at least temporarily, by the killing of Soleimani. Reports from the region suggest that Iraqi militias are “in a state of disarray” after the death of the Iranian general, and aren’t currently ready to strike U.S. or allied targets. Over time, however, we can expect Tehran to regain control and direction of its troops and weaponize them anew against the United States and regional U.S. allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. That is doubtless the top priority of Soleimani’s successor as head of the Quds Force, Esmail Ghaani, who has already commenced outreach to Iranian proxies in an effort to reinforce Tehran’s support for “resistance” activities.Tehran likewise has another potent tool by which to target the United States: cyber warfare. Over the past decade, the Iranian regime has made enormous investments in its cyber-war capabilities and carried out a series of demonstration attacks on targets such as Saudi Arabia’s state oil company and various U.S. financial institutions to showcase its newfound technological prowess. In the wake of President Trump’s pullout from President Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal, Iran reshaped its cyber-activism against the United States, focusing less on offensive attacks and more on gathering information about potential policy from the notoriously opaque new administration in Washington.But Tehran’s potential to do significant harm to the U.S. in cyberspace remains. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has warned publicly that Iran could carry out a cyberattack against critical U.S. infrastructure in the near future, with potentially significant “disruptive effects.” And so far, neither the Pentagon nor the State Department has articulated much by way of a strategy to deter Iran from carrying out such attacks, or to mitigate the damage they could do. (In the aftermath of Soleimani’s killing, that lack of strategy has become a matter of growing concern on Capitol Hill.)Perhaps the most compelling reason to expect an asymmetric Iranian response to Soleimani’s killing, however, is that asymmetric warfare plays to Iran’s inherent strengths. Ever since the regime’s grinding eight-year war with neighboring Iraq in the 1980s — a conflict that Iran lost handily — its leaders have exhibited a strong penchant for military asymmetry over direct confrontation. This preference has only been reinforced by persistent Western sanctions, which have eroded the country’s conventional military capabilities and made the acquisition of spare parts and matériel considerably more difficult.Soleimani was the regime’s principal architect of asymmetric war, and had devoted nearly a quarter-century to building up the Islamic Republic’s asymmetric potency. That is precisely why his targeted killing by the Trump administration represents such a significant blow to the integrity of Iran’s proxy network — and to the prudence of its time-tested asymmetric strategy. Going forward, Tehran may well have to rethink its approach, and could conclude that the potential costs of continuing its campaign of aggression against U.S. forces in the region are now simply too high. If it doesn’t, however, the very capabilities that Soleimani spent his career cultivating will remain the most potent weapons the Islamic Republic has to wield against the United States.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 13:18:47 -0500
  • Local Governments May Soon Be Forced To Rethink How They Use Private Property

    Golocal247.com news

    An upcoming court case could be very impactful.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 23:30:00 -0500
  • Homeless moms evicted from Oakland home may return

    Homeless mothers who were evicted last week from an Oakland, California, house where they were squatting plan to move back after speculators agreed to sell the property to a nonprofit organization, it was announced Monday. Wedgewood Inc. will sell the home to the Oakland Community Land Trust, which buys and fixes up property for affordable housing. The group plans to allow women from the group Moms 4 Housing to return, Mayor Libby Schaaf announced.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 15:47:43 -0500
  • The US Air Force recently acquired a new $64 million Gulfstream private jet for VIP government officials — see inside

    Golocal247.com news

    The US president isn't the only government official that flies in a VIP plane operated by the US Air Force.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:53:00 -0500
  • ‘Middle Class’ Joe Biden has a corruption problem – it makes him a weak candidate

    Golocal247.com news

    We don’t have to choose Biden’s way, which would give Trump a perfect foil Democrats are trying to choose a candidate to beat Donald Trump, the most corrupt president in history. Some think nominating Joe Biden, a moderate white man who calls himself “Middle Class” Joe, makes sense.But Biden has a big corruption problem and it makes him a weak candidate. I know it seems crazy, but a lot of the voters we need – independents and people who might stay home – will look at Biden and Trump and say: “They’re all dirty.”It looks like “Middle Class” Joe has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans. Converting campaign contributions into legislative favors and policy positions isn’t being “moderate”. It is the kind of transactional politics Americans have come to loathe.There are three clear examples.First, Biden’s support for finance over working-class Americans. His career was bankrolled by the credit card industry. He delivered for it by spearheading a bankruptcy bill that made it harder for Americans to reduce their debts and helped cause the financial crisis. He not only authored and voted for that bill, he split with Barack Obama and led the battle to vote down Democratic amendments.His explanations for carrying water for the credit card industry have changed over time. They have never rung true.> Nominating a candidate like Biden will make it far more difficult to defeat TrumpThe simplest explanation is the most likely: he did it for his donors. At a fundraiser last year, Biden promised his Wall Street donors that “nothing would fundamentally change” for them if he became president. Now the financial world is raising huge money for his campaign. It clearly thinks he’s going to be its friend if elected. Most Americans, who get ripped off by the financial sector on a daily basis, aren’t looking for a candidate who has made their life harder.Second, healthcare. On 25 April, the day he announced his campaign, Biden went straight to a fundraiser co-hosted by the chief executive of a major health insurance corporation. He refuses to sign a pledge to reject money from insurance and pharma execs and continues to raise money from healthcare industry donors. His campaign is being bankrolled by a super Pac run by healthcare lobbyists.What did all these donors get? A healthcare proposal that preserves the power of the insurance industry and leaves 10 million Americans uninsured.Third, climate change. Biden signed a pledge not to take money from the fossil fuel industry, then broke his promise. Right after a CNN town hall on climate change, he held a fundraiser hosted by the founder of a fossil fuel conglomerate. He is pushing climate policy that has gotten dismal reviews from several leading environmental groups.There are plenty of other examples that raise questions, like housing and social security. Big real estate moguls are playing a major role in Biden’s campaign. Unlike his rivals, he has no comprehensive housing plan. When he pushed for cuts to Social Security, was he serving donors or his constituents?I can already hear the howls: But look at Trump! Trump is 1,000 times worse!You don’t need to convince me. I have spent my life writing about and fighting against corruption, and in America I have never seen anything like the current administration. In the last three years, I have made combatting Trump’s corruption the heart of my work.I was on the first lawsuit against him for corrupt constitutional violations and I ran for attorney general in New York on a platform of pointing out just how dangerous he is, and how important unused state laws are to stopping him. My work on corruption was cited in the House judiciary committee’s report on impeachment.> 2020 should be about a crystal clear contrast between truth and lies, corruption and integrity, compassion and crueltyBut here’s the thing: nominating a candidate like Biden will make it far more difficult to defeat Trump. It will allow Trump to muddy the water, to once again pretend he is the one “draining the swamp”, running against Washington culture. Trump and the Cambridge Analytica of 2020 will campaign, as they did in 2016, on a message of radical nihilism: everybody lies, everybody is corrupt, nothing matters, there is no truth.Corrupt politicians always use whataboutism. With Biden, we are basically handing Trump a whataboutism playbook. The comparison won’t be fair, but if you think he won’t use Biden’s closeness to donors as a cudgel to try to keep people home, you haven’t been paying attention. Unlike Democrats, who must give voters a reason to come out, Trump doesn’t need voters to love him. He just needs to convince people the whole game is ugly.Whether or not Biden is making choices to please donors, there is no doubt his record represents the transactional, grossly corrupt culture in Washington that long precedes Trump. We cannot allow Trump to so lower our standards that we aren’t even allowed to call out that culture, which has not only stymied progress but also harmed the Democratic party.The good news is that we still have time to break with this culture of corruption. We don’t have to choose Biden’s way, which would give Trump a perfect foil. The 2020 election should be about a crystal clear contrast between truth and lies, corruption and integrity, compassion and cruelty.We have a rare opportunity to end a larger culture of corruption and we should take it – we will regret it if we don’t. * Zephyr Teachout, an associate professor at Fordham Law School, is the author of Corruption in America: From Ben Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United. Her next book is Break ’Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money. She has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 06:00:24 -0500
  • 75 years on, Holocaust survivors struggle to recover property in Poland

    WARSAW/NEW YORK Jan 20 (Reuters) - Lea Evron, 85, has only fragments of memories of the fur factory and the three-story apartment building her family owned before World War Two in Zywiec, a small town in southern Poland. What she does remember clearly is returning after the war, when most of her family had been killed in the Holocaust. A local woman said to her and her mother "Hitler promised to get rid of all of the Jews, and here they come home," Evron told Reuters in her apartment in New York.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 05:09:16 -0500
  • Photos surface showing convicted Nazi guard Demjanjuk at Sobibor

    Golocal247.com news

    New photos have emerged which for the first time show convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk at the Sobibor death camp, a Berlin archive confirmed Monday, although he always denied ever being there. Ukrainian-American Demjanjuk was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of nearly 30,000 Jews at Sobibor by a German court in 2011. According to the Berlin-based Topography of Terror archive, photos of Demjanjuk are among a newly discovered collection of more than 350 snaps which give "detailed insight" into the camp in German-occupied Poland.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 06:36:42 -0500
  • Crosby woman dies from flu after trip to Israel, family says

    Golocal247.com news

    The 21-year-old, who loved to travel, always seemed healthy, according to the family.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 19:26:36 -0500
  • Reports of China's coronavirus jumped over the weekend, and scientists are worried

    Golocal247.com news

    The number of reported cases of a pneumonia virus spreading through China jumped over the weekend, CNN reports, bringing the total to 201. On Friday, there were 62 reported cases of the illness in China. By Monday, another 139 cases had been reported, and three people had died. The virus, which originated in a wildlife market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has also spread to other countries, including South Korea, Thailand, and Japan, CNN reports.Health authorities say the pathogen is a new strain of coronavirus, which CNN explains is "in the same family of the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)." Its symptoms include fever and shortness of breath, QZ reports.The outbreak comes as China prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Last year, CNN estimates 7 million people traveled outside the country for the occasion. South Korea has been screening travelers arriving from Wuhan for fever at Seoul's Incheon International Airport. Some airports in the U.S. are doing the same. However, CNN points out that "a new study by Imperial College London suggests the number of infections in Wuhan is likely to have been grossly underestimated.""The detection of three cases outside China is worrying," Neil Ferguson, a disease outbreak scientist at Imperial College London, said. "We calculate, based on flight and population data, that there is only a 1 in 574 chance that a person infected in Wuhan would travel overseas before they sought medical care. This implies there might have been over 1,700 cases in Wuhan so far."More stories from theweek.com Dershowitz tells CNN he wasn't wrong about Clinton's impeachment but is 'far more correct' defending Trump The strongest case for Joe Biden Under McConnell's rules, Trump's impeachment trial could last well past midnight or end immediately

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:29:50 -0500
  • Just as Australia's deadly fires begin to subside, it's being hit with more apocalyptic weather. Videos show enormous dust storms and golf-ball-sized hail battering cars and buildings

    Golocal247.com news

    Rainfall helped to relieve some parts of the country affected by the bushfires, but caused damage in other ways

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 07:15:01 -0500
  • Hypersonic Missiles? The Old Supersonic Ship-Killer Missiles Are Just As Deadly

    Golocal247.com news

    Despite all the fuss about hypersonic weapons being game-changers, the older, slower supersonic weapons are still a menace to surface ships.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 11:32:00 -0500
  • 2 more Puerto Rico officials fired after warehouse break-in

    Golocal247.com news

    Gov. Wanda Vázquez fired the heads of Puerto Rico’s housing and family departments Sunday in the latest fallout over the discovery of a warehouse filled with emergency supplies dating from Hurricane Maria. The removal of Housing Secretary Fernando Gil and Department of Family Secretary Glorimar Andújar came a day after the governor fired the director of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency. Vázquez fired him hours after a Facebook video showed angry people breaking into the warehouse in an area where thousands have been in shelters since a recent earthquake.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 16:57:22 -0500
  • Deadly NJ police chases kill innocent victims, catch few crooks

    Golocal247.com news

    Many police pursuits across the nation end tragically and disproportionately affect black people. Chases often start with a traffic violation.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 14:11:50 -0500
  • McConnell proposal envisions speedy impeachment trial for Trump

    Golocal247.com news

    U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Monday proposed rules that would execute a potentially quick impeachment trial for President Donald Trump, with no guarantee that witnesses or new evidence would be allowed. A resolution McConnell unveiled on Monday would give House Democratic prosecutors and Trump lawyers 48 hours, evenly split, to present their arguments over a maximum of four days. Under the resolution, which could face a vote as early as Tuesday, lawyers for Trump could move early in the proceedings to ask senators to dismiss all charges, a senior Republican leadership aide said, a motion that would likely fall short of the support needed to succeed.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 18:38:42 -0500
  • Photos of starving lions in Sudan spark campaign to save them

    Golocal247.com news

    One of the five lions at Khartoum's Al-Qureshi Park is believed to have died.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 22:35:34 -0500
  • Moody's downgrades Hong Kong, blames government response to protests

    Golocal247.com news

    Hong Kong's reputation as a global business hub was dealt a fresh blow Monday after Moody's downgraded a key rating, blaming a lack of government response to months of popular protests and China's increased influence over the city's institutions. The rating downgrade is a major blow to Hong Kong's pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam, who has struggled to end more than seven months of huge and often violent pro-democracy protests. It also reflects growing concern within the business community that the institutional features that give Hong Kong more political and economic autonomy are weakening under pressure from the authoritarian mainland.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:37:02 -0500
  • S. Korea naval unit to expand operations to Strait of Hormuz

    Golocal247.com news

    A South Korean anti-piracy unit has temporarily expanded its mission to the Strait of Hormuz, a vital global oil route at the center of soaring tensions between Iran and the United States. South Korea’s Defense Ministry announced the expansion Tuesday, saying it was meant to help ensure the safe passage of South Korean vessels and nationals through the waterway. South Korea has conducted anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden since 2009 and is expanding to the strait that connects the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf.

    Tue, 21 Jan 2020 01:52:59 -0500
  • Sweden Readies for Diplomatic Crisis With China Over Free Press

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Sweden’s government has demanded a meeting with the ambassador from China after he lambasted Swedish media.Ambassador Gui Congyou caused a diplomatic furore over the weekend after giving an interview to Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT, in which he said that some local media representatives “have a habit of criticizing, accusing and smearing China.” He then went on to compare the relationship between Swedish media and China to one in which “a 48kg weight boxer keeps challenging an 86kg weight boxer to a fight.”Three parties in Sweden’s parliament have now called for Gui Congyou to be thrown out of the Nordic country, adding to tensions ahead of a meeting scheduled to take place with the ambassador at the foreign ministry in Stockholm on Tuesday.Sweden’s foreign minister, Ann Linde, has already ruled out the option of expelling Gui Congyou. But she also made clear Sweden won’t accept veiled threats from China. Relations between the two countries have soured recently over jailed Chinese-born Swedish publisher Gui Minhai, who was honored last year by the Swedish chapter of PEN International with its annual Tucholsky Award.Gui Minhai, who has written several books that are critical of China’s leadership, has been detained since late 2015 by Chinese authorities, who accuse him of crimes including “operating an illegal business.” Gui Congyou says Minhai is a “lie-fabricator” who “committed serious offenses in both China and Sweden.” He also said Swedish media “is full of lies” about the case and that the Tucholsky Award, which was handed out by Sweden’s minister of culture, would result in Chinese “countermeasures.”The spat comes amid a more assertive diplomatic stance from China, which dominates global export markets and is one of Sweden’s most important trade partners. In neighboring Norway, the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 to Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo led to a deep-freeze of diplomatic relations that lasted more than half a decade and hurt trade. In 2018, Sweden exported goods and services to China worth 67 billion kronor ($7 billion), making it the Nordic country’s eighth-largest export market.Gui Congyou, who was appointed ambassador to Sweden in 2017, has repeatedly angered lawmakers in the country with his remarks over the years. Commenting on Swedish media’s coverage of Gui Minhai, Gui Congyou in December cited a Chinese proverb: “We treat our friends with fine wine, but we have shotguns for our enemies.”The ambassador’s latest remarks prompted the nationalist Sweden Democrats as well as the Christian Democrats and the Left Party to demand that he be thrown out.To contact the reporter on this story: Niclas Rolander in Stockholm at nrolander@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Hanfi Brögger at tbrogger@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 18:00:01 -0500
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