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Democrats face prospect of no black candidates on December debate stage

Democrats face prospect of no black candidates on December debate stage The most diverse Democratic candidate field will likely be represented by no black candidates in the next televised debate.

Trump impeachment hearings: 4 takeaways from Day 6 of public testimony

Trump impeachment hearings: 4 takeaways from Day 6 of public testimony The first day of testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee included testimony from legal scholars Noah Feldman, Pamela Karlan, Michael Gerhardt and Jonathan Turley.

Wanted Indian guru resurfaces to announce new cosmic country

Wanted Indian guru resurfaces to announce new cosmic country An Indian guru facing rape and sexual abuse charges made headlines Wednesday after he emerged from hiding and announced the birth of a new cosmic country with its own cabinet and golden passports. Swami Nithyananda, a controversial self-styled godman with thousands of followers in southern India's Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states, posted a video on his YouTube channel announcing the special project to his followers. 41-year-old Nithyananda announced that his country is called Kailaasa, and is the biggest Hindu nation without boundaries.

Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuses began by 1985, targeted 13-year-old, lawsuit claims

Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuses began by 1985, targeted 13-year-old, lawsuit claims Financier Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse of girls and young women began as early as 1985 and targeted victims as young as 13 years old, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by nine accusers against his estate. The accusers, known as Jane Doe I through Jane Doe IX, are among more than 20 women so far to formally seek compensation from Epstein's $577 million estate, after he killed himself on Aug. 10 in a Manhattan jail cell. Epstein's death at age 66 was ruled a suicide, and came five weeks after his arrest on federal charges he trafficked dozens of underage girls from at least 2002 to 2005.

Activists apologize for use of Holocaust victims' remains

Activists apologize for use of Holocaust victims' remains An activist group has apologized to Jewish organizations outraged over their use of purported Holocaust victims' remains in an installation outside Germany's parliament building meant to draw attention to the perils of far-right extremism. The Center for Political Beauty, a Germany-based activist group known for provocative stunts, installed an urn outside the Reichtstag building on Monday, saying it contained victims' remains that it had unearthed from 23 locations near Nazi death and concentration camps in Germany, Poland and Ukraine. Following the uproar from Jewish organizations decrying the stunt as an instrumentalization of the Holocaust and an affront to the dead, the group apologized and by Thursday morning the urn had been wrapped in opaque black plastic so its contents could not be seen.

Conman sets up fake Russia border with Finland to trick migrants

Conman sets up fake Russia border with Finland to trick migrants Border guards in Russia's north west last week arrested a man who had set up a bogus border outpost with Finland and taken thousands of euros from migrants for what they thought was a journey through the woods to the European Union. The man, who was only identified as a citizen of one of the former Soviet Union republics, put up border posts in the forest outside St Petersburg and charged four men from South Asia more than 10,000 euros (£8,400) for his services for smuggling them into neighbouring Finland, Russia's Border Guard Service said on Wednesday. Russia's 1,340-kilometer border with Finland mostly runs across sparsely populated areas in the forest, offering a relatively easy way for migrants to get into the European Union. The Russian Border Guard Service said that the conman took the migrants on a trip out of town and led them to the bogus Russian-Finnish border where he left them. The conman apparently took the trouble to fake the migrant journey so meticulously that he even carried a dingy with him. The Komsomolskya Pravda daily said that the four men were from Sri Lanka and that they were detained when they reached a real Russian border guard outpost. A video released by authorities showed four men with their hands up standing in a dark forest. "The incredible adventures of the foreigners in the stillness of the night ended with a ruling of the Vyborg district court," the Border Guards said in a statement. The men were fined and deported out of Russia. Authorities did not specify their nationalities. The unidentified smuggler now faces charges of fraud. The Russian border with Finland became a popular destination for asylum seekers at the end of the 2015 migrant crisis in Europe. In 2016, Russia and Finland even briefly restricted access at two crossings only to the citizens of Finland, Russia, and Belarus, plus their family members, following a hike in the number of asylum seekers. Russians living in the border areas were at that time offering the migrants help to get to the border crossing with Finland.

Harvard grad student workers go on strike, seeking $25 an hour minimum wage, other demands

Harvard grad student workers go on strike, seeking $25 an hour minimum wage, other demands Harvard graduate student workers went on strike Tuesday, becoming the first Harvard academic employees to launch a work stoppage in decades.

The U.S. Army's Ultimate Weapon Isn't a New Gun or Tank

The U.S. Army's Ultimate Weapon Isn't a New Gun or Tank Nope. Think AI.

Pakistan pulls back on prosecuting Chinese sex traffickers

Pakistan pulls back on prosecuting Chinese sex traffickers Pakistan has declined to pursue a sprawling case against Chinese sex traffickers due to fears it would harm economic ties with Beijing, the AP reported on Wednesday. Pakistan has been seeking closer ties with China for years as Beijing continue to make major investments in the country's infrastructure.

The college admissions scandal ringleader tried to recruit 7 Stanford coaches to be part of the scheme but only one took the bait

The college admissions scandal ringleader tried to recruit 7 Stanford coaches to be part of the scheme but only one took the bait Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne published a letter about the school's investigation into the college admissions scandal on Tuesday.

'He's two-faced': Trump, mad at Trudeau, says he's leaving NATO summit early

'He's two-faced': Trump, mad at Trudeau, says he's leaving NATO summit early President Trump on Wednesday offered a blunt response to Justin Trudeau after video surfaced of the Canadian prime minister apparently mocking him during a conversation with other world leaders at the NATO summit in London.

'In cold blood': Syria Kurds say killed, robbed by Turkey proxies

'In cold blood': Syria Kurds say killed, robbed by Turkey proxies Syrian Kurdish mother Shara Sido says the news came to her via a messaging application. Sitting inside a modest house in the de-facto Syrian Kurdish capital of Qamishli, the displaced 65-year-old scrolls through her phone to find a picture. Turkish troops and their Syrian proxies have overrun a swathe of northern Syria since October, after a deadly military campaign against Kurdish forces that caused tens of thousands to flee their homes.

Clinton Donors Charged in Massive Campaign-Finance Scheme

Clinton Donors Charged in Massive Campaign-Finance Scheme Eight people, including major Hillary Clinton donors and a witness in the Mueller investigation, have been charged in a massive campaign-finance scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.The individuals conspired to "make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions" valued around $3.5 million in the 2016 election campaign and beyond, according to the announcement. Although the indictment does not specifically name the recipient of the donations, it is clear that the contributions went to groups allied with Clinton's presidential campaign.One of those charged, George Nader, is a Lebanese American businessman who was a witness in the Mueller report. Nader was also caught in 2018 in possession of child pornography, but received partial immunity in exchange for testimony in the Mueller investigation. He faces between 15 to 40 years in prison if convicted on child-pornography charges.Also indicted on campaign-finance charges was Ahmad "Andy" Khawaja, who hosted a fundraiser for Clinton in Los Angeles in 2016 and who conspired to conceal campaign donations from 2016 to 2018. Khawaja owns an online-payments company used by, among others, debt collectors, offshore gamblers, and pornographers. The company has made numerous campaign donations to both Democrats and Republicans.Nader also gained access to the Trump administration, meeting with the president on several occasions. Nader has experience in international diplomacy, has served as a diplomatic conduit to the Middle East and Russia, and was an informal adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates.

Suspect in kidnap-slaying won't seek bond in separate case

Suspect in kidnap-slaying won't seek bond in separate case A man held in the abduction and slaying of an Alabama college student isn't fighting for bond in a separate kidnapping case, his attorney said Thursday. News outlets reported that Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, appeared in Montgomery County court on kidnapping, attempted murder and robbery charges linked to an incident in February. Defense attorney Preston Presley did not oppose a judge's decision to revoke his bond.

Potential jurors in Elon Musk's defamation trial were dismissed because they follow him on Twitter

Potential jurors in Elon Musk's defamation trial were dismissed because they follow him on Twitter The trial had to exclude numerous potential jurors for a bizarre variety of reasons, including that some of the potential jurors owned Teslas.

Millions of children exposed as flu spreads following vaccine delays

Millions of children exposed as flu spreads following vaccine delays Millions of children are at risk of flu amid a drop in uptake of vaccinations, after deliveries were delayed, officials have warned.  New figures show the number of people hospitalised because of flu has tripled in a fortnight, with the virus spreading before many of the most vulnerable have been protected.  Last night health officials urged parents to come forward and ensure children receive vaccinations. They are particularly alarmed by low uptake among toddlers, dubbed "super-spreaders" because they tend to pass on the virus to high numbers of people, including elderly grandparents.  Officials also warned that winter vomiting bug is on the rise, with twice as many hospital beds closed as this time last year.  Hospitals in England have been forced to close more than 1,100 hospital beds over the last week due to norovirus. The new flu figures show uptake of the nasal vaccine among two-year-olds is just 25.5 per cent, compared with 34.9 per cent this time last  year. And just 24.4 per cent of three-year-olds have received the vaccine, compared with 35.7 per cent at this time in last year's season. The latest weekly data from Public Health England show the hospitalisation rate from flu is now at "moderate intensity" - 4.3 admissions per 100,000 people, up from 1.4 admissions per 100,000 two weeks before.  Manufacturers have been beset by delays delivering the vaccine, as a result of problems testing it.    Health advice | What should I do if I feel the flu coming on? As a result, schools were last month told to cancel vaccinations, with GPs urged to prioritise toddlers and the sickest children.  Health officials said the dealys were now resolved, and urged parents to take any unvaccinated toddlers to their doctor.  Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, Head of Flu, Public Health England said: "Flu season has now started and so it's really important that people get their flu vaccine as soon as possible to ensure they are protected against this potentially very serious illness. The initial evidence suggests the vaccine is a good match for the main strain of flu that is circulating. "Vaccination uptake in toddlers is lower than we would hope for at this point in the year due to previous delays in delivery of the vaccine, which are now resolved. If you have children aged two to three go to your GP to get them vaccinated now."

Why Iran's 'Stealth' Qaher 313 Is Nothing to Fear

Why Iran's 'Stealth' Qaher 313 Is Nothing to Fear A sad excuse for a plane.

Second evacuation in Texas city hit by explosion, chemical fire

Second evacuation in Texas city hit by explosion, chemical fire Authorities on Thursday lifted a second evacuation in a week for thousands of residents of a Texas city after workers stopped leaks of cancer-causing chemicals at a petrochemical plant hit by explosions. Residents of Port Neches, Texas, a city of about 14,000 people 95 miles (153 km) east of Houston, were told to flee late on Wednesday after air monitors detected elevated levels of butane and butadiene, cancer-causing petrochemicals. Butadiene is the main product of the TPC Group's [TPCL.UL] facility in the city struck by last week's blaze and blast, which injured three workers and prompted a two-day evacuation.

Warren Is Drafting U.S. Legislation to Reverse 'Mega Mergers'

Warren Is Drafting U.S. Legislation to Reverse 'Mega Mergers' (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is drafting a bill that would call on regulators to retroactively review about two decades of "mega mergers" and ban such deals going forward.Warren's staff recently circulated a proposal for sweeping anti-monopoly legislation, which would deliver on a presidential campaign promise to check the power of Big Tech and other industries. Although the Trump administration is currently exploring their own antitrust probes, the proposal is likely to face resistance from lawmakers.According to a draft of the bill reviewed by Bloomberg, the proposal would expand antitrust law beyond the so-called consumer welfare standard, an approach that has driven antitrust policy since the 1970s. Under the current framework, the federal government evaluates mergers primarily based on potential harm to consumers through higher prices or decreased quality. The new bill would direct the government to also consider the impact on entrepreneurs, innovation, privacy and workers.Warren's bill, tentatively titled the Anti-Monopoly and Competition Restoration Act, would also ban non-compete and no-poaching agreements for workers and protect the rights of gig economy workers, such as drivers for Uber Technologies Inc., to organize.A draft of Warren's bill was included in an email Monday from Spencer Waller, the director of the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies at Loyola University Chicago. Waller urged fellow academics to sign a petition supporting it. He said Warren was working on the bill with Representative David Cicilline, the most prominent voice on antitrust issues in the House. Waller declined to comment on the email.Representatives for Cicilline and Warren declined to comment. The existence of the bill and Warren's support of it were reported earlier this week by the technology publication the Information.In Washington, there is some support across the political spectrum for increased antitrust scrutiny of large technology companies. Warren positioned herself as a leader on the issue this year while campaigning on a plan to break up Big Tech. She has repeatedly called for unwinding Facebook Inc.'s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, along with Google's purchase of YouTube and advertising platform DoubleClick.Read more: Warren Accuses Michael Bloomberg of 'Buying the Election'It's not clear when a bill would be introduced or whether it would move forward in its current form. Cicilline has said he would not introduce antitrust legislation until he concludes an antitrust investigation for the House Judiciary Committee in early 2020.Amy Klobuchar, a Senator from Minnesota who's also vying for the Democratic nomination, has pushed legislation covering similar ground. Klobuchar plans to introduce additional antitrust legislation soon, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to discuss the plans and asked not to be identified.Any proposal would face significant hurdles to becoming law, and Warren's version could be particularly problematic because it promotes the idea that antitrust enforcement is equivalent to being against big business, said Barak Orbach, a law professor at the University of Arizona who received a draft of the bill. "The way I read it is that Elizabeth Warren is trying to make a political statement in the course of her campaign," Orbach said. "It's likely to have negative effects on antitrust enforcement, so I just don't see the upside other than for the campaign."The bill proposes a ban on mergers where one company has annual revenue of more $40 billion, or where both companies have sales exceeding $15 billion, except under certain exceptions, such as when a company is in immediate danger of insolvency. That would seemingly put a freeze on many acquisitions for Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., Facebook, Microsoft Corp. and dozens of other companies. The bill would also place new limitations on smaller mergers.Chris Sagers, a law professor at Cleveland State University, said the proposal would serve as an effective check on corporate power. "I don't think you'll have new antitrust policy until Congress says the courts have incorrectly interpreted the statutes," he said. "Someone has to do what Elizabeth Warren is doing."(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at;Joshua Brustein in New York at jbrustein@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Trump impeachment news: Democrats release damning report accusing president of obstruction, as he has tense exchanges with world leaders at Nato summit

Trump impeachment news: Democrats release damning report accusing president of obstruction, as he has tense exchanges with world leaders at Nato summit Donald Trump sparred with Emmanuel Macron during a televised bilateral meeting at the two-day Nato summit in London, as House investigators released an explosive report on the impeachment inquiry back home in Washington.It was a whirlwind news cycle during the president's visit to the UK: as Mr Trump met with world leaders overseas, House investigators released their report finding "a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election".

North Korea's Kim in new horse ride through winter snows

North Korea's Kim in new horse ride through winter snows North Korean media published fresh pictures Wednesday of leader Kim Jong Un riding a white horse on a sacred mountain, imagery that experts say is heavy with symbolism and may indicate a policy announcement. The photos come as nuclear talks with the United States are stalled and with a looming end-of-year deadline set by North Korea for some kind of concession from Washington. Kim -- in a black leather trenchcoat he has worn recently to open a flagship construction project and supervise a weapons test -- was pictured leading a squad of riders in a white forest near Mount Paektu.

Climate models have been right all along, study finds

Climate models have been right all along, study finds Even the rather primitive climate computer models of the 1970s, 80s and 90s were impressively accurate, lending extra credibility to the much more advanced climate models of today, study finds

Rep. Duncan Hunter Shows no Signs of Resigning Despite Pleading Guilty to Campaign Finance Charges

Rep. Duncan Hunter Shows no Signs of Resigning Despite Pleading Guilty to Campaign Finance Charges Representative Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) has not indicated that he will leave his seat in the House after he pleaded guilty on Wednesday to campaign finance violations.Hunter had long criticized the investigation against him as a "witch hunt," but announced on Sunday that he would change his stance and plead guilty. Hunter and his wife, who pleaded guilty to similar charges in June, were accused of using $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for family vacations to Hawaii, plane tickets for their pet rabbit, and other personal expenses. Both face a possible sentence of eight to fourteen months in jail."I failed to monitor and account for my campaign spending. I made mistakes, and that's what today was all about," Duncan told reporters on Tuesday after his guilty plea. He said he wanted to avoid a trial "for my kids. I think it would be really tough for them."However, the congressman has not yet discussed resigning from the House with minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.). Hunter refused to answer Politico on Wednesday when they asked whether he planned to resign.Hunter is scheduled to be sentenced on March 17. One Republican lawmaker said party leadership would give him time to "get his affairs in order," but that time would be limited. Republicans had to force Hunter to give up positions on various House committees after his guilty plea.Former Rep. Chris Collins (R., N.Y.) resigned on September 30, one day before he pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading.

US Rep. Denny Heck of Washington state to retire after term

US Rep. Denny Heck of Washington state to retire after term Heck, 67, now in his fourth term, has been the only representative of Washington's 10th District since it was created in 2012. Heck said he had relished much of the work he did in Congress, including serving on the House Intelligence Committee, trying to protect Puget Sound from pollution and helping a soldier receive a Purple Heart after authorities overlooked his injuries.

Tesla refused to help the police with an investigation into stolen copper wire after Elon Musk learned about the incident because the company was scared of bad press

Tesla refused to help the police with an investigation into stolen copper wire after Elon Musk learned about the incident because the company was scared of bad press Tesla declined to assist authorities on other occasions amid reports of "rampant crime" in 2018, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

Missile Shield: Romania Now Has America's Aegis Ashore

Missile Shield: Romania Now Has America's Aegis Ashore A powerful system.

UPDATE 1-Russia suspends revamp work at Iran's Fordow nuclear plant

UPDATE 1-Russia suspends revamp work at Iran's Fordow nuclear plant Russian state nuclear company Rosatom has suspended work on revamping a factory at Iran's Fordow nuclear complex due to an issue with uranium compatibility, Rosatom's nuclear fuel cycle unit TVEL said on Thursday. "Uranium enrichment and the production of stable isotopes cannot be carried out in the same room," TVEL said in a statement, adding that it was "technologically impossible" to implement the project at this time. In November, the United States said it would cease waiving punitive sanctions related to the Fordow plant from Dec. 15 - a move Russia condemned - after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site in contravention of a nuclear deal it signed with world powers in 2015.

Soldier stationed in Afghanistan raises thousands to bring home his buddy, Sully the cat

Soldier stationed in Afghanistan raises thousands to bring home his buddy, Sully the cat Funding is a challenge for this Afghanistan animal rescue. To get a cat to the U.S., it generally costs $3,000 or more and for a dog, up to $5,000.

Trump Campaign Uses Footage From Poland, South Africa in 'American Dream' Thanksgiving Ad

Trump Campaign Uses Footage From Poland, South Africa in 'American Dream' Thanksgiving Ad President Donald Trump's campaign released a Thanksgiving-themed ad earlier this week celebrating America's inherent greatness. But some of the video's Americana imagery was taken from foreign countries.The 43-second video displayed various, traditionally patriotic scenes: families gathering in the kitchen, a kid looking into a telescope, a game of catch, and steelworkers leaving a steel mill. However, two of those vignettes were filmed in, respectively, Poland and South Africa.The ad, posted on Twitter Monday, features a narrator touting the "American dream" while the clips play and emotional orchestral music swells in the background. It then pivots to footage of Trump greeting and speaking to troops during his Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan.According to Getty Images, the shot of steelworkers leaving the steel mill in the advertisement originated from Poland. The website also says the clip showing a woman and a girl making sweets in a kitchen was filmed in South Africa. Both clips were available for purchase through Getty for as low as $175. The foreign origin of the clips were first flagged by super PAC American Bridge.The Trump campaign did not return a request for comment. This isn't the first time Trump's 2020 campaign has used foreign images in their ads. The campaign was caught using images of foreign stock footage models in Facebook and Google ads earlier this year, and making it look like testimonials from Americans. In addition, one of Trump's 2016 campaign ads used footage of migrants in Morocco in an ad promoting the building of a wall along the Mexico border. At the time, the campaign told Politico the use of the Morocco footage was "intentional."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.

Israel and Czech Republic sign $125 mn missile defence deal

Israel and Czech Republic sign $125 mn missile defence deal Israel's defence ministry signed a deal with its Czech counterpart on Thursday to sell it radar systems used in the Jewish state's Iron Dome missile defence system. The radars will be integrated into the Czech air defence system which will use Prague's own rocket launchers, a ministry spokesperson said. Czech defence minister Lubomir Metnar said the acquisition was one of the country's "key modernisation projects" for its armed forces.

Judge dismisses lawsuit in 1930s gangster John Dillinger case

Judge dismisses lawsuit in 1930s gangster John Dillinger case A judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday by a nephew of 1930s gangster John Dillinger who wants to exhume the notorious criminal's Indianapolis gravesite to prove whether he's actually buried there, ruling that he must get the cemetery's permission.

'Jews are France', says Emmanuel Macron after 107 Jewish graves  desecrated in anti-Semitic attack

'Jews are France', says Emmanuel Macron after 107 Jewish graves  desecrated in anti-Semitic attack President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to fight anti-Semitism saying "Jews are and make France" after 107 graves were desecrated at a Jewish cemetery in the northeast of the country. The daubing of swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti on the graves at the cemetery in Westhoffen around 15 miles west of Strasbourg in the Alsace region was the latest racist attack to shock the country. "Jews are and make France," President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "Those who attack them, even their graves, are not worthy of the idea we have of France." "Anti-Semitism is a crime and we will fight it in Westhoffen as everywhere until our dead can sleep in peace," he added. In response to the latest in a string of such acts of anti-Semitic vandalism, France is to open a national bureau to lead the fight against hate crimes. The office, which would be part of France's gendarmerie, will be charged with investigating this crime but also all anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian acts,  said interior minister Christophe Castaner. France is to create a bureau against hate crimes Credit:  ARND WIEGMANN/ REUTERS "The Republic itself has been desecrated," said Mr Castaner said after visiting the cemetery, which dates from the 16th century.  The Alsace region has suffered a rash of racist vandalism over the past year, most notably the desecration of 96 tombs at a cemetery in Quatzenheim in February, which sparked nationwide outrage. The rising number of anti-Jewish offences reported to police - up 74 percent in 2018 from the previous year - has caused alarm in the country that is home to both the biggest Jewish and the biggest Muslim communities in Europe. Earlier this year, politicians from across the spectrum joined marches against anti-Semitism amid fears of a rise around the continent. They denounced a surge in attacks that some commentators blamed on incitement by Islamist preachers, others on the rise of anti-Zionism - opposition to the existence of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people. The graves were desecrated just hours before French MPs adopted a resolution equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. On Tuesday evening, French MPs approved a non-legally binding resolution modelled on the definition of anti-Semitism set by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The IHRA definition, which serves as an international guideline, does not reference "anti-Zionism" but does say denying Jews their right to self-determination is anti-Semitic. The World Jewish Congress hailed France's step. "For too long too many have used the excuse that their obsessive criticism of Israel stands exclusive from their otherwise positive feelings for the Jewish people. Those days are now over," it said. Debate over the resolution split Mr Macron's ruling La Republique En Marche party, with some opponents saying it could smother freedom of expression in criticising the Israeli government. Backers said it merely targeted those who refused to recognise the existence of Israel or sought its destruction.

Putin offers US an immediate extension to key nuclear pact

Putin offers US an immediate extension to key nuclear pact Russian President Vladimir Putin offered Thursday to immediately extend the only remaining nuclear arms reduction pact with the United States, but a senior U.S. official said Washington wants a broader deal involving China. Speaking at a meeting with military officials, Putin said that Russia has repeatedly offered the U.S. to extend the New START treaty that expires in 2021 but that it hasn't heard back.

2020 Democrats Expose Extreme Abortion Policies in New Survey

2020 Democrats Expose Extreme Abortion Policies in New Survey The New York Times has released the results from a set of questions posed to each Democratic presidential candidate about his or her views on abortion. Thus far in the primary race, very few of the candidates have been pushed to account for their position on a variety of abortion policies, especially during the debates. The Times should be commended for this effort to get candidates on the record on specific policy questions.Five candidates did not complete the survey: Montana governor Steve Bullock (who has since exited the race), former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro, former Maryland congressman John Delaney, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and California senator Kamala Harris (who ended her campaign yesterday).The survey is the first time that most candidates were asked whether they support restrictions on abortion procedures after fetal viability, usually somewhere around 21 weeks' gestation, the earliest a premature infant has survived. Only Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar suggested that regulations could be acceptable, saying they "must be consistent with Roe v. Wade," which would allow states to limit abortion in the third trimester with an exception for women's health. (It's worth noting that Roe companion case Doe v. Bolton defined "health" expansively to include financial, emotional, and familial health, making it difficult for states to limit abortion practically speaking.)Most candidates offered some form of a "no," including Colorado senator Michael Bennet, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, billionaire Tom Steyer, and New Jersey senator Cory Booker. Several candidates offered longer explanations, repeating the common claim that post-viability abortions are rare and only take place in the case of medical emergencies."The fact is that less than 1 percent of abortions take place after 24 weeks of pregnancy," South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg said. "They often involve heartbreaking circumstances in which a person's health or life is at risk, or when the fetus has a congenital condition that is incompatible with life."Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren used the same formula. "Only 1.3 percent of abortions take place at 21 weeks or later, and the reasons are heartbreaking," she said. "20-week abortion bans are dangerous and cruel. They would force women to carry an unviable fetus to term or force women with severe health complications to stay pregnant with their lives on the line."Both Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson offered similar responses. It's worth explaining why these are cop-out answers that obfuscate the truth about late-term abortion. Just over 1 percent of abortions after 20 weeks does sound rare, until you consider that the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute also estimates about 926,000 annual abortions, meaning that 12,000 abortions happen after viability. That means there are more post-viability abortions each year than gun homicides.Contrary to the Democratic narrative, plenty of women obtain third-trimester abortions for reasons other than a fetal-health condition (and it is certainly debatable whether it's "medically necessary" to kill unborn human beings with an illness or disability). In this interview, a U.S. doctor who performs third-trimester abortions says "a large percentage of our patients had no idea that they were pregnant" until late in pregnancy and that they then obtain an abortion at her clinic. There are a few clinics in the U.S. that advertise late-term elective abortions, including Southwestern Women's Options, a facility in Albuquerque, N.M., that performs elective abortions through 32 weeks of pregnancy.A 2013 Guttmacher article reported that "data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment." Rather, they most often do so for reasons such as "they were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous."These talking points from Democrats are an inaccurate excuse deployed by candidates who refuse to support any regulations on abortion but want to provide cover for that unpopular position by twisting the facts.On several other key questions, meanwhile, all of the candidates are in lockstep, showcasing that support for nearly unlimited abortion, funded by taxpayers, has become a requirement for Democratic politicians with national aspirations. For example, every candidate said he or she wouldn't so much as consider a running mate who opposes abortion rights, a signal that there is no room at the top of the party for pro-life Democrats.Several candidates answered an additional survey question about whether "opponents of abortion rights" should be welcomed as members or candidates in the party. Two non-politician candidates, Williamson and Yang, said the party should be a "big tent" free of litmus tests, and Bennet said the party "is and should be an inclusive one."Buttigieg, meanwhile, offered a vague reply seeming to suggest that pro-life Democrats are in fact unwelcome. "Democrats believe every person has the right to make decisions about their own reproductive health and about their body," he wrote. Warren had a similarly indirect answer: "We should stand up to any politician who tramples on a personal decision that has health and economic security consequences for women, their future and their families."Only one candidate, former Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak, who has since dropped out of the race, had an answer that articulated what Democrats risk by turning abortion into a litmus test. "In some cases, I think it is appropriate for the Democratic Party to welcome candidates who oppose abortion rights," Sestak wrote. "Such cases could include candidates running in places where a Democrat who supports abortion rights would be unable to win. . . ."Consider the recent reelection of Democratic governor John Bel Edwards in Louisiana, who defeated his Republican challenger by a narrow margin in mid November. Of all the heartbeat bills signed into law earlier this year - prohibiting abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which usually takes place around six weeks' gestation - only Louisiana's was signed by a Democrat: Edwards. Without his pro-life bona fides, Edwards almost surely would've lost his seat. If most national Democrats got their way, candidates like him would be excised from the party entirely, to the benefit of Republicans.There was unanimous support among candidates for "codifying" the Supreme Court's decision in Roe, though it is unclear how they would do so within the bounds of the Constitution. Every survey respondent expressed support for repealing the Hyde Amendment, a rider that prevents federal funds from directly underwriting abortion procedures. Even Joe Biden - who for decades of his public career supported Hyde as a protection for pro-life Americans with whom he says he personally agrees - has reversed his position, an indication of the party's dramatic shift on the issue."Biden will repeal the Hyde Amendment and use executive action to on his first day in office withdraw the Mexico City 'global gag rule' and Donald Trump's Title X restrictions," Biden's campaign told the Times in a statement. But despite his willingness to jettison his lifelong stance and drift along with party dogma, Biden didn't answer two additional questions in the survey: whether he would sign a budget that included Hyde and whether he would require private insurers to cover abortion.Several candidates, including Buttigieg, Warren, Williamson, Yang, Bennet, Booker, and Sanders said they would compel private insurers to cover abortion, a step further even than opposing Hyde.Democrats running for president have made it abundantly clear up to this point that they plan to align their campaigns with their party's most hard-core supporters of abortion rights. This survey suggests that they're willing to do so even when it requires exposing their extremism to voters who disagree.

China Built The DF-26 Missile To Take Down America's Prized Aircraft Carriers

China Built The DF-26 Missile To Take Down America's Prized Aircraft Carriers Don't underestimate these missiles.

U.S. trade deficit narrows to 1-1/2-year low on weak imports, exports

U.S. trade deficit narrows to 1-1/2-year low on weak imports, exports The U.S. trade deficit dropped to its lowest level in nearly 1-1/2 years in October, suggesting trade could contribute to economic growth in the fourth quarter, though a fall in imports of consumer goods hinted at a slowdown in domestic demand. The Commerce Department said on Thursday the trade deficit tumbled 7.6% to $47.2 billion, the smallest since May 2018, as both imports and exports of goods declined. The decreases in imports and exports suggested the White House's "America First" agenda, marked by a 17-month trade war with China, was reducing trade flows.

Pete Buttigieg and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got into a nasty fight over free public college. It's part of a larger battle between progressive and centrist Democrats.

Pete Buttigieg and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got into a nasty fight over free public college. It's part of a larger battle between progressive and centrist Democrats. Buttigieg recently introduced his college affordability plan and took a swipe at his 2020 competitors who want public college to be tuition-free.

Trump's $28 Billion Trade War Bailout Is Overpaying Farmers

Trump's $28 Billion Trade War Bailout Is Overpaying Farmers (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. President Donald Trump's $28 billion farm bailout may be paying many growers more than the trade war with China has cost them.The U.S. Department of Agriculture's calculations overshot the impact of the trade conflict on American soybean prices, according to six academic studies, a conclusion that is likely to add to criticism that the bailout has generated distortions and inequalities in the farm economy."It's clear that the payment rates overstated the damage suffered by soybean growers," said Joseph Glauber, the USDA's former chief economist who published a review of the research in late November. "Based on what the studies show, the damages were about half that."The academic research has focused on soybeans in part because the crop has been the most visible target of Chinese retaliation and overall received the most trade aid. But the method the department used to calculate trade losses also likely overstates the conflict's financial impact on most other farm products, though for a few commodities it may understate the true impact, Glauber, now a senior fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, said in an interview.The divergence doesn't necessarily mean a bonanza for American farmers, who are being financially squeezed on other fronts, including a global commodity glut that is depressing prices and a year of wild weather that is damaging crop yields. Also, the trade conflict risks long-term loss of market share for U.S. producers as overseas customers build relationships with replacement suppliers. Neither the academic nor the USDA estimates take potential future market losses into account."You're ruining a huge export market," said Yuqing Zheng, an agricultural economist at the University of Kentucky. "Longer term, we don't know for sure what the impact will be. Even if there is no future tariff, China might import less from the United States."Still, a team led by Zheng estimated the trade conflict depressed U.S. soybean prices by only 36 cents per bushel in its first year, a period in which the bailout program paid soybean growers more than four times that: $1.65 per bushel.The scale of the farm rescue package has now swelled to more than twice the ultimate $12 billion cost of the controversial auto industry bailouts under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. And it's increasingly come under under fire.Senate Democrats issued a report in November arguing the trade aid program favors large producers over smaller ones. An advocacy group, the Environmental Working Group, released a study that asserted big farms so far have been the main beneficiaries of the billions of dollars in aid payments.The USDA forecast last week net farm income will rise more than 10% this year to $92.5 billion, with additional government aid accounting for all of the increase in profits. Almost 40% of projected U.S. farm profits this year will come from trade aid, disaster assistance, federal subsidies and insurance payments. With the extra aid, farmers will have their highest profits in six years, though still well below the $124 billion they netted in 2013, according to the department.A Purdue University-CME Group survey of farmers' agricultural sentiment climbed for a second month in November to match its highest level since the survey's inception in 2015. Midwest SupportersThe trade aid, particularly for soybeans, largely goes to the president's political supporters. Polls show Trump has maintained overwhelming backing from farmers. In the 2016 election, Trump won eight of the 10 states with the largest soybean acreage, all of them in the Midwest. Glauber estimates more than half of the direct payments under the USDA's market facilitation program cover soybeans.The apparent over-payment stems from the method the USDA used to compute trade damages for the rescue package. The department forecast the overall price impact of punitive tariffs China and other nations imposed on U.S. farm products without considering sales farmers would gain as the world market reorganized in response. But as China bought more soybeans from Brazil, instead of the U.S., other buyers stepped in to purchase more soybeans from the U.S., replacing product they had previously bought from Brazil."A broader analysis like some of these show the beans go elsewhere," Glauber said. "They don't just go into storage. Some of them go to Europe. Some of them go to other uses. We ended up crushing a lot more soybeans in 2018 than expected. We exported more vegetable oil, more protein meal. All of that mitigates the price impact."Pat Westhoff, director of the University of Missouri's Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, led a team that estimated tariffs from China and other nations involved in trade disputes caused the price of U.S. soybeans to drop by 78 cents per bushel.The USDA projections "do not consider the impact of exports to other markets," Westhoff said. "They consider only the negatives and not the positives."New MarketsMichael Adjemian, an economist at the University of Georgia, came up with a lower impact: 52 cents a bushel. He based his model on the export price for soybeans in New Orleans."New markets emerged," Adjemian said. "We sold more to the rest of the world, though not enough to make up all of the difference."Robert Johansson, the USDA's chief economist, said the department decided to base trade aid on a projection of "gross" trade losses rather "net" losses primarily for consistent treatment of producers of diverse farm products affected. It's harder to isolate net trade impact for specialty crops such as pecans or almonds than for major commodities such as soybeans, he said."We need to be pretty sure whatever method we use is consistent across all commodities," Johansson said. "You can imagine what the reaction would be if we said we'll use this model for soybeans and that model for sorghum and another one for cotton."USDA officials also concluded after consulting with U.S. trade negotiators that there was an advantage to using the gross damages method because it is the basis the country uses for arguing cases before the World Trade Organization, which handles international trade disputes, Johansson said.Transportation FactorIndividual producers also may face greater losses than the overall net price impact of the trade war depending on their location because there may be higher transportation costs for moving their goods to a different market or other adjustment costs, he added.In some cases, though, the method the USDA uses to compute trade aid may understate losses to farmers. Westhoff cited corn growers. The gross trade losses cover only the direct impact of the tariff dispute. Corn growers have primarily been hurt by indirect effects as farmers who might otherwise grow soybeans produce corn instead, bringing down corn prices, he said.The USDA has made a higher trade damage estimate for soybeans in this year's aid program, at $2.05 per bushel, which Westhoff said also exceeds his group's estimate for the impact in the period.This year's payment is higher because the USDA decided to calculate the damage based on export sales over the past 10 years; last year's payment was based on a comparison with the prior year.Wendy Brannen, a spokeswoman for the American Soybean Association, declined to comment.(Updates with sentiment survey in 11th paragraph. A previous version of the story corrected the spelling of Johansson.)To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Dorning in Washington at mdorning@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at, Millie Munshi, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Indonesia minister says sacking Garuda CEO over smuggled Harley

Indonesia minister says sacking Garuda CEO over smuggled Harley The CEO of Indonesia's national airline Garuda will be sacked for allegedly smuggling a Harley Davidson motorcycle into the country and using a sub-ordinate's name on import papers to avoid detection, a minister said Thursday. State-owned enterprises minister Erick Thohir said the airline's chief Ari Ashkara allegedly brought over parts of the disassembled motorbike on a plane from France last month. The alleged smuggling was meant to avoid declaring the 800 million rupiah ($57,000) motorbike to customs, he added.

Investigators probing role weather may have played in deadly South Dakota plane crash

Investigators probing role weather may have played in deadly South Dakota plane crash An NTSB investigator examines the wreckage of a Pilatus PC-12 airplane near Chamberlain Municipal Airport in South Dakota. The aircraft crashed on Saturday, November 30, 2019, moments after taking off amid heavy snowfall. The crash killed nine of the 12 people on board. (NTSB) The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released new information Tuesday about the plane crash in Chamberlain, South Dakota, that killed nine people and injured three others within a mile of takeoff. A review of the available information about the fatal crash, which occurred Saturday within a mile of takeoff, indicates weather was a significant, if not major, factor, experts say.Chamberlain, and much of South Dakota, was under a winter storm warning and experiencing near-blizzard conditions around the time of the crash on Saturday.The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 arrived in Chamberlain Friday at about 9:30 a.m. CST, according to the NTSB report. The airplane remained parked on the airport ramp until the accident a day later, the report noted."They landed on Friday ahead of the storm, and it looks like they just left the plane parked on the runway," said AccuWeather senior meteorologist David Samuhel, who reviewed the NTSB statement. "There was probably 8 or 9 inches of snow, so the plane probably had a whole lot of snow and ice on it." The NTSB is still investigating the crash, and it's not clear if the snow and ice were cleared from the aircraft before takeoff. Samuhel said, "If they didn't get the snow and ice off the wings, that would be a huge problem." A photo of a Pilatus PC-12 in flight. (Pilatus Aircraft Ltd) An aviation expert AccuWeather spoke with also said there was likely frost or ice below the layer of snow and added that it's "doubtful the facilities exist for that sort of deicing at this small airport."Ice and snow needs to be properly removed from a plane for the flight to be legal, and if that doesn't happen, the consequences can be dire. "You're looking at [an] increase in drag of 40 percent and decrease of lift of 30 percent if you don't deice properly."Also, the NTSB reported the weather observation station at the Chamberlain airport recorded winds of 7 mph, with half-mile visibility and moderate snow and icing. AccuWeather's Samuhel believes the winds were likely much stronger."I question the wind reading at Chamberlain airport," he said. "Pierre is about 65 miles to the northwest of Chamberlain, but the conditions probably weren't much different and winds in Pierre were gusting to 40 mph and even higher some parts of the day."They were leaving Saturday and the storm was starting to wrap up, but they were still in a bad part of it where the wind was really kicking up and they were probably getting blowing snow, too," Samuhel said.According to Travis Garza, president of wellness company Kyani, the company's two founders, Jim Hansen and Kirk Hansen, were among the crash victims. The other seven passengers who died were their relatives.There were 393 U.S. civil aviation deaths in 2018, an increase from 347 in 2017, according to the NTSB. Most aviation deaths in 2018 took place during general aviation operations - all civilian flying except scheduled passenger airline service - when 381 were killed, compared to 331 in 2017.

Israeli same-sex couples find legal loophole for marriage

Israeli same-sex couples find legal loophole for marriage Israel embraces gay tourists - and even hosts a gay Pride - but lags behind when it comes to gay rights

'Disturbing' photo leads to suspensions in WV agency

'Disturbing' photo leads to suspensions in WV agency A photo of West Virginia corrections trainees was so disturbing that some employees have been suspended and the governor has ordered some to be fired - but what the image shows remains a mystery. The letter, sent by West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Jeff Sandy to the agency's Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Wednesday, doesn't make clear what the image shows or how many employees have been suspended. Republican Gov. Jim Justice issued a statement Thursday condemning the photo and ordered the firing of those involved.

Colombia: thousands take to the streets in third national strike in two weeks

Colombia: thousands take to the streets in third national strike in two weeks Protests put more pressure on unpopular president Iván Duque, who is engaged in a 'national dialogue' with strike organisers Colombians have taken to the streets for a third national strike in two weeks, piling more pressure on the unpopular rightwing president, Iván Duque, and his proposed tax reforms.Thousands thronged the streets of Bogotá, the capital, shutting down much of the city's historic centre, indicating that the unrest will continue while Duque engages in a "national dialogue" with strike organisers."We'll be out on the streets until Duque listens to us," said Andres López, a student at a gathering on one of Bogotá's main commercial streets. "We're not scared of the government."Hundreds of thousands of people joined the first national strike on 21 November, and have turned out in daily demonstrations since then, initially sparked by proposed cuts to pensions.Though that reform was never formally announced, it became a lightning rod for widespread dissatisfaction with the government of Duque, whose approval rating has dropped to just 26% since he took office in August last year.Protesters are also angry at the lack of support for the historic 2016 peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), which formally ended five decades of civil war that killed 260,000 and forced more than 7 million to flee their homes.Others are protesting in defense of indigenous people and rural activists, who continue to be murdered at alarming rates. A recent airstrike against a camp of dissident rebel drug traffickers left at least eight minors dead, adding to protesters' fury.While most of the protests have been peaceful, some property was vandalised when the demonstrations first broke out. Police have often responded with teargas and "less lethal" bean bag rounds and flash bangs.One 18-year-old protester, Dilan Cruz, was killed by riot police after being shot in the head with a bean bag on 23 November. The incident infuriated demonstrators and led strike organisers to demand the dismantling of Esmad, Colombia's feared riot police squadron, who they accuse of readily using excessive force.Four others have also died across the country in connection with the protests.The rage could be felt on Wednesday as protesters shouted "murderers" as they marched past police officers.Strike organisers are also demanding the scrapping of proposed economic reforms and that the government honour the peace deal.Despite the ongoing demonstrations, some analysts suspect that Christmas could offer Duque a much-needed reprieve."The protests will take a break for the holiday season, unless something egregious happens, and are likely to pick up in the new year," said Sergio Guzmán, the director of Colombia Risk Analysis. "The big risk is if the protests transcend their urban nature and spill over into rural areas."

North Korea's Underground Air Bases Would Be Key In a War Against America

North Korea's Underground Air Bases Would Be Key In a War Against America Keep it secret, keep it safe.

Biden says he would consider Harris for vice presidential slot

Biden says he would consider Harris for vice presidential slot A day after U.S. Senator Kamala Harris ended her 2020 presidential bid, former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination, said on Wednesday he would consider her as a potential running mate. Biden, with whom Harris clashed during a Democratic debate earlier this year, praised her after a campaign event in Ames, Iowa. "Senator Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be," Biden told reporters, according to a video posted by CBS News.

Majority of climate simulation models have accurately predicted global heating since 1970s, study finds

Majority of climate simulation models have accurately predicted global heating since 1970s, study finds Climate models have accurately predicted global heating for the past 50 years, a study by climate scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA has found.  The study found that computer models dating back to 1970, which were used to simulate what heat-trapping gases will do to global temperatures, were reliable in forecasting the physical response of the climate system to continued increases in the greenhouse effect.  Zeke Hausfather, lead author of the study which was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters Wednesday, considered 17 models used between 1970 and 2007 and found that the majority of them predicted results that were "indistinguishable from what actually occurred."  Recent climate model projections have found that even if countries follow through with current and anticipated climate policies, the world is still on track to reach about 3C above pre-industrial figures by 2100, a situation the UN's intergovernmental panel on climate change has warned against.  Dr Hausfather decided to evaluate the models' accuracy after years of  hearing critics voice scepticism about them. "Climate models are a really important way for us to understand how the climate could change in the  future, and now that we have taken a detailed look at how well past climate  models have held up in terms of their projections, we are far more  confident that our current generation of models are getting it right," he said.  Carbon Dioxide levels in the last 20yrs Ten of the 17 the models the team examined came close to the temperatures that actually occurred, Dr Hausfather said. However the input scenarios in nearly half of those examined was significantly different from the real-life greenhouse gas emissions that occurred.  But scientists actually got the physics right in the majority of the models, Dr Hausfather added.  Creating models to forecast changes in the climate is so difficult because it relies on two main assumption of what will happen in the future - one is the physics of the atmosphere and how it reacts to heat-trapping gases, the other is the amount of greenhouse gases emitted.  "We did not focus on how well their crystal ball predicted future emissions of greenhouse gases, because that is a question for economists and energy modelers, not climate scientists," Dr Hausfather said. "It is impossible to  know exactly what human emissions will be in the future. Physics we can  understand, it is a deterministic system; future emissions depend on human systems, which are not necessarily deterministic."  Blocks of ice drift on the water off the coast of a glacier in Antarctica Credit: Mathilde Bellenger /AFP So Dr Hausfather and his colleagues, including NASA climate scientist Gavin  Schmidt, also looked at how well the models did on just the pure science, taking out the emissions factor. On that count, 14 of the 17 computer models accurately predicted the future.  The scientists also gave each computer simulation a "skill score" that  essentially gave a percentage grade to each one. The average grade was a 69  per cent.  University of Illinois climate scientist Donald Wuebbles, who was not part of the study, said climate change "deniers do a lot of weird things to misrepresent models. None of those analyses have been valid and they should  be ignored. We should no longer be debating the basic science of climate  change."

Employee shot at a Virginia post office

Employee shot at a Virginia post office Authorities say a postal worker has been shot at a northern Virginia post office by an agent for the Postal Service's Inspector General's office. News outlets report that it happened Wednesday morning at the parking lot of the Lovettsville post office in Loudoun County.

Former Trump housekeepers revealed some of his odd habits involving Tic Tacs, soap, and straws

Former Trump housekeepers revealed some of his odd habits involving Tic Tacs, soap, and straws It's no secret President Trump has some peculiar habits.Several undocumented workers who spoke to The Washington Post about their time employed by the Trump organization's properties in Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia, provided a closer look at some of his stranger practices, to which they attended.For starters, he reportedly needed two full containers of white Tic Tacs in his bedroom bureau at all times, along with -- for some reason -- a container that was half full. His meals were also particular and reportedly included well-done cheeseburgers accompanied by small glass bottles filled with Diet Coke and a plastic straw. Most importantly, no one could be seen touching the straw.The president has a stingy side to him, as well, apparently. He reportedly used Irish Spring bar soap in his shower, but the housekeepers soon learned not to throw it away even if it had been worn down to next to nothing. If Trump wanted something thrown out, he'd reportedly let people know by throwing things on the floor. Even the discarded items would sometimes come with rules -- in 2013, for example, Trump's father-in-law, Viktor Knavs once reportedly picked up (in what turned out to be a bit of foreshadowing) a red baseball cap that Trump had cast aside, but when Trump saw him wearing it on his golf course, he got angry and kicked Knavs off the course. Read more about at The Washington Post.More stories from Trump's pathological obsession with being laughed at The most important day of the impeachment inquiry Jerry Falwell Jr.'s false gospel of memes

Huawei cancels new phone launch in Taiwan after China row

Huawei cancels new phone launch in Taiwan after China row Tech giant Huawei has cancelled the launch of a flagship phone and watch in Taiwan after Taipei imposed a temporary ban on some of its products for listing the island as part of China. On its official Taiwan Facebook page Wednesday Chinese company Huawei said the launch of its Mate 30 Pro smartphone and its GT 2 digital watch had been cancelled due to "supply issues" without elaborating further. The cancellations came after Taiwan last month suspended sales of three Huawei models that listed the self-ruled, democratic island as "Taiwan, China" for timezones and contacts.

George Zimmerman sues Trayvon Martin's family for $100m

George Zimmerman sues Trayvon Martin's family for $100m George Zimmerman, the former neighbourhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of killing unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in a criminal case that drew worldwide attention, has filed a $100m lawsuit against Martin's parents and lawyers accusing them of using a fake witness.Mr Zimmerman believes Martin's parents, state prosecutors, and two women provided false statements to investigators and during the trial in order to frame him, and as a result, destroyed his reputation.

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