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FaviconRussia detains shaman on mission to 'banish Putin' 19 Sep 2019, 10:46 am

Russia detains shaman on mission to 'banish Putin'Russian police on Thursday said they had detained a Siberian shaman trekking towards Moscow on a mission to expel "demon" President Vladimir Putin, picking up a crowd of supporters on the way. Police in the eastern Siberian region of Buryatia told Interfax they had detained Alexander Gabyshev, the shaman, on a highway near Lake Baikal and would put him on a flight back to his home region where he is "wanted for committing a crime". Gabyshev's eccentric bid to walk from his home city of Yakutsk to Moscow, a distance of some 5,000 kilometres (3,000 miles), has seen a group of followers join him on the way.


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Favicon3 Amish children killed, another injured after vehicle crashes into buggy 19 Sep 2019, 9:48 am

3 Amish children killed, another injured after vehicle crashes into buggyFour Amish siblings were in the buggy traveling home from school about 3:20 p.m. when a vehicle struck them from behind, officials said.


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FaviconEarth to 2020 Democrats. The Syrian civil war was not caused by climate change. 19 Sep 2019, 9:00 am

Earth to 2020 Democrats. The Syrian civil war was not caused by climate change.This is a sad excuse for real discussion on climate change and international conflict, two very separate issues.


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FaviconThis Activist Invited ICE to a Community Meeting. Days Later They Arrested Him. 19 Sep 2019, 8:51 am

This Activist Invited ICE to a Community Meeting. Days Later They Arrested Him.Smith Collection/Gado/GettyWhen Houston immigration activist Roland Gramajo Reyes invited U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to a public meeting for people worried about being arrested due to their immigration status, he didn’t think he’d end up behind bars.He was wrong. Gramajo’s longtime advocacy on behalf of Houston’s immigrant and Latino communities, family, attorney, and allies said, make them seriously doubt that the timing of his apprehension was an accident.“We want to believe these are coincidences,” said Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL Houston, which advocates for immigrant communities in Houston. “Unfortunately, the more and more we see them, the more we feel that some people who are speaking out against the administration or ICE are being targeted by those same agencies.”Now, Gramajo, 40, is caught in a tug-of-war between law enforcement agencies seeking to either deport him after 25 cumulative years in the United States, or to first incarcerate him for improper entry into the United States, a charge that could land him in prison.Handout“His bond was denied Monday by a federal judge, so he will remain in detention while his illegal reentry charges are resolved,” Raed Gonzalez, Gramajo’s attorney, told The Daily Beast. “We are trying to reopen his immigration case… Many hurdles await us, but we are trying our best.”Gramajo, a father of five and grandfather of two, was born in Retalhuleu, Guatemala in 1979, and first moved to Houston at age 15. Since then, he has made the improvement of the Guatemalan community and his adopted hometown his life’s mission.He founded the Centro Organizativo Guatemalteco, which raises funds for humanitarian causes in Guatemala, as well as the Southwest American Systems Chamber of Commerce, which helps minority children participate in sports and beauty pageants. After Hurricane Harvey devastated the city in 2017, he took weeks off work to organize community efforts in helping those affected by the storm’s flooding that caused an estimated $125 billion in damage. For his work, Gramajo has received commendations from a host of state and local organizations, including the Alief Independent School District, Houston Community College, the Golden Eagle Society, and the Houston City Council.Only days before his apprehension by ICE, Gramajo had organized a “know your rights” seminar for undocumented immigrants and their families in the city—the seminar to which he had invited immigration agents to participate. That invitation, Gramajo’s defenders believe, may have unintentionally goaded ICE into looking into Gramajo’s immigration status, a charge ICE has called “baseless.”“To be abundantly clear, ICE personnel did not attend this Immigration Forum in any capacity—official or unofficial,” the agency released in a statement last week, saying that Gramajo became a target after ICE received an anonymous tip about his status. “To portray him in one-sided media reports… as a victim of some ‘covert’ law enforcement operation is an insulting affront to public safety.”“We’re not gonna be able to comment any further on the anonymous tip” that led to Gramajo’s apprehension, ICE spokesperson Tim Oberle told The Daily Beast when asked about the timing of the tip that lead to his arrest, “because it’s anonymous, obviously.”At the heart of ICE’s deportation case is Gramajo’s 1998 guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of burglary of a vehicle, for which he was sentenced to 20 days in prison. Gramajo’s family told reporters in Houston that the charge was the result of a practical joke that he had played on a friend, the vehicle’s owner.After his plea, immigration authorities commenced deportation proceedings against Gramajo, culminating in his deportation to Guatemala in summer 2004. Gramajo returned months later to be with his family in Houston—including his wife and children—and has remained ever since.It’s that 2004 illegal entry for which Gramajo will stand trial. If he is found guilty, he could face a six-month prison sentence before his potential deportation.“My sons, they are texting me asking how is their father, and that’s what hurts the most,” Magaly Quicano, Gramajo’s wife, told reporters in Houston last week. “I’ve been praying, praying praying that he will win this immigration battle.”Gramajo’s defenders, who count members of Houston’s political establishment among their members, told The Daily Beast that the potential deportation of the father of five is disgraceful.“The prospect of deporting Mr. Gramajo is outrageous,” Mayor pro tem Ellen Cohen, a member of the Houston City Council, told The Daily Beast. Last year, the city council commended Gramajo as “dedicated to serving and inspiring the community,” and whose “qualities represent a true leader with an exceptional drive to improve the quality of life” throughout the city.“His so-called ‘crime’ of coming back to this country—his country—after his 2004 deportation is a result of unjust laws. If I were in his shoes, I would have tried to find a way back to my spouse and children too,” Cohen added, noting that she has called upon ICE to immediately release him. “He is an asset to Houston and there is no legitimate public safety-related reason to deport him again. If ICE’s concern is public safety, they should be focusing their limited resources on those who are bringing violence, drugs, and human trafficking in to our communities.”Houston City Council member Steve Le, who brought forth a successful proposal last year to name May 17, 2018 as “Roland Omar Gramajo Reyes Day” in the city, called Gramajo “a good person and community leader” whose presence in the city makes it a better place to live. “Our office appreciates everything he has done for the community and recognized him with a Mayoral Proclamation for his achievements,” Le told The Daily Beast. “We were surprised by his arrest and hope the court will take into account all the great contributions he has made when determining his sentencing. We look forward to a favorable outcome for his family and our community.”But after a judge denied his bond in a hearing on Monday, Gramajo will remain in federal detention until trial. Even if he wins his criminal case, his presence in the United States is far from assured—if deported, Gramajo will be barred from entering the United States for 20 years.“I don’t know what the verdict will be, but I leave everything in the hands of God and wait,” Quicano said tearfully. “No more.”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.


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FaviconSouth Korea police say they may have found serial killer 19 Sep 2019, 5:37 am

South Korea police say they may have found serial killerSouth Korean police said Thursday that they have found a suspect thought to be an infamous serial killer wanted for the slaying of nine women some 30 years ago. Senior police officer Ban Gi-soo said police have continued their investigation into the 1986-1991 slayings even after the statute of limitations expired 13 years ago in order to find the truth. Ban said the technological improvement of DNA analysis allowed authorities to extract DNA samples from evidence that wasn't possible at the time of the cases.


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FaviconMissing Magnolia teen found safe in Dobbin, Texas 19 Sep 2019, 5:10 am

Missing Magnolia teen found safe in Dobbin, TexasThe Montgomery County Sheriff's Office confirmed that she was not abducted, but ran away.


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FaviconTrump says EPA to issue notice to San Francisco on homeless 19 Sep 2019, 1:06 am

Trump says EPA to issue notice to San Francisco on homelessU.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will issue a notice in less than a week to the city of San Francisco over its homelessness problem and attendant pollution. Trump and officials in San Francisco and Los Angeles have been at odds over what the president believes is their failure to tackle the growing number of people living on the streets. "They're in serious violation," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.


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FaviconAndrew Yang: No apologies for the Asian jokes 19 Sep 2019, 1:05 am

Andrew Yang: No apologies for the Asian jokesDuring his unlikely rise, Yang has taken heat for playing up Asian stereotypes


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FaviconTrump wants you to think he's racist so you won't notice he's corrupt and killing jobs 18 Sep 2019, 10:06 pm

Trump wants you to think he's racist so you won't notice he's corrupt and killing jobs'Who is the real racist, the person warning about illegal immigrants or the person saying that’s racist?' When that’s the debate, Donald Trump wins.


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Favicon5-year-old girl was abducted from playground, NJ police say 18 Sep 2019, 9:49 pm

5-year-old girl was abducted from playground, NJ police sayThe FBI is now involved in a search for a man who may have taken the girl to a van and driven away from the park in Bridgeton, New Jersey.


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FaviconThree hunters mauled in grizzly bear attacks at Yellowstone: 'He was in their face before they even had chance to grab a gun' 18 Sep 2019, 9:37 pm

Three hunters mauled in grizzly bear attacks at Yellowstone: 'He was in their face before they even had chance to grab a gun'Three hunters were badly hurt in two separate grizzly bear attacks in Montana on the same day, state officials have said.All three suffered “moderate to severe” injuries after being mauled by a lone bear in the Gravelley Mountains on Monday, according to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency.


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FaviconDozens of people charged for illegally distributing millions of opioid pills 18 Sep 2019, 8:38 pm

Dozens of people charged for illegally distributing millions of opioid pillsDozens of people - including six doctors and seven pharmacists - have been charged with fraud for illegally distributing more than 6 million opioid pills.Some of the pills were obtained using counterfeit prescription pads, and the stolen identities of legitimate doctors, prosecutors say.


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FaviconNavy SEAL who oversaw the bin Laden raid says China's massive military buildup is a 'holy s---' moment 18 Sep 2019, 7:51 pm

Navy SEAL who oversaw the bin Laden raid says China's massive military buildup is a 'holy s---' momentSpeaking at an event in Washington, William McRaven, a SEAL who oversaw the bin Laden raid, said the US was approaching a "Sputnik moment" with China.


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FaviconProsecutor: Man charged in killings of 4 women in Detroit 18 Sep 2019, 7:41 pm

Prosecutor: Man charged in killings of 4 women in DetroitA prosecutor announced murder charges Wednesday against a 34-year-old man in the slayings of four women in Detroit whose deaths authorities have characterized as the work of a serial killer. Deangelo Martin is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and four counts of felony murder in the killings of the women whose bodies were found in abandoned houses in the city as far back as February 2018, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said at a news conference. Police Chief James Craig has said he sees similarities between three of the slayings and the assaults of at least two other women who survived attacks.


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FaviconIsraeli vote leaves Netanyahu's political future in doubt 18 Sep 2019, 7:31 pm

Israeli vote leaves Netanyahu's political future in doubtAfter a decade of mesmerizing world leaders, subduing his rivals and eking out dramatic election victories, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political future is suddenly in doubt. With near-final results from Israel's election on Tuesday, he has been left well short of the parliamentary majority he had sought — not only to continue in power but also to fend off a looming corruption indictment. With over 90% of the votes counted late Wednesday, challenger Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party captured 33 seats in the 120-seat parliament, to 32 seats for Netanyahu's conservative Likud.


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FaviconNATO Is Making Sure It Can Stop a Russian Invasion 18 Sep 2019, 7:11 pm

NATO Is Making Sure It Can Stop a Russian InvasionNATO has stood up a new command who job it is to speed alliance troops and tanks around Europe in order to defend against a Russian invasion.


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FaviconChicken plants lured them. Feds jailed them. How Mississippi's immigration crisis unfolded 18 Sep 2019, 6:59 pm

Chicken plants lured them. Feds jailed them. How Mississippi's immigration crisis unfoldedUndocumented immigrants helped build poultry into Mississippi's richest agricultural commodity.


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FaviconPoll shows Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren gaining in the Democratic field 18 Sep 2019, 6:24 pm

Poll shows Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren gaining in the Democratic fieldBiden remains the highest-polling candidate, coming in at 31%, a 5-percentage-point gain from July. Warren jumped from 19% to 25%.


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FaviconIllinois opens 24 cases of alleged priest sex abuse after finding reports weren't reviewed 18 Sep 2019, 6:22 pm

Illinois opens 24 cases of alleged priest sex abuse after finding reports weren't reviewedThe Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has opened 24 new investigations into alleged sexual misconduct by Catholic priests.


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FaviconWeapons, phones, drugs found after Oklahoma prison fights 18 Sep 2019, 5:19 pm

Weapons, phones, drugs found after Oklahoma prison fightsOklahoma Department of Corrections officials said Wednesday that numerous weapons, cellphones and drugs have been found by investigators following a series of apparently coordinated fights at six state prisons that left one inmate dead, dozens injured and prisons statewide locked down. "A lot of shanks ... broken broom handles, broken faucets, faucet heads that have a cord attached to them," according to department spokesman Matt Elliott. Bobby Cleveland, director of the Oklahoma Corrections Professionals, an association for prison employees, said the fights had "to be a coordinated effort," noting they included minimum security lock-ups.


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FaviconThe Latest: Defiant Israel PM seeks to lead ruling coalition 18 Sep 2019, 4:36 pm

The Latest: Defiant Israel PM seeks to lead ruling coalitionIsrael's prime minister says he will seek to lead a ruling coalition with his religious and nationalist allies, despite falling short of a parliamentary majority in Tuesday's elections. Neither Netanyahu's Likud party nor its main rival — the Blue and White party headed by former military chief of staff Benny Gantz — won enough votes to declare an outright victory. Gantz's centrist bloc, which could potentially include the Joint List of Arab parties, has a slight edge over Netanyahu and his longtime ultra-Orthodox and religious nationalist allies.


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FaviconMoldova Turns to FBI for Help in Investigating $1 Billion Fraud 18 Sep 2019, 3:37 pm

Moldova Turns to FBI for Help in Investigating $1 Billion Fraud(Bloomberg) -- Moldova requested assistance from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to bring to justice participants in a $1 billion fraud that led to a bailout of three of the nation’s banks.Interior Minister Andrei Nastase said he met with senior FBI officials and handed over a letter seeking assistance.The letter “put on the FBI’s agenda the theft of the billion, the laundromat of the international mafia and all the other schemes that have ruined the financial and banking system and have deprived our country of much needed resources,” he said Wednesday in a post on Facebook. The FBI gave assurances they would help, he said.The former Soviet republic of 3.5 million people was rocked by the 2014 theft that forced the government to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund. A new government led by Prime Minister Maia Sandu took power in June, and the banking sector has been overhauled and sold to foreign investors.\--With assistance from Olga Tanas.To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Eglitis in Riga at aeglitis@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at adudik@bloomberg.net, Michael Winfrey, Andrew LangleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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FaviconTwo key hearings on Capitol Hill could shed light on the origins of the Russia investigation 18 Sep 2019, 3:27 pm

Two key hearings on Capitol Hill could shed light on the origins of the Russia investigationHouse Judiciary Committee holds hearing on alleged surveillance abuse as Justice Department watchdog Michael E. Horowitz is set to testify before the oversight panel; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports from Washington.


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FaviconA 22-year-old from Minneapolis who is jailed in Syria says ISIS recruited him on Twitter 18 Sep 2019, 3:10 pm

A 22-year-old from Minneapolis who is jailed in Syria says ISIS recruited him on TwitterAbdelhamid Al-Madioum, a naturalized US citizen, told CBS News his story from a prison in Syria, run by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.


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FaviconJudge resigns after sharing noose image with 'Make America Great Again' slogan on Facebook 18 Sep 2019, 3:09 pm

Judge resigns after sharing noose image with 'Make America Great Again' slogan on FacebookA New York town judge was forced off the bench after a written complaint said his post appeared 'to convey racial and/or political bias.'


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FaviconTrump slammed for his comments on the death of journalist Cokie Roberts 18 Sep 2019, 3:09 pm

Trump slammed for his comments on the death of journalist Cokie RobertsPresident Trump drew criticism for his comments on the death of celebrated ABC News journalist Cokie Roberts, who died Tuesday at the age of 75.


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FaviconHow Vietnamese Commandos Sank A U.S. 'Aircraft Carrier' 18 Sep 2019, 2:43 pm

How Vietnamese Commandos Sank A U.S. 'Aircraft Carrier'The sinking of the Card was a stunning victory for the Viet Cong, yet little remembered today. It illustrated how vulnerable naval vessels can be even when faced with a low-tech enemy … and how difficult maintaining port security can be in a war with no real front.


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Favicon2020 Vision Wednesday: Trump raised $15 million in California in one day. That should worry Democrats. 18 Sep 2019, 1:10 pm

2020 Vision Wednesday: Trump raised $15 million in California in one day. That should worry Democrats.When President Trump arrived in California Tuesday, Democrats saw his arrival as a platform for protest, but there's another reason his visit should concern them.


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FaviconThe latest Iran-Saudi flare-up exposes Trump's bankrupt Middle East policy 18 Sep 2019, 1:08 pm

The latest Iran-Saudi flare-up exposes Trump's bankrupt Middle East policyEnd support for the war in Yemen, change the relationship with Saudi Arabia, and talk to Iran – the answers for the US are clear ‘While there is growing support to completely change America’s Middle East policy US policy remains stuck in a rut.’ Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/ReutersThe fact that the United States is up in arms over an attack with no reported casualties on an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia – while at the same time supporting Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen that has killed tens of thousands – tells us everything we need to know about how messed up US priorities in the Middle East are.If anything, the latest round of tensions between the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia – and the debate over whether or not to retaliate militarily against Iran – illustrates the many ways US policy in the region is bankrupt, and how Trump crafts US policy based on the interests of other countries, not America.The years-long struggle for regional influence between Iran and Saudi Arabia and their partners plays out in proxy wars that rip the region apart, such as the current humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. The US has taken Saudi Arabia’s side in this regional conflict, in which there is no “good side”, and in the process only exacerbated the tensions and violence.Iran is a bad actor, and the United States already takes serious steps to curb its support for terrorism, and to defend Israel. But Trump is making the threat worse by ending the Iran nuclear deal and provoking Iran. We now find ourselves in yet another edition of Trump’s deadly reality show: will he or won’t he strike?! Will he or won’t he risk the lives of American soldiers in an unnecessary war?! Or will he try to manufacture another photo-op summit that does nothing but mask the real problems?! Tune into Twitter to find out! Like everything he touches, Trump has turned America’s Iran policy into a farce, while increasing the likelihood of tragedy.Saudi Arabia, America’s longtime supposed partner, is also a bad actor. For too long America has stomached Saudi Arabia’s support for extremist ideologies, destabilizing policies, and repression at home. But Trump takes it to an extreme by seemingly outsourcing US policy to Riyadh. After the recent attacks, Trump literally said: “We are waiting to hear from the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed.”Jared Kushner must have done a facepalm – it’s supposed to be secret when Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, sends his orders over WhatsApp! Trump summed up why he always sides with Riyadh, even after the Saudi leader ordered the murder of the US journalist Jamal Khashoggi: “Saudi Arabia pays cash.”One of the most devastating results of US policy has been the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. Because Saudi Arabia entered the war on one side, while Iran supports the other, the United States has blindly followed Saudi Arabia in fueling this conflict that is starving children and killing innocent civilians. The conflict has taken the lives of at least tens of thousands of people, and a United Nations panel recently said that all sides might be committing war crimes.Israel – and Trump’s relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu – is at the center of this as well. Israel is a close and important ally, but Trump and Netanyahu have personalized, politicized and radicalized the US-Israeli relationship. While Trump attempts to use the relationship as a political wedge by falsely painting his opponents as enemies of Israel, Netanyahu pushes for conflict with Iran and takes steps that make peace with Palestinians all but impossible – steps that Trump openly supports. The two feed off each other and support one another’s agendas, which are bad for the relationship and bad for the region.Since the end of the cold war, US policy in the region has been driven by numerous considerations: countering Iran, fighting terrorism, supporting stability, protecting oil markets and defending Israel. While aspects of these policies were faulty long before this administration, today things are very different. Fossil fuels are destroying life in earth. Actions taken in the name of countering Iran often feed instability. Trump has warped our partnership with Israel into blind support for a self-destructive Israeli government.In partnering with autocrats to fight terrorism the United States has sacrificed other priorities. The Arab spring, the war in Syria, and myriad other calamities have illustrated how tyranny in the region is undermining – not supporting – stability. And now, ties between Saudi officials and businesses and the Trump family raise serious questions about whether Trump’s Middle East policies are being driven in part by efforts to line his own pockets.Whatever happens in response to this latest flare-up, the answers for the United States are clear: end support for the war in Yemen. Fundamentally change the relationship with Saudi Arabia. Talk to Iran about the entire range of concerns. Bring the sparring sides together to reduce regional tensions. Stop giving Netanyahu a blank check and return support for Israel to the principles of supporting democracy and a two-state solution. And stop supporting autocrats and start supporting the people.While there is growing support to completely change America’s Middle East policy – evidenced by the bills ending US support for the Yemen war that passed Congress – US policy remains stuck in a rut: Trump vetoed these congressional attempts to end support for the Yemen war and every time tensions spike, too many voices on both sides of the aisle respond with the kneejerk reaction of considering military action against Iran.If America is going to make big changes to shore up the capacity of US leadership to tackle the biggest challenges it faces, one of the first orders of business will be to fix America’s bankrupt Middle East policy. Now would be a good time to start. * Michael H Fuchs is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and a former deputy assistant secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs


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FaviconCash-starved Air India putting crews on low-fat diet 18 Sep 2019, 11:57 am

Cash-starved Air India putting crews on low-fat dietCash-starved Air India is putting its crew on a diet, changing their inflight menu to special low-fat meals. Dhananjay Kumar, the state-run airline's spokesman, said Wednesday that the objective is to provide healthy and cost-effective meals to crews on domestic and international flights. Kumar declined comment on media reports that the cost per meal, mostly vegetarian, will fall to one-third of the current 500-800 rupees (up to $11) per meal.


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FaviconFrivolous Lawsuits Once Again Threaten the Gun Industry 18 Sep 2019, 10:30 am

Frivolous Lawsuits Once Again Threaten the Gun IndustryIn 2005, a wave of lawsuits threatened to bankrupt the gun industry. These suits were based on — pick your adjective — “creative," "novel," "inventive," and “imaginative” legal theories that rarely held up in court, and they did their damage primarily by forcing gun companies to incur the costs of defending against them. Congress, seeing the problem, stepped in to put a stop to it — or at least tried to — by passing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).A decade and a half later, anti-gun activists have responded with yet more new legal theories, and the Connecticut courts have bought one of them. Some families victimized by the Newtown massacre are being allowed to pursue a wrongful-death claim against Remington, which owns Bushmaster, the company that made the rifle used in the attack.The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to take the case and reverse the Connecticut supreme court’s decision. It should, as numerous briefs from gun-rights supporters have argued this month.The problem here traces back to a flurry of legal activity in the 1980s and 1990s. Anti-gun activists faced a conundrum: It’s easy enough to file a wrongful-death suit against someone who committed murder with a gun, or to sue a company that sold a defective gun, or to go after a gun store that knowingly sold a gun to a criminal. But the activists didn’t just want to punish those who broke the existing rules; they thought the rules were too lax, and they’d had little success getting legislatures to change them.So they sued gun companies for following the rules, spinning elaborate theories about why different, stricter rules should apply instead. Those companies were creating a “public nuisance.” They were “oversupplying” guns to high-crime neighborhoods, or continuing to send guns to stores that had had too many crimes traced back to them, or making products that appealed to the wrong sorts of people. Never mind how bizarre it is to hold a company liable for the criminal misuse of its legal products; never mind that state and federal governments had already written detailed laws about which guns were legal to sell and how gun sales were to take place; never mind that the targeted companies were following the prescribed process of dealer licenses and background checks; never mind that the alleged “bad apple” gun stores were licensed by the federal government to continue selling guns. If legislatures wouldn’t draw the lines the way the activists wanted, maybe judges and juries would instead.Practically speaking, the problem with these suits was not that they had much chance of succeeding on the merits. The plaintiffs almost never won. Rather, the suits threatened to drown the industry in a sea of legal costs. Late in the Clinton administration, Andrew Cuomo, who was organizing lawsuits by federally funded housing authorities as the secretary of housing and urban development, told gunmakers they’d suffer “death by a thousand cuts” if they didn’t give in to the gun-control lobby’s demands. Some gunmakers did in fact go bankrupt.So Congress decided to nip these suits in the bud. Under the PLCAA, there would be no more lengthy court proceedings: Whenever a court was asked to find a gun company liable simply because someone else had misused its products, the lawsuit would be unceremoniously tossed out. Contrary to some of the lies about the law spread in the media, it didn’t touch legitimate lawsuits. You can still sue gun companies if they sell defective products or break the law. Indeed, gun-rights supporters often cheer such lawsuits.Eventually, though, activists came up with creative theories as to why the law against creative theories didn’t apply.The case against Remington alleges that the marketing of the gun used in the Newtown massacre violated the Connecticut Uniform Trade Protection Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.” This is relevant because the PLCAA allows lawsuits when a gun company “knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product” and the violation was a “proximate cause” of the harm at issue.There are several layers of problems here.For one thing, it’s not clear that a generic law like Connecticut’s is “applicable” to guns in the relevant sense. (The word can mean “capable of being applied” or “specifically applied.”) As 22 members of the House note in their brief, two different appeals courts have interpreted the word narrowly, and Congress clearly meant to bar lawsuits based on “remote theories” tying marketing to criminal acts.Nor is it easy to see how Bushmaster violated the statute at all, much less knowingly violated it. Some of Bushmaster’s ads were cringeworthy; the “CONSIDER YOUR MAN CARD REISSUED” one is the most famous example. But it’s a hell of a stretch to say that to run such an ad is to knowingly engage in an “unfair or deceptive act or practice.” And as a group of Second Amendment scholars explain in another brief, the advertising themes decried in the lawsuit — military imagery, defense against adversaries — “have necessarily been common in American arms culture.”Yet as the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) notes, the Connecticut supreme court found that “the plaintiffs could survive a motion to dismiss by simply alleging that the defendant[s] . . . had marketed their products in a manner that encouraged their use for offensive assault missions.”The idea that the gun’s marketing directly contributed to the massacre is absurd as well. There is no evidence the shooter ever saw any Bushmaster ads, and he did not even buy the gun himself; he stole it from his mother. This, too, should protect Remington under the PLCAA.Put simply, if a dubious allegation that a company violated a generic statute is enough to punch through the protections of the PLCAA, the PLCAA won’t mean much at all. As the NSSF argues, an attorney “can easily craft an allegation of ‘unfair’ conduct sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss under modern pleading standards. And nearly all states have statutes that prohibit ‘unfair’ trade practices in language as broad and as vague as the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.”If the PLCAA doesn’t mean much, the Second Amendment itself won’t mean much, either. Just as they did last time around, anti-gun activists will be free to flood the courts with lawsuits that have little chance of success but are guaranteed to rack up massive legal fees capable of bankrupting gun companies. And the people can’t keep and bear arms if businesses can’t make and sell them.The Supreme Court needs to take this case — and then nuke it into oblivion.


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FaviconThe EU accuses Boris Johnson of only 'pretending' to negotiate a Brexit deal 18 Sep 2019, 9:30 am

The EU accuses Boris Johnson of only 'pretending' to negotiate a Brexit dealJohnson's negotiators have so far only presented the EU with a draft of the withdrawal agreement with the backstop scrubbed out.


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FaviconGreta Thunberg meets Obama and demands action from congress on climate change 18 Sep 2019, 8:58 am

Greta Thunberg meets Obama and demands action from congress on climate changeFormer US president Barack Obama met with teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg on Monday, describing her as “one of the planet’s greatest advocates”.The pair discussed the school strikes for which Thunberg achieved fame, with the Swedish activist praising the enthusiasm of the schoolchildren who gathered to protest in Washington and New York.


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FaviconTaliban open to new talks with US after bloody attacks 18 Sep 2019, 7:13 am

Taliban open to new talks with US after bloody attacksThe Taliban's chief negotiator has said their "doors are open" to resuming talks with Washington, hours after two attacks by the insurgents killed at least 48 people in war-weary Afghanistan. Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai also defended the Taliban's role in recent bloodshed across the country after US President Donald Trump cited an attack that killed an American soldier as his reason for calling off negotiations earlier this month. Speaking to the BBC, Stanikzai argued the Americans had also admitted to killing thousands of Taliban during the discussions, and that the insurgents had done nothing wrong by continuing to fight throughout the talks.


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FaviconFilipino coastguards convicted of killing Taiwanese fisherman 18 Sep 2019, 6:36 am

Filipino coastguards convicted of killing Taiwanese fishermanCoastguard sailors who opened fire on a Taiwanese fisherman in Philippine waters were convicted Wednesday of his 2013 killing, which strained ties between the historically friendly neighbours. The eight Filipino crewmen said they had shot in self-defence after the fisherman's vessel sailed directly at them in the seas just north of the main Philippine island of Luzon. "We are filing a notice of appeal so that what we perceived as errors of the trial court will be thrashed out," Paul Jomar Alcudia, one of the lawyers of the officers, told AFP.


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FaviconWhat Were the Mach 10 UFOs That Iran's Jets Encountered? 18 Sep 2019, 2:00 am

What Were the Mach 10 UFOs That Iran's Jets Encountered?Does the U.S. have a super-secret spy plane?


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FaviconThe Royal Navy Is Going All In on 2 New Aircraft Carriers 18 Sep 2019, 1:00 am

The Royal Navy Is Going All In on  2 New Aircraft CarriersThe Royal Navy would become what Tony Radakin, the new first sea lord, called “a proper, carrier task group navy.”


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FaviconThe Story of the 160 Victories Scored by Iran's F-14 Tomcats 17 Sep 2019, 10:00 pm

The Story of the 160 Victories Scored by Iran's F-14 TomcatsIran’s force of American-made F-14 Tomcat interceptors dominated the sky during the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 to 1988. F-14s reportedly downed more than 160 Iraqi planes.


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FaviconUS sanctions Italy, Panama and Colombia firms over Venezuela ties 17 Sep 2019, 8:28 pm

US sanctions Italy, Panama and Colombia firms over Venezuela tiesThe United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 16 companies linked to Colombian businessman Alex Nain Saab Moran, an associate of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The move is the latest US escalation of sanctions targeting the inner circle of Maduro, who is grappling with a political and economic crisis that the United Nations says has left a quarter of Venezuela's 30 million people in need of humanitarian aid.


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FaviconBelgian F-16s scrambled to intercept 2 Russian nuclear-capable supersonic bombers over the Baltic Sea 17 Sep 2019, 8:23 pm

Belgian F-16s scrambled to intercept 2 Russian nuclear-capable supersonic bombers over the Baltic SeaThe Belgian Air Force intercepted two Russian Tu-160 supersonic, nuclear-capable bombers at close range in Baltic airspace.


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Favicon29 bodies found in plastic bags in Mexico mass grave 17 Sep 2019, 7:05 pm

29 bodies found in plastic bags in Mexico mass graveMexican forensics experts have found at least 29 bodies stuffed in 119 plastic bags that were dumped in the bottom of a well outside the western city of Guadalajara, officials said Tuesday. Experts have been working to establish how many victims are in the mass grave since it was discovered earlier this month in a remote area known as La Primavera, about a 45-minute drive outside Guadalajara, Mexico's second city. "We have 13 complete corpses and 16 incomplete, for a total of 29 bodies," said Gerardo Solis, chief prosecutor for the state of Jalisco, which has been hit by a wave of violence in recent years driven by drug cartel turf wars.


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FaviconMother's selfie saves her after she collapses, suffers stroke 17 Sep 2019, 5:30 pm

Mother's selfie saves her after she collapses, suffers strokeA mother took a selfie just minutes before she collapsed and suffered a stroke, and now her family is crediting the photo for saving her life.


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FaviconCalifornia woman who dreamed about swallowing engagement ring woke up to realize she actually did 17 Sep 2019, 5:19 pm

California woman who dreamed about swallowing engagement ring woke up to realize she actually didA California woman had her dreams come true earlier this month — although probably not in the way she would have liked.


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FaviconCouple reveal they are raising child 'gender neutral' and haven't even told close family their baby's sex 17 Sep 2019, 4:34 pm

Couple reveal they are raising child 'gender neutral' and haven't even told close family their baby's sexA couple have decided to keep their baby’s sex a secret from close relatives in a bid to avoid gender bias.  Hobbit Humphrey, 38, and Jake England-Johns, 35, refer to their 17-month-old child, Anoush, with the pronoun, "they", and dress them in both girls' and boys' clothing. The married couple, who are members of the climate action group, Extinction Rebellion, have been accused of “virtue signalling”. However, they are keen to let their child, Anoush, choose their own gender identity when they are old enough, because they wish for them to “grow into their own person”.  Close family members have not been told the child’s sex and grandmother, Camille, only found out when she changed a nappy.   The couple, who live on a houseboat in  Keynsham, Somerset, discussed the ways in which they could challenge gender bias after discovering Ms Humphrey was pregnant.  Mr England-Johns told the BBC’s Inside Out: “The neutral in gender neutral refers to us trying to behave neutrally towards our child rather than trying to make them neutral.”  “Eventually, we decided that we wouldn’t tell people whether they were a boy or a girl … in order to create this little bubble for our baby to be who they are,” Ms Humphrey said.  However their decision has sparked some controversy. Rosa Freedman, Professor of law conflict and global development at the University of Reading, said: “While this is an individual case the worry would be that in the unlikely event many parents took up this way of parenting, that the NHS,  government, and service providers would not know what to plan for in the future as they would not know how many boys or girls exist.” “Parents concerned about gendered social construct would do better to fight patriarchy, homophobia and transphobia rather and try to virtue signal to their friends and communities so they can get praise.” The couple have said that the reaction to their decision has been mixed. However Mr England-Johns said: “But over a year in, it’s clear that we are serious and gradually people have got used to it.  “Although, that still doesn’t stop some pretty confused looks from old ladies in the park when they come up to us and ask if they’re a boy or a girl. It can take a bit of explaining. “We are quite good now at holding space for people’s discomfort in us going, ‘Oh well, actually we don’t tell anyone, we’re not telling anyone for now.”


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FaviconUPDATE 1-Russia detains two N.Korean vessels after one opens fire - reports 17 Sep 2019, 3:36 pm

UPDATE 1-Russia detains two N.Korean vessels after one opens fire - reportsRussian border guards have detained two North Korean boats in Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan after one of them attacked a Russian patrol, local media cited the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying on Tuesday. A Russian border patrol discovered two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats fishing illegally off its far eastern coast and detained the first vessel, prompting the second one to open fire, the FSB was quoted as saying. Three Russian border guards were wounded in the incident.


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FaviconGM stops paying for health insurance for striking union workers; talks continue 17 Sep 2019, 3:18 pm

GM stops paying for health insurance for striking union workers; talks continueGeneral Motors Co shifted health insurance costs for its striking workers to the United Auto Workers union as its members walked the picket line for the second day on Tuesday. The UAW on Monday launched the first company-wide strike at GM in 12 years, saying negotiations toward a new national agreement covering about 48,000 hourly workers had hit an impasse. This year's talks between the union and GM, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) were expected to be tough, with thorny issues such as healthcare costs, profit-sharing and the use of temporary workers on the table.


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FaviconDid a Russian-Made Submarine 'Sink' A U.S. Navy Nuclear Attack Sub? 17 Sep 2019, 1:13 pm

Did a Russian-Made Submarine 'Sink' A U.S. Navy Nuclear Attack Sub?Back in 2015, Indian media claimed that one of New Delhi’s Russian-built Kilo-class diesel-electric attack submarines managed to “sink” a nuclear-powered U.S. Navy Los Angeles-class attack submarine during exercises in October of that year.


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