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  • 2020 Vision: Hillary Clinton thinks Russia will back Tulsi Gabbard to help Trump stay in power

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    “This is not some outlandish claim,” Clinton said in an interview this week. “This is reality.”

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:11:40 -0400
  • The Latest: Mayor: Chief drank before falling ill in car

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    Chicago's mayor says that the police superintendent told her that he had a couple of drinks with dinner the night he later pulled over his vehicle because he felt lightheaded and fell asleep. Mayor Lori Lightfoot tells the Chicago Sun-Times that Superintendent Eddie Johnson also told her what he told the media about that he had recently changed medications and felt ill while driving home early Thursday and pulled over. Lightfoot says she has "no reason to doubt" Johnson's account of what happened, saying that she knows about various medical issues including high blood pressure that Johnson is dealing with.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 17:21:05 -0400
  • Israel, Russia, and the US are in a diplomatic standoff over a 26-year-old woman smuggling 9 and a half grams of marijuana

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    Naama Issachar, 26, was sentenced to 7.5 years of prison in Moscow, and negotiating her release is part of a bigger diplomatic dispute.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 13:54:26 -0400
  • Erdogan Vows to Crush Kurd YPG if It Doesn’t Leave: Syria Update

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    (Bloomberg) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to resume the offensive against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria if they don’t withdraw by the end of a U.S.-brokered truce on Tuesday night.Kurdish and Turkish officials have repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from areas along the border. One Turkish soldier was killed in an attack with anti-tank and light weapons by Kurdish YPG militants in the border town of Tal Abyad on Sunday, Turkey’s defense ministry said.Turkey and the Kurds have disagreed on the parameters of the truce, highlighting its fragility. The Syrian Democratic Forces has said the cease-fire was limited to the 120-kilometer (75-mile) strip between Tal Abyad and the town of Ras al-Ayn. Erdogan says the deal requires Kurdish fighters to withdraw from an area 444 kilometers long and 32 kilometers deep.The U.S. fought with the SDF for years to defeat Islamic State but withdrew from the area as Turkey began a long-threatened offensive this month to clear a part of northeastern Syria of Kurdish militants it considers a threat to national security. Abandoned by the U.S., the Kurds made a deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose troops have deployed to the border with Turkey, upending old alliances and pushing the eight-year-old Syrian war into an unpredictable new phase.Here is a rundown of major events in Turkish local time:Key DevelopmentsTurkey vows to crush Kurdish militia if they do not withdraw by end of truceTurkey denies claims by Kurdish-led SDF of violating cease-fire, says safe corridor has been created to evacuate woundedU.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Erdogan announced cease-fire deal in Ankara after marathon talks on ThursdayTurkish markets rally a day after the U.S.-Turkey dealTrump faces Congressional rebuke for Syria pulloutJohnson, Erdogan Talk, Propose Meeting with Macron, Merkel (1:30 p.m.)British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Erdogan spoke by telephone about the Syrian situation, and proposed a further meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.Turkey Says Soldier Killed by Kurdish Group in Cease-Fire Breach (10:10 a.m.)A Turkish soldier was killed and another one was wounded in an attack with anti-tank and light weapons by Kurdish YPG militants in the border town of Tal Abyad on Sunday, Turkey’s defense ministry said. The troops returned fire in self-defense, it said, adding that Turkish troops had come under 20 attacks since it paused the operation under the agreement with the U.S.Turkey Counters Kurds’ No-Safe-Passage Claim (10:40 p.m.)Turkey denied preventing the evacuation of wounded following claims by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces that no safe corridor has been created.“There has been absolutely no prevention, and coordinates that can be safely used have been completely relayed to U.S. military officials,” Turkey’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.A 39-vehicle convoy, mostly ambulances, “safely went in an and out of Ras al-Ayn today and evacuated the wounded,” according to the statement. “The issue is being closely coordinated with U.S. military officials.”Erdogan Vows to Crush Kurdish Militia If They Don’t Withdraw (4:12 p.m.)“The 120-hour pause on operations will end Tuesday night, we will continue crushing heads of terrorists if they don’t withdraw by then,” Erdogan told thousands of flag-waving supporters in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri on Saturday.Erdogan also said he would discuss during his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week what to do about troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who have deployed to the border after striking a deal with the Kurds.“There are regime forces under Russian protection in parts of our operation area. We will discuss it with Putin. We’ve to find a solution,” he said.\--With assistance from Nick Wadhams, Saleha Mohsin, Rosalind Mathieson, David Wainer, Taylan Bilgic, Justin Sink, Tony Capaccio, Steven T. Dennis and Onur Ant.To contact the reporters on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at shacaoglu@bloomberg.net;Lin Noueihed in Beirut at lnoueihed@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, ;Onur Ant at oant@bloomberg.net, Angela Cullen, Shaji MathewFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 09:22:28 -0400
  • Four killed as police fire on Bangladesh protesters

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    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday called for calm after at least four people were killed when police fired on thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims protesting Facebook messages that allegedly defamed the Prophet Mohammed. Mob attacks over online posts perceived to be blasphemous have emerged as a major headache for security forces in Bangladesh, where Muslims make up some 90 percent of the country's 168 million people. Some 20,000 Muslims demonstrated at a prayer ground in Borhanuddin town on the country's largest island of Bhola to call for the execution of a young Hindu man charged with inciting religious tension through online messages.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 11:55:04 -0400
  • Bill Maher Ignores Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Disturbing #MeToo Allegations

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    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty & HBONeil deGrasse Tyson, the fun-lovin’ astrophysicist and TV personality, has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by four women—one of whom, Thchiya Amet El Maat, alleged that he drugged and raped her while the two were graduate students at the University of Texas in 1984.  Bill Maher, the boundary-pushing comedian, has branded the MeToo movement “scary” and aspects of  it “MeCarthyism” whilst downplaying women’s accounts of inappropriate touching at the hands of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and the allegations against former congressman Al Franken. On Friday night, Maher welcomed pal Tyson to his long-running HBO program Real Time. Tyson, who’s managed to weather any professional ramifications from the sexual-misconduct allegations—keeping his gigs with National Geographic’s StarTalk, Fox’s Cosmos and Hayden Planetarium—joined Maher and his panel, which included The Daily Beast’s politics editor Sam Stein, for an interview toward the end of the program. And sure enough, Maher joked about Tyson’s planets tie; let him hawk his new book of published letters to and from his fans; debated the scientific evidence (or lack thereof) supporting the existence of God, as is the outspoken atheist’s wont; talked flat-earthers; and acted generally chummy with one another. Bill Maher Fails to Challenge The Federalist Publisher (and Mr. Meghan McCain) Ben DomenechJohn Oliver Thinks Rudy Giuliani Is Totally Screwed: ‘Trump Will Abandon Him’What Maher failed to do was even remotely probe the disturbing allegations against Tyson—something that most interviewers of Tyson have failed to properly reckon with during his recent book tour (CBS This Morning sort of did, albeit via a soft line of questioning, asking what he’s “learned” since the allegations surfaced.) In addition to soft-pedaling the allegations against Biden, Maher voiced objections to the public outrage surrounding Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual-assault allegation against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee (now justice), Brett Kavanaugh. “There are social justice warriors who are crazy enough in this country, I fight with them all the time, who… they lend enough credence to this to make people think, ‘Oh, you know what? They’re going to go after my high school record. That’s fair game now.’ And it becomes sort of a privacy thing,” offered Maher. Later on, the comedian added, “It does seem like things morphed from ‘listen to any woman who says she’s been wronged,’ which is the right thing to do, to ‘automatically believe.’ That’s what’s scary.” What’s frustrating about Maher’s attitude toward MeToo is that he appears to consistently downplay allegations of inappropriate touching or attempted sexual assault levied against certain men of power (usually Democrats), while regularly railing against those said to have been committed by President Trump, who’s been accused of varying acts of sexual misconduct by over 22 women. While the attitude shouldn’t be to “automatically believe” women, it shouldn’t take nearly two dozen accusers—or hating the man’s politics—to either. 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.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 03:24:29 -0400
  • Restored 1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye Crosses Auction Block

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    Bid on this classic Mopar. If you’re on the hunt for a classic American muscle car fresh off a rotisserie restoration, this 1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye should be of interest. It has accumulated few than 1,000 miles since it was restored, ensuring everything looks excellent. Whether you’re cruising through town or attend a local car meet, this Mopar is sure to impress.While looks are certainly important with this car, the 440ci V8 shoved under the hood is just as key to your enjoyment. After all, muscle cars are supposed to be all about offering monumental power. Dual 4bbl carbs help with the engine breathing freely, while an 8-core aluminum radiator keeps it from running too hot. In addition, there’s a nice 4-speed manual transmission and a pistol grip shifter, so you can double-clutch this ride to victory.Now that you know this is a proper performance vehicle, you can concentrate on how this Dodge looks. The Hemi Orange Metallic paint sparkles in the sunlight, with black accents on the hood, door handles, and spoiler, matching the black vinyl roof. Both bumpers look almost liquid, thanks to the fresh chrome. This car rolls on 17-inch Rev custom wheels, matching the exterior perfectly.Restored with amazing care, you’ll find the interior is virtually all stock. That includes the fresh vinyl upholstery which matches the original design, fresh black carpeting, and even the wood grain portions of the dash. Air conditioning through a Vintage Air system has been added, along with an Alpine CD/MP3 sound system.  One of the most iconic pony cars to emerge from the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Dodge Challenger is a household name today. That’s great news if you want to grab one as an investment. Through a combination of iconic looks and thrilling performance, this vehicle earned a well-deserved reputation.If you’re interested in buying this particular car, contact Premier Auction Group for information about placing a bid. Read More * Turn The Key In This 1969 Chevy Impala * Conquer The Terrain With A 1963 Volvo L3314 Laplander Camper

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 19:17:16 -0400
  • Mystery traders 'made $1.8bn from stock bet' placed hours before Trump tweeted talks with China were ‘back on track’

    Golocal247.com news

    */Unknown actors may have made billions from the turmoil Donald Trump has created in the markets through erratic tweets, shoot-from-the-hip foreign policy, and the trade war with China, according to a new report.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 16:16:20 -0400
  • Hong Kong protest leaders urge turnout for march, despite risk of arrest

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    Pro-democracy leaders called on Hong Kong's citizens to join a Sunday anti-government march in spite of the risk of arrest, after police banned the rally which is seen as a test of the protest movement's strength following months of unrest. Police declared the march illegal on Friday, citing concerns over public safety, and a court on Saturday said the destination of the march - the main railway interchange with mainland China - could be attacked and vandalized. Hardcore protesters have in recent weeks targeted mainland Chinese businesses, daubing them in graffiti and at times setting fires, while mainland Chinese living in Hong Kong have begun to express fears for their own safety.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:51:09 -0400
  • Could France and Germany Jointly Build an EU Aircraft Carrier?

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    All in all, a European carrier will only come about in a world where Germany is willing and able to commit far more resources to defense than it currently does; and can arrive at a joint vision with France on how to use such an expensive vessel to project force abroad. That’s not the world we live in yet.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 23:00:00 -0400
  • Hondurans call for president to step down after drug verdict

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    Opposition groups called Saturday for more protests to demand that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández be removed from office after his younger brother was convicted of drug trafficking in a New York court. President Hernández insisted via Twitter that the verdict is not against the state of Honduras, saying his government has fought drug trafficking. On Saturday he attended a parade to honor the country's armed forces and posted pictures of himself on Twitter smiling alongside the U.S. chargé d'affaires to Honduras, Colleen Hoey.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 21:04:12 -0400
  • Deadly protests in Guinea as Russia calls for change of rules to keep despot in power

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    When police shot dead nine pro-democracy protesters in Guinea this week, Western embassies quietly shared their misgivings with the country’s president, Alpha Conde. International human rights groups were more unequivocal. François Patuel of Amnesty International denounced “a shameful attempt by Guinean authorities to stifle dissent by any means necessary”. But one major power seemed unperturbed. Mr Conde’s ruthless response to protests against his apparent efforts to cling to power not only suited Russia, it seems probable that they were tacitly endorsed by the Kremlin. On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, will host leaders from 35 African states at a summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi as he seeks to consolidate Moscow’s growing influence in the world’s poorest continent. Russia may lack the heft of its rivals, able neither to match the West in aid nor China in terms of infrastructure financing, but it does have other resources with which to woo African leaders, particularly those of a more authoritarian bent. Vladimir Putin is looking to expand Russian influence Not only has Russia sold arms to 18 African states over the past decade, its mercenaries have fanned out across the continent to offer protection and other services to receptive governments.  “Political technologists” have also allegedly mounted disinformation campaigns in several recent African elections. In return, Russia has won concessions to mine minerals and secured backing from African delegates at the United Nations. Russia’s blossoming relationship with Mr Conde is an example of just how successful its muscular Africa policy can be. Guineans are meant to elect a new president next year. Having served two five-year terms, Mr Conde is constitutionally barred from standing again, but has made it increasingly clear that he is not yet ready to surrender the presidency. At least four people have been killed in Guinea's capital after police fired tear gas and bullets Monday to disperse thousands of opposition supporters Credit: AP To do so, Guinea will need an entirely new constitution, plans for which have already been advanced by Mr Conde’s ruling party.  The opposition has accused the president of seeking to ease its path by stacking the constitutional court, taming the electoral commission and delaying parliamentary elections by more than a year to protect his narrow legislative majority. Russia has openly given its cover to Mr Conde’s efforts. In an extraordinary intervention, brazen even by the Kremlin’s standards, Russia’s ambassador, made a televised address on New Year’s Eve backing a constitutional change. Alexander Bregadze told Guineans they would be mad to allow the "legendary" Mr Conde to step down, saying: “Do you know many countries in Africa that do better? Do you know many presidents in Africa who do better?” “It’s constitutions that adapt to reality, not reality that adapts to constitutions.” Such naked campaigning from a diplomat is unusual. But Russia has a vital relationship to nurture.  Guinea holds the world’s largest reserves of bauxite, the ore that is refined and smelted to produce aluminium. The Russian firm Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer outside Russia, sources more than a quarter of its bauxite from Guinea. Guinea’s importance to Russia grew immeasurably last year after the United States imposed sanctions on Rusal and its co-owner, the oligarch and close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska. Sanctions have since been lifted on Rusal but not on Mr Deripaska. Young people block the road as they protest against a possible third term of President Alpha Conde on October 16, 2019, in Conakry Credit: AFP The significance of the relationship was underscored when Mr Bregadze stepped down as ambassador in May to head Rusal’s operations in Guinea. Other Russian firms also have mineral interests in Guinea. Tellingly, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a shadowy Kremlin associate linked to mercenary and mining outfits in Africa, is understood to have set up operations in Guinea. Mr Putin has wooed President Conde, too, twice inviting him to Moscow for talks. Guinea’s opposition has denounced what it says is Russian interference. Protesters last week made their feelings clear by blockading a Rusal-owned railway line used to transport bauxite. Their anger is likely to achieve little. Emboldened by Russian backing, Mr Conde has only cracked down harder. Last week, nine senior opposition figures were charged with insurrection. They face five years in prison. Given everything it has invested in Mr Conde, Russia cannot risk the opposition coming to power. When Mr Putin meets his guest in Sochi, he is likely to encourage him to persist with repression.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 10:54:27 -0400
  • McConnell rebukes Trump administration: Syria withdrawal is a 'grave strategic mistake'

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    The Senate majority leader never mentions President Donald Trump by name in his op-ed for the Washington Post.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 19:55:58 -0400
  • Let jihadists return home, French anti-terror magistrate urges

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    The refusal of the French government to take back Islamic State fighters from Syria could fuel a new jihadist recruitment drive in France, threatening public safety, a leading anti-terrorism investigator has told AFP. David De Pas, coordinator of France's 12 anti-terrorism examining magistrates, said that it would be "better to know that these people are in the care of the judiciary" in France "than let them roam free". Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militia in northeast Syria has sparked fears that some of the 12,000 jihadists, including thousands of foreigners, being held in Syrian Kurdish prisons could escape.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 07:39:02 -0400
  • Atomwaffen Division’s Washington State Cell Leader Stripped of Arsenal in U.S., Banned from Canada

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    Police HandoutKaleb James Cole, the 24-year-old leader of Atomwaffen Division's Washington State Cell stripped of his firearms by a “red-flag law” late last month, was deported and banned for life from Canada earlier this year, according to court records, which also showed that he had been previously interrogated by American border agents about his extremist views.Cole, a National Socialist black metal enthusiast who goes by the alias “Khimaere,” was first identified as a member of Atomwaffen Division in a 2018 ProPublica investigation. He played a key role in organizing “hate camp” trainings for the group's members at an abandoned building known as “Devil's Tower” in Skagit, Washington, and in Nevada's Death Valley. Cole also helped craft the group’s eye-catching propaganda.Atomwaffen Division is an underground neo-Nazi guerrilla organization which had 23 chapters throughout the United States as of mid-2018. Since its inception in 2015, Atomwaffen members have been implicated in five homicides and several bomb plots, and are the subject of an intensifying national investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It makes common cause with other militant fascist groups like the Base and Sonnenkrieg Division in the United Kingdom, where authorities have charged a number of members with terrorism-related offenses.As The Daily Beast reported, the Seattle Police Department obtained an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” against Cole on September 26 to confiscate his concealed carry firearms permit and any firearms he owned for at least a year. That same day, SPD seized five rifles, a shotgun, three semiautomatic handguns and four lower receivers (the firing mechanism of a rifle that can be used to craft untraceable ‘ghost guns’) from Cole's father's house outside Arlington, in Washington State's Snohomish County.According to court records, none of the guns or the lower receivers seized from Cole were registered in Washington State's licensed firearms database.“Law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about the respondent's access to firearms and his involvement in the Atomwaffen Division, a known terrorist group,” Seattle Police Sergeant Dorothy Kim wrote in a petition for an Extreme Risk Protection Order. As further evidence, Sgt. Kim cited Atomwaffen Division propaganda calling for “Race War Now,” and the group's adherence to “acceleration theory,” which urges actions that undermine the existing social order to “exacerbate the feeling of alienation among white supremacists and a greater impulse to engage in violence or destructive behavior.”Cole's “words, actions and behavior suggest he has taken additional steps towards a plan with his ideologically motivated violence. Specifically, the coordinated camps with firearms training, overseas travel with Atomwaffen paraphernalia-flags/skull masks, threats to kill (gas the Kikes) and the possession of firearms, suggest an imminent risk to public safety if Cole is permitted to continue to purchase or possess firearms,” Sergeant Kim wrote.The request to seize Cole's guns was reportedly made to Seattle Police by the FBI, which did not have enough information to file criminal charges but believed Cole posed a serious threat to public safety.Multiple law enforcement sources told The Daily Beast that Cole had been the target of an FBI investigation following his February 2018 identification by ProPublica. However, law enforcement made no contact with him until December 28, 2018, when Cole landed in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on a flight from London. Customs and Border Protection pulled Cole aside for secondary screening. Records of that interview were included by the Seattle Police Department in their emergency risk petition last month.During the interview, Cole told CBP agents he had traveled to the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine with two friends from Washington State, Aidan Bruce-Umbaugh and Edie Allison Moore. The trip, Cole said, was to “see the historic architecture and museums in Eastern European countries.” The three also attended a heavy metal festival while in Kyiv. The 2018 edition of Asgardsrei, a festival several National Socialist black metal bands have played in the past, was held in Kyiv from December 15-16 last year. Photographs from the concert posted to social media show an Atomwaffen Division flag brandished by individuals in the crowd. According to information obtained by The Daily Beast, Aidan Bruce-Umbaugh is a member of the Washington State cell of Atomwaffen Division, and goes by the moniker “Nythra.” The drummer for Kaleb Cole's old metal band, Operblut, is listed as “Nythra” on music websites. In the CBP interview, Cole told federal agents he and Bruce-Umbaugh had been friends since grade school.Border agents searched Cole's luggage, and found a skull mask balaclava and an Atomwaffen Division flag inside his bag. When questioned about press reports tying him to Atomwaffen Division, Cole admitted to his involvement with the group and stated that he “shares a Fascist ideology, 'strong dominate the weak'.” He also admitted he owned an AK-47 and multiple handguns “for his own protection.”Cole's phone was also searched by border agents, who downloaded several images from the device. Amongst them are a photograph of Cole and another man wearing skull mask balaclavas in front of the gates of Auschwitz, the death camp where the Nazis murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews. Images of him posing with other Atomwaffen members, firearms, and the group's flag were also recovered from Cole's phone.According to multiple sources close to law enforcement, Cole previously attracted the interest of Canadian authorities by frequently driving across the border to British Columbia, sometimes several times a week. In late May, Cole was detained by the Canadian Border Service Agency because of press reports linking him to Atomwaffen Division, as well as “his overseas travel to Ukraine,” where several right-wing extremists have traveled to fight with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion against Russia-backed separatists.According to court records, he was held by Canadian authorities and placed into deportation proceedings due to his involvement in “an organization that may engage in terrorism,” per Section 34 [1][F] of the Canadian Immigration Code. According to records prepared by the Seattle Police Department, Cole was deported in July and “barred from Canada for life.”The Canadian Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police both declined to comment on Cole's deportation, the Atomwaffen Division or its affiliated organizations in Canada, citing the restrictions of Canada’s Privacy Act. Earlier this year, Patrik Mathews, a master corporal in the Canadian Military Reserve went AWOL after being identified as a recruiter for the Base. Mathews—who reportedly came to the attention of multiple Canadian security agencies because racist material was previously found by the Canadian Border Services Agency in his car while crossing the border with the United States—is still at large.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.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:13:50 -0400
  • Trump calls Mexico's president to express 'solidarity'

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    Mexico's president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said on Saturday that President Trump called him to express his "solidarity" following an attempt to arrest a drug kingpin's son that prompted a wave of violence in the city of Culiacan.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 16:42:58 -0400
  • Lagarde Says Trump Should Stop Criticizing the Fed With Tweets

    (Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Pocket Cast or iTunes.Incoming European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said central banks best operate in a regime of independence and President Donald Trump shouldn’t interfere with the U.S. Federal Reserve.“Market stability should not be the subject of a tweet here or a tweet there," Lagarde said in an interview with CBS ‘60 Minutes’ correspondent John Dickerson to be aired Sunday. It requires thought and consideration, she said.Lagarde described the job of central banking as similar to “navigating a plane” with policy makers having “to watch everything.”Leaning on the Fed to lower rates now could be inappropriate, she suggested. When the unemployment rate is so low -- now 3.5% in the U.S. -- "you don’t want to accelerate that too much by lowering interest rates because the risk you take is that then prices begin go up."Trump has relentlessly attacked the Fed for its policies. “Fed Rate too high. They are their own worst enemies, they don’t have a clue. Pathetic!” he tweeted Oct. 1.Lagarde was interviewed by CBS last month at her home in Normandy and at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington D.C., according to a preview of the segment released by the network. CBS said Friday that Lagarde also spoke about Trump’s trade war with China, imploring world leaders to resolve their differences. "My very, very strong message to all policymakers is please sit down like big men, many men in those rooms and put everything on the table, and try to deal bit by bit, piece by piece, so that we have certainty," CBS quoted Lagarde as saying in the release.To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Torres in Washington at ctorres3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alister Bull at abull7@bloomberg.net, Margaret CollinsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 17:44:11 -0400
  • Clever-Approved Travel Gear That Looks Good and Works Even Better

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    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:34:55 -0400
  • FACT: Cuba Hosted Russian Spy Planes to Use Against America

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    A forgotten tale of the cold war.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:00:00 -0400
  • Deep-sea explorers find Japanese ship that sank during WWII

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    Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are focusing in on debris fields deep in the Pacific, in an area where one of the most decisive battles of the time took place. Hundreds of miles off Midway Atoll, nearly halfway between the United States and Japan, a research vessel is launching underwater robots miles into the abyss to look for warships from the famed Battle of Midway. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the Petrel to one sunken warship, the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 18:13:53 -0400
  • Thousands take to Lebanon's streets in third day of anti-government protests

    Golocal247.com news

    Tens of thousands took to the streets of Lebanon on Saturday for a third day of anti-government protests, directing growing rage at a political elite they blame for entrenched cronyism and driving the country to the economic brink. In central Beirut, the mood was fiery and festive, with protesters of all ages waving flags and chanting for revolution outside upmarket retailers and banks that had their store fronts smashed in by rioters the night before. From the south to the east and north of Lebanon, protesters marched and blocked roads to keep the momentum going despite gunmen loyal to the Shi'ite Muslim Amal movement appearing with firearms to scare them away.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 07:28:47 -0400
  • 7 Things To Do With Your Old Smartphone

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    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:00:00 -0400
  • High-profile cases turn spotlight on domestic violence in Russia

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    Natalia Tunikova's partner pushed her towards the open balcony in their high-rise Moscow flat, before punching her to the floor. A Moscow court later ruled that her use of force in self-defence was not justified. Cases like Tunikova's are ever more widely reported in Russia, leading to a public outcry in a country that has no specific law on domestic violence and where feminist movements like #MeToo had little impact.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:34:40 -0400
  • Black security guard fired after asking student not to use racial slur

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    A black school security guard has been fired after asking a pupil not to call him the N-word.Marlon Anderson said the teenager, who is also African American, used the racial slur repeatedly to refer to him.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 09:25:14 -0400
  • The Chicago teachers' strike shows how to go on offense against neoliberalism

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    Chicago teachers led the battle against destructive reforms seven years ago – now they’re showing all working people left behind by cuts how to fight‘Together, the coordinated strikes have put more than 30,000 workers on the picket lines – more than 1% of the city’s population.’ Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft MediaIn 2012, when Chicago teachers walked off the job in their first strike in 25 years, the cards were stacked against them, nationally and locally. Today, they’re on strike again – and on the offense against austerity.Seven years ago, Rahm Emanuel had just been elected mayor and was looking to deal the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), who he saw as a barrier to privatizing the city’s education system, a crushing defeat. That agenda was shared by both Republicans and Democrats across the country, with a barrage of attacks on teachers’ unions, devastating budget cuts to schools and charter school networks – intended to undercut public schools and do an end run around their unions – rapidly multiplying.Yet after electing a new militant leadership in 2010 that pledged to fight not just for bread-and-butter issues like higher pay but a broad agenda of “educational justice” and opposition to austerity, Chicago teachers won that strike, inspiring educators and workers of all kinds across the country – and planting the seeds of future unrest in schools across West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Oakland, Denver and elsewhere, in the teachers’ strike wave that kicked off last year.Chicago teachers are again on strike, now against the recently elected mayor, Lori Lightfoot. As in 2012, their demands are focused on burning issues in their schools and the city as a whole rather than simply wages and benefits (a strategy that has been called “bargaining for the common good”). And they’re waging that fight alongside another striking union, SEIU Local 73, which represents bus aides, janitors, classroom assistants and other school staff – many of whom earn below-poverty wages.CTU’s staffing demands are straightforward: a nurse, counselor, librarian and social worker in every school. The current ratio of students to counselors, nurses and social workers in Chicago public schools (CPS) far exceeds professional association recommendations. The National Association of School Psychologists recommends one psychologist for every 700 students; last year, each CPS psychologist served 1,760. For nurses, the ratio is four times what is recommended; for social workers, nearly five times. The union is also demanding enforceable caps so that classes aren’t overcrowded, which CTU says is the case in nearly a quarter of all Chicago classrooms.The union is also connecting its bargaining to the city’s affordable housing crisis, demanding housing assistance for both its members and its students, nearly 16,000 of whom experience homelessness. The op-ed pages of the city’s newspapers have upbraided this proposal, but CTU argues that “to fully support our public schools, we must address the lack of sustainable, affordable housing in our city” – a problem faced by cities throughout the country.CTU is breaking new ground, both in the kinds of broad working-class demands it is putting forward and by striking alongside SEIU Local 73. Together, the coordinated strikes have put more than 30,000 workers on the picket lines – more than 1% of the city’s population. Yesterday, a sea of CTU red and SEIU purple swarmed the city’s downtown in the afternoon, with thousands on the streets for a mass march after morning school pickets.The union is up against Lightfoot, a political newcomer who won office earlier this year by campaigning as a progressive and running on an education agenda that borrowed heavily from CTU’s: an elected school board rather than one appointed by the mayor, a freeze on charter expansion and major investments in public schools. But Lightfoot’s progressive posturing is now running up against tens of thousands striking Chicago teachers and staff who want more than progressive rhetoric – they want hard commitments, put in writing and legally enforceable through their contract.If she continues to balk at union demands at the bargaining table, Lightfoot will probably see the goodwill she has maintained from average Chicagoans since taking office disappear. The signs don’t look good for her: a Chicago Sun-Times poll conducted just before the strike shows that the public is backing the CTU over the mayor and school board. The same was true for Rahm Emanuel in 2012.Critics on the school board and in mainstream media have responded with the common refrain that Chicago is broke and can’t afford such demands. But Chicago is awash in wealth – enough for Lightfoot to approve the giveaway of $1.3bn in public money to luxury real estate firm Sterling Bay for the mega-development project Lincoln Yards. CTU has long argued that the way to pay for their demands is clear: end these corporate giveaways and tax the rich.The nationwide neoliberal education reform movement was on the march when CTU struck in 2012. But after numerous corruption scandals, growing charter school unionization and strikes, and teacher walk-offs in states throughout the country, that movement is on its heels. Just as the Democratic party has been forced to at least feint left on issues like Medicare for All and free public college tuition because of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns, the party has been forced to back off of its most fervent support for corporate education reform.Chicago teachers led the way in the fight against these destructive reforms seven years ago. Today, they’re showing educators around the country how to fight not only for themselves, but for all working people who have been left behind by budget cuts and the dismantling of the public sector.The education policy scholar Pauline Lipman once described Chicago as “the incubator, test case and model for the neoliberal urban education agenda”. This week, teachers are working to make sure Chicago is where that agenda ends. * Miles Kampf-Lassin is an editor at In These Times. * Micah Uetricht is the managing editor of Jacobin and host of its podcast The Vast Majority. He is the author of Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity and coauthor of the forthcoming Bigger Than Bernie: How We Go From the Sanders Campaign to Political Revolution in Our Lifetimes

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 06:00:22 -0400
  • The Navy Wants to Push Out Problem SEALs. But Trump May Get in the Way.

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    Spiking drinks with cocaine, shooting Iraqi civilians, strangling a Green Beret: The Navy SEAL teams have been rocked by one high-profile scandal after another in recent months, and the leader of the elite commando force, Rear Adm. Collin P. Green, has vowed to clean house.Green has come down hard on misconduct, fired two key leaders and made an unusually public admission that the Navy's secretive warrior caste has an "ethics problem." At the same time, though, he has steered wide of the SEAL at the center of one of the grimmest episodes, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, who was charged with shooting civilians, murdering a captive Islamic State fighter with a knife, and threatening to kill witnesses.Gallagher was acquitted of murder charges this summer, but evidence that he had engaged in a range of other misconduct, including theft and drug use, had come to light during the investigation. Green and other Navy leaders were planning to demote him and force him out of the SEALs -- sending a message that such conduct had no place in one of the country's premier fighting forces.None of that has happened, though, because one of Gallagher's most vocal supporters happens to be the commander in chief. President Donald Trump has repeatedly intervened, and has posted so many expressions of support for the SEAL on Twitter that the Navy now sees Gallagher as untouchable, according to three Navy officials familiar with the case. Any talk of punishment has been shelved, not only for the chief, but for two other SEALs who had been facing possible discipline in the case, these officials said.Trump helped Gallagher get released from confinement before his trial, and personally congratulated him on Twitter when he was acquitted."People want to hold these guys accountable," said one Navy officer who was involved in the punishment deliberations. "But they are afraid that if you do anything, minutes later there will be a tweet from the White House, and the officer in charge will get axed."The officer, like others interviewed for this article, asked that his name not be used because he feared retaliation.The president has previously made it clear that he believes the country should tread carefully when calling American troops to account for acts of war. Only last week, he announced on Twitter that the White House was reviewing the case of Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, a former Army Special Forces soldier charged with murder in the death of a Taliban bomb maker in Afghanistan. "We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!" Trump wrote.The issue in Gallagher's case became apparent to Green's team in August, when the chief's lawyers -- including one of Trump's personal lawyers, Marc Mukasey, who joined the defense team two months before the June court-martial -- had tried and failed to persuade Navy commanders to suspend any punishment. Soon after that, the president brought up the Gallagher case at a meeting with the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations, according to a senior Navy official.White House officials strongly denied that the Gallagher case was discussed. But hours after the meeting, the Chief of Naval Operations announced that he would personally take over the Gallagher case from another admiral, who had indicated that she planned to punish the chief.The Navy had also planned to discipline two other SEALs who had come under investigation in the Gallagher case: Lt. Jacob Portier, who was charged with not reporting Gallagher's actions in Iraq; and Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, a platoon medic whose testimony at the chief's trial prompted the Navy to open a perjury investigation. But the day after the White House meeting, the charges against Portier were dropped and the investigation of Scott was ended.The intervention from Washington left Navy leaders with a dilemma: Not punishing Gallagher and the others would undermine efforts to restore discipline in the ranks, but punishing them only to be publicly reversed might make things even worse."All that's off the table now," said a Navy Special Warfare officer who was briefed on the most recent deliberations of Green's team about the matter. Navy commanders grew concerned that if they took away from Gallagher the Trident pin that signifies membership in the SEALs, only to see the president give it back again, the officer said, "it sends a message that the commanders aren't in control."While taking no action against Gallagher, the Navy recently fired two senior leaders of the team on which Gallagher serves, SEAL Team 7, which has had other recent incidents of misconduct. The command cited a "loss of confidence that resulted from leadership failures."The two leaders, Cmdr. Edward Mason and Master Chief Hugh Spangler -- both decorated career SEALs with unblemished records who took command of the team after Gallagher had been arrested -- filed a complaint with the Navy's inspector general over their firing. They said that they had become "expendable scapegoats" in the admiral's fight against an anti-authoritarian "Gallagher effect" that was threatening to spread through the force.With his new, protected status, Gallagher appears to be trolling Navy leadership.A few days after the demoted leaders filed their complaint, an Instagram account belonging to Gallagher and his wife started selling T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase "The Gallagher Effect."Another recent Instagram post from the account referred to Green and another top Navy leader as "a bunch of morons."And in a photo posted on social media by a former member of his platoon, Gallagher is seen gripping a hunting knife similar to the one Navy prosecutors said he used to kill a captive fighter from ISIS, which is also known by its Arabic name, Daesh. The post, which was "liked" by Gallagher's account, included the hashtags WeDon'tHaveAnEthicsProblem and NoOneCriesOverSpilledDaesh.Timothy Parlatore, a lawyer for Gallagher, said the Instagram account is administered by the chief's wife and does not reflect the chief's views.The original criminal charges against Gallagher, 40, stemmed from his fifth combat deployment with the SEALs, when he led a platoon fighting ISIS in Iraq in 2017. In a text message sent to his supervisor before deploying, he said he did not care where the Navy sent him, as long as there was "sure action," adding, "We just want to kill as many people as possible."He ended up in an advisory role largely behind front lines. But several men under his command told Navy authorities that he remained fixated on killing, and said they saw him shoot civilians with a sniper rifle and stab a captive teenage ISIS fighter in the neck. Their reports eventually led to the war crimes charges filed against the chief.After Gallagher was arrested in 2018, his family appeared repeatedly on Fox News, insisting that he had been wrongly accused. Soon Trump became a supporter, praising Gallagher's "past service to our country" on Twitter. Trump directed the Navy to release the chief from pretrial confinement in the spring of 2019 and ordered paperwork to pardon him before his trial in June.During the trial, the Navy's case against Gallagher fell into disarray as a key witness, Scott, changed his story on the stand and prosecutors canceled the testimony of other witnesses, fearing they would do the same. A jury made up largely of seasoned combat veterans found Gallagher not guilty of nearly all counts.After the acquittal, the president congratulated him on Twitter saying, "Glad I could help!"But Green was worried about the message that the Gallagher case was sending to the rest of force. In July, he sent a letter to the SEAL teams warning that the spate of incidents of drug use and violence in the SEAL teams showed "we have a problem," and that leaders "must now take a proactive approach to prevent the next breach of ethical and professional behavior."In Gallagher's case, though he had been acquitted on the murder charge, Navy officials were considering administrative punishment for other possible misconduct uncovered during the investigation.The Navy had found unauthorized grenades, stolen equipment and illicit drugs in his house and in his work locker, according to the Navy's criminal investigation report. When investigators seized the chief's phone, they found text exchanges suggesting he was illegally using the narcotic painkiller Tramadol, as well as marijuana and ecstasy.Gallagher has denied that he did anything unlawful in Iraq, and his lawyer, Parlatore, said the purported drug and equipment offenses had already been investigated and had been deemed insignificant.The part of the case taken over by the chief Navy officer in Washington concerns the minor charge on which Gallagher was convicted in the trial -- posing for a photo with a corpse. The officer hearing the case had recommended that the chief be demoted by one rank, with the possibility that he could be further reduced to the lowest rank in the military, E-1. The regional commander overseeing the court-martial, Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, had the authority to adjust or overturn the conviction and sentence.Gallagher's legal team pressed Bolivar to suspend his punishment so the chief could retire from the Navy with full rank and a clean record. Bolivar replied in a letter Aug. 1 that she found the chief's conduct reprehensible and had no intention of suspending his sentence.That was when the chief's legal team informed the Navy that they would "take their case to Washington," according to a Navy official with knowledge of the exchange. On the same day that Bolivar's letter was sent, the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John M. Richardson, along with the Secretary of the Navy, Richard V. Spencer, went to the White House for a meeting with Trump.A senior Navy official said the two men had not expected to discuss the Gallagher case, and were surprised when the president brought it up, expressing his displeasure that prosecutors had received commendations for what he regarded as a botched handling of the case.Though White House officials insist the case was not discussed, within hours of the meeting, Richardson took the Gallagher, Portier and Scott cases from Bolivar.Charges against Portier were then dismissed, and the investigation of Scott was halted. Neither man responded to requests for comment.Parlatore said he had not contacted the White House and had no knowledge of any intervention by the president. He said he welcomed the president's involvement if it happened because his client was threatened with punishment for minor misconduct that is often overlooked in the SEAL teams. "If the president has a deterrent effect and can prevent retaliation, we're thankful for that," he said.A new Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Michael M. Gilday, took command in August, but has not changed course. His final decision in the Gallagher case is expected by the end of October.Green was not available to discuss the case, according to Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence, a Navy spokeswoman, who added that "it would be inappropriate to speculate on any administrative actions, as no decisions have been made."On the night of the leadership demotions in Team 7, Gallagher made an unauthorized appearance at a "Patriot Awards" gala in Nashville, Tennessee, alongside Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Both men accepted awards from country music star Charlie Daniels."What an honor," a post on Gallagher's Instagram account said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:33:48 -0400
  • Plane collides with pickup truck while landing, pilot killed

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    Witnesses reported the airplane was at an altitude of just 5 feet as it crossed a county road near the airstrip and struck a pickup truck.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 19:07:52 -0400
  • U.K. serial killers had affair in prison, lawyer claims

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    Notorious U.K. serial killers Rose West and Myra Hindley were lovers in prison, according to one of their former lawyers. West’s ex-attorney Leo Goatley claimed his client fell for the Moors murderer in 1995 after they were both jailed in the hospital wing of Durham prison.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 10:47:09 -0400
  • Why Did 3 U.S. Navy Submarines Surface In The Pacific In 2010? China.

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    Submarines are useful for signaling intent.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 06:00:00 -0400
  • Defense chief: US troops leaving Syria to go to western Iraq

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    Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. Speaking to reporters traveling with him to the Middle East, Esper did not rule out the idea that U.S. forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. Esper said he has spoken to his Iraqi counterpart about the plan to shift the more than 700 troops leaving Syria into western Iraq.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 23:29:19 -0400
  • Erdogan says Turkey to resume Syria offensive if truce deal falters

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    President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area was not fully implemented. Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border. In the last 36 hours, there have been 14 "provocative attacks" from Syria, Turkey's defense ministry said, adding it was continuing to coordinate closely with Washington on implementation of the accord.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 06:29:11 -0400
  • Ousted Communist leader Zhao Ziyang is buried: family

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    A former Chinese Communist Party leader ousted after he opposed the use of force to quell 1989 democracy protests was buried over a decade after he died, his family said, in a service ignored by state media. Zhao Ziyang, who is a revered figure among Chinese human rights defenders, is still a sensitive topic in the country, where commemorations of his death are held under tight surveillance or prevented altogether. There was no mention of his burial ceremony Friday on state media, and searching for his name on social media returned no results.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:00:13 -0400
  • Convicted Killer Now Charged in Estranged Wife’s Cold-Case Murder: Prosecutors

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    Virginia State Police/HandoutA Virginia man who is behind bars for killing his girlfriend has now been charged with the murder of his wife three decades ago, prosecutors announced Friday.Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, 53, was indicted by a Stafford County grand jury for the May 1989 murder of 28-year-old Marta Haydee Rodriguez. Rodriguez-Cruz is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for the 2009 murder of his girlfriend, Pamela Butler, who was a federal worker in Washington, D.C.During a Friday press conference, Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen announced that the former military police officer, who was discharged after threatening to harm his female superior twice, has been charged with first-degree murder and the unlawful concealment of his wife’s body, finally bringing a 30-year investigation to a close. Cops: NYPD Officer Ordered Hit on Estranged Husband, Boyfriend’s Kid“This is the ultimate act of domestic violence and it’s noteworthy that in the month of October justice is going to be delivered for Marta Rodriguez,” Olson said, pointing out that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Rodriguez was last seen on May 1, 1989, as she walked to a bus stop after leaving her job as a nurse’s aide. Prosecutors allege Rodriguez-Cruz murdered his first wife shortly after she told police he had assaulted and kidnapped her—but before she could testify against him in court.“If I can’t have her, no one will,” Rodriguez-Cruz once said, according to 2017 court documents.The 28-year-old’s body was found in 1991 on an Interstate 95 median but was not positively identified until last year.Twenty years after his wife’s 1989 disappearance, Rodriguez-Cruz fatally strangled Butler, an Environmental Protection Agency analyst and his girlfriend of seven months, during a heated argument before hiding her body. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2017, at which point he confessed to killing the 47-year-old in her basement in 2009 before slipping her body out of a first-floor window.Air Force Major Charged With Murder After Missing Wife’s Remains FoundOne of Rodriguez-Cruz’s friends told authorities that he once said it was “easy” to get rid of a body because “if you dig a hole deep enough, no one will find it,” according to testimony at his plea hearing. As part of his plea deal, Rodriguez-Cruz told police he buried Butler in 2009 along Interstate 95—where Rodriguez was found—but her remains were never discovered. Derrick Butler, Pamela’s brother, also attended Friday’s news conference and told reporters he was relieved to hear news of Rodriguez-Cruz’s latest charge.Authorities believe his pattern of abuse stretches beyond the death of his two former lovers. In 2017, investigators testified that the 53-year-old told his second wife he knew how to make sure a body was never found. Another woman, a security guard at a federal office, also told detectives that Rodriguez-Cruz allegedly duct-taped her wrists, held a gun to her head, and sexually assaulted her in 2004. “This man doesn’t impulsively kill. He abducts women, duct-tapes them, sexually assaults them, and then holds them captive,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner said at the 2017 hearing. “Duct tape and a gun are his weapon of choice.”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.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:18:31 -0400
  • China Urged to Curb Risky Lending to Vulnerable Pacific Nations

    (Bloomberg) -- China should put the brakes on its lending in the South Pacific to avoid lumping economically vulnerable nations with unsustainable debt, according to a report released by an Australian think tank.“The sheer scale of China’s lending and its lack of strong institutional mechanisms to protect the debt sustainability of borrowing countries poses clear risks,” the Lowy Institute said in a report released Monday. “China cannot remain a major lender in the Pacific at the same scale as in the past without fueling significant” dangers, it said.According to Lowy, six South Pacific governments are debtors to China: Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu. Between 2011 and 2018, China made official loan commitments to the region totaling about $6 billion, or about 21% of regional GDP.As China spreads its influence beyond the South China Sea to the South Pacific -- a region comprised of island nations traditionally under U.S. hegemony and on Australia’s doorstep -- officials in Washington and Canberra are increasingly concerned Beijing may use debt through infrastructure loans as leverage to establish military bases in the region.Opaque LendingLast November, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence criticized President Xi Jinping’s Belt-and-Road Initiative, which Morgan Stanley has said may total $1.3 trillion by 2027 -- dwarfing the funds the U.S. and allies have mobilized. Pence said the U.S. doesn’t “drown our partners in a sea of debt” or “offer a constricting belt or a one-way road.”While the Lowy report said there was no evidence to suggest China was engaging in deliberate “debt-trap diplomacy” in the South Pacific, it urged Beijing to adjust “the scale, nature, and opacity of China’s lending activities” in the region.“If China wants to remain a major development financier in the Pacific without fulfilling the debt-trap accusations of its critics, it will need to substantially restructure its approach, including adopting formal lending rules similar to those of the multilateral development banks,” it said.China has increased its economic and diplomatic footprint in the region by funding and building much-desired transport and utility infrastructure, compared with the traditional focus by U.S. and Australia on bolstering governance, health and education services.Increasing AidAccording to Lowy, between 2011–2017 China was responsible for 37% of all official sector loans to the region, with traditional creditors including Asian Development Bank and World Bank responsible for the bulk of the balance. China is the single largest creditor in Samoa and Vanuatu, and accounts for more than half of Tonga’s total outstanding debt, it said.In response to China’s rising power in the region, the U.S. recently established a Directorate of Pacific Affairs within the White House National Security Council, which provides a hub for coordinating U.S. policy in the region with other like-minded countries, including Australia.Australia unveiled a A$2 billion ($1.4 billion) infrastructure fund for the region last last year, while the U.S. joined a group that includes Japan, the European Union and the ADB to fund projects.“There is scope for Australia’s more modest infrastructure lending plans to be sustainable,” the Lowy report said. “If Australia wants to do more in the Pacific though, it should reverse the current stagnation in its overall aid budget.”To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Scott in Canberra at jscott14@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Muneeza NaqviFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 09:01:00 -0400
  • Louis Vuitton x Donald Trump: the big fashion collab no one asked for

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    Is Louis Vuitton not worried about the threat of aligning their plastic-y, tan hides with the plastic-y tan hide in chief? Donald Trump visits the Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch leather workshop in Keene, Texas. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/ReutersLouis Vuitton, the most valuable luxury brand in the world and prize pony of luxury conglomerate LVMH’s stables, has opened a Texas factory, AKA the Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch. Vuitton promised the venture will provide 1,000 American jobs over the next five years.Yet, at a time where brands are feeling the pressure to be more political and woke than ever, is it not a gigantic faux pas to discount politics on Vuitton’s part?The answer is … maybe? First off, it’s salient to note that this is not the first Vuitton factory in the States. No, the company has been manufacturing its products in California for three decades (ah, rarified European luxury!). It is, however, the first factory opening to require LVMH’s president, Bernard “The Wolf in a Cashmere Coat” Arnault, to painfully equivocate about his guest of honor, Donald Trump, who along with daughter Ivanka joined Arnault and LVMH’s top brass for the grand opening.“I am not here to judge his types of policies. I have no political role. I am a business person,” Arnault said of Trump at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, as reported by the New York Times. How convenient, given that while the ceremony was unfolding, US forces were withdrawing from northern Syria, the impeachment procedure has been intensifying, and his 1,000th day in office had just passed with more and more people being concerned by his mental stability.But apart from confirming the fact that Trump cannot pronounce “Vuitton” (here’s a handy how-to-pronounce guide), the photo-op raises another question: how are dedicated Vuitton fans going to feel about this?One truth universally recognized by marketers of our era is younger demographics care, more or less, about corporate responsibility. An official boycott – grabyourwallet – of brands financially related to the Trump campaign has affected the popularity of companies before. Remember the recent thing with SoulCycle and Equinox?So do the people who buy Louis Vuitton care that their bag was brought to them by two men who both recently publicly chastised teen climate activist Greta Thunberg on separate occasions? Is Louis Vuitton not worried about the reputational threat of aligning their plastic-y, tan hides with the plastic-y tan hide in chief?Maybe not in Texas where, after all, 77.5% of Johnson county, where the factory is located, voted for Trump in 2016. But according to the Hollywood Reporter, stylists who oversee the wardrobes of the likes of Justin Beiber, Katy Perry and Julia Roberts have already taken to Twitter to cry, essentially, “Big mistake”. Yuge!

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:53:34 -0400
  • Boeing Pilot Complained of 'Egregious' Issue With 737 Max in 2016

    Golocal247.com news

    For months, Boeing has said it had no idea that a new automated system in the 737 Max jet, which played a role in two fatal crashes, was unsafe.But on Friday, the company gave lawmakers a transcript revealing that a top pilot working on the plane had raised concerns about the system in messages to a colleague in 2016, more than two years before the Max was grounded because of the accidents, which left 346 people dead.In the messages, the pilot, Mark Forkner, who played a central role in the development of the plane, complained that the system, known as MCAS, was acting unpredictably in a flight simulator: "It's running rampant."The messages are from November 2016, months before the Max was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. "Granted, I suck at flying, but even this was egregious," he said sardonically to a colleague, according to a transcript of the exchange reviewed Friday by The New York Times.The Max crisis has consumed Boeing, and the revelation of the messages from Forkner come at a particularly sensitive time. The company's chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, is scheduled to testify before two congressional committees, on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, the first time a Boeing executive has appeared at a hearing related to the crashes. Boeing's stock lost 7% of its value Friday, adding to the financial fallout.The existence of the messages strike at Boeing's defense that it had done nothing wrong regarding the Max because regulators had cleared the plane to fly, and potentially increases the company's legal exposure as it faces civil and criminal investigations and multiple lawsuits related to both crashes. Facing competition from Airbus, Boeing worked to produce the Max as quickly as possible, striving to minimize costly training for pilots. Last week, a task force of 10 international regulators released a report that found that Boeing had not fully explained MCAS to the FAA."This is more evidence that Boeing misled pilots, government regulators and other aviation experts about the safety of the 737 Max," Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said in a statement Friday.Boeing has maintained that the Max was certified in accordance with all appropriate regulations, suggesting that there was no sign that MCAS was unsafe.That contention was central to the company's rationale in not grounding the Max after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 last October, and in waiting days to recommend grounding the plane after the second crash, of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March.It was only after data suggested that MCAS played a role in the second crash that Boeing and the FAA decided to ground the Max.Forkner was the chief technical pilot for the Max and was in charge of communicating with the FAA group that determined how pilots would be trained before flying it. He helped Boeing convince international regulators that the Max was safe to fly.In the messages, he said that during tests in 2016, the simulator showed the plane making unexpected movements through a process called trimming."The plane is trimming itself like craxy," he wrote to Patrik Gustavsson, a fellow 737 technical pilot at Boeing. "I'm like WHAT?"Forkner went on to say that he had lied to the FAA."I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)," Forkner says in the messages, although it was not clear what he was specifically referring to.Lawmakers, regulators and pilots responded with swift condemnation Friday."This is the smoking gun," Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said in an interview. "This is no longer just a regulatory failure and a culture failure. It's starting to look like criminal misconduct."Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he expected answers from Boeing's chief executive and board of directors."They must be held accountable if Boeing was deceptive or misleading in failing to report safety concerns," Blumenthal said in an interview. "What these reports indicate is that Boeing's own employees lied and concealed the truth."The FAA administrator, Stephen Dickson, sent Muilenburg a letter Friday morning demanding that the company account for why it had not provided the messages to the agency earlier."I expect your explanation immediately regarding the content of this document and Boeing's delay in disclosing the document to its safety regulator," Dickson wrote.A Boeing spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, said the company was "voluntarily cooperating" with the congressional investigation and provided the messages to lawmakers as part of that process. He noted that the company gave the messages to the Department of Justice, which is conducting a criminal investigation into Boeing, earlier this year.A Boeing spokesman said the company did not give the messages to the FAA earlier because of the ongoing criminal investigation.The Max has been grounded for more than seven months, and airlines do not expect to fly it again this year. The FAA and Boeing have repeatedly pushed back the expected date of the plane's return to service as regulators and the company uncover new problems with the plane.The crisis has already cost Boeing more than $8 billion. It has disrupted expansion plans for airlines around the world, which have had to cancel thousands of flights and lost hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.The Times, which was the first to disclose Forkner's involvement in the plane, previously reported that he had failed to tell the FAA that the original version of MCAS was being overhauled, leaving regulators with the impression that the system was relatively benign and would be used only in rare cases.Eight months before the messages were exchanged, Forkner had asked the FAA if it would be OK to remove mention of MCAS from the pilot's manual. The FAA, which at the time believed the system would activate only in rare cases and wasn't dangerous, approved Forkner's request.Another exchange, in a batch of emails among Forkner, Boeing colleagues and FAA officials, was also reviewed by The Times on Friday. In one email from November 2016, Forkner wrote that he was "jedi-mind tricking regulators into accepting the training that I got accepted by FAA."A lawyer for Forkner downplayed the importance of the messages, suggesting Forkner was talking about issues with the simulator."If you read the whole chat, it is obvious that there was no 'lie' and the simulator program was not operating properly," the lawyer, David Gerger, said in a statement. "Based on what he was told, Mark thought the plane was safe, and the simulator would be fixed."Flight simulators replicate real cockpits and are used to test planes during development. They can sometimes behave unpredictably, depending on their configuration.Forkner, who is now a pilot for Southwest Airlines, and Gustavsson did not respond to requests for comment.Boeing provided the transcript to lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Friday morning, in advance of the hearings this month at which Muilenburg will testify about the crashes for the first time. Reuters was first to report on the existence of the transcript.DeFazio, who as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is overseeing the investigation into the crashes, said he had reviewed other internal Boeing documents and emails that suggested employees were under pressure to produce planes as fast as possible and avoid additional pilot training."Boeing cannot say this is about one person," DeFazio said. "This is about a cultural failure at Boeing under pressure from Wall Street to just get this thing out there and make sure that you don't open the door to further pilot training."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 04:30:14 -0400
  • Conquer The Terrain With A 1963 Volvo L3314 Laplander Camper

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    Let nothing stand in your way. Old military trucks are a lot of fun, especially something like this 1963 Volvo L3314 Laplander Camper. It’s been converted into a camper which can get to places you might not even reach using some trucks. That means not having to sleep in some rooftop tent and use a tiny camp stove while enjoying the beauty of a super remote wilderness area.These trucks were commonly used by different Scandinavian and Saudi Arabian armed forces, so the claim that this particular one spent its time as part of the Norwegian Armed Forces doesn’t sound too far-fetched, although there apparently is zero documentation to backup that claim. It is painted Olive Drab, so it likely has some military experience. That paint does cover all the factory badging and wood trim pieces, preventing those from giving away your position when in cover.You’ll note there’s a recovery shovel mounted to the nose of this Volvo, just below the pop-out windshield. Other exterior details include a skylight, roof access hatch, locking spare tire cover, LED front fog lights, LED side area lights, front-mounted 8,000-lb. electric winch, rear mud flaps, and a ladder. Also included is a 10-foot boat painted to match the truck, and it mounts to the roof nicely.This vehicle looks tough and has the chops to back that up. A short wheelbase, high ground clearance, and excellent approach/departure angles make it quite capable on trails, which is what you’d expect from a good off-roader. While the Volvo Penta AQ130 engine isn’t a beast, with 130-horsepower on tap it definitely gets the job done without guzzling fuel.As for the interior, some nice upgrades were installed by the previous owner. While the cab is stock and not plush at all, it’s quite functional. In the rear is a nice leather sleeper sofa which looks brand new. You can cook up all kinds of gourmet meals using the wood stove with chimney, oven, and sink. The Coca Cola cooler and cabinets help with storage. Blinds keep things private. Just in case you have a larger party with you, a two-person tent is being thrown in with the purchase.You’re a far cry from a Winnebago with this Volvo L3314 Laplander Camper. There’s really no telling if or when you’ll see another like this, because they pop up occasionally but often go fairly quickly. If you want to see about purchasing this vehicle for your outdoor excursions, contact Chicago Car Club for details. Read More * Place A Bid On This 1968 Volkswagen Beetle Herbie Tribute * Driver Recklessness Cited In Kevin Hart Car Crash

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 18:16:55 -0400
  • Russia's Stealth Su-57 Is a Beast, But Can Russia Afford It?

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    It's pretty expensive for Russia's flagging economy.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 04:00:00 -0400
  • What attacked a 13-foot great white shark pulled from the ocean? One that is even bigger.

    Golocal247.com news

    Ocean researchers have pulled a 13-foot-long great white shark from the seas that had bite marks from an even bigger predator.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:07:06 -0400
  • The Latest: Syria Kurds say they will withdraw from border

    Golocal247.com news

    A senior Syrian Kurdish official says his forces will pull back from a border area in accordance with a U.S.-brokered deal after Turkey allows the evacuation of its remaining fighters and civilians from a besieged town there. Redur Khalil, a senior Syrian Democratic Forces official, said Saturday the plan for evacuation from the town of Ras al-Ayn is set for the following day, if there are no delays. Khalil said a partial evacuation happened earlier Saturday from Ras al-Ayn after much stalling and with U.S. coordination.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 16:38:24 -0400
  • One year on, migrant caravan leaves unexpected legacy

    Golocal247.com news

    A year ago, thousands of Central American men, women and children chasing the American dream arrived in Mexico in a massive caravan that has left a lasting legacy -- just not the one people generally thought it would. Fleeing chronic poverty and brutal gang violence at home, they banded together in hopes of finding safety in numbers against the dangers of the journey, including criminal gangs that regularly extort, kidnap and kill migrants. The images made an impact around the world: carrying their meager belongings on their backs, many migrants pressed small children to their chests or held them by the hand.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 21:25:40 -0400
  • 'She stole their lives': Woman convicted of passing school bus, killing 3 kids in crash

    Golocal247.com news

    Alyssa Shepherd was found guilty of three felony counts of reckless homicide for the Oct. 2018 crash that killed three siblings.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:08:50 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Bangladesh to move Rohingya to flood-prone island next month

    Bangladesh will start relocating Rohingya Muslims to a flood-prone island off its coast next month as several thousand refugees have agreed to move, a government official said on Sunday. Dhaka wants to move 100,000 refugees to Bhasan Char – a Bay of Bengal island hours by boat from the mainland – to ease overcrowding in its camps at Cox’s Bazar, home to more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims who have fled neighbouring Myanmar. "We want to start relocation by early next month," Mahbub Alam Talukder, the Relief and Repatriation Commission chief based in Cox’s Bazar, told Reuters, adding that "the refugees will be shifted in phases".

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 09:08:33 -0400
  • A steady plurality of Americans support impeaching Trump, and a steady majority support the impeachment inquiry

    Golocal247.com news

    Insider's polling has found that support for impeaching Trump has hardly changed, but partisanship has.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:27:11 -0400
  • U.S. Proposed to Help North Korea Build Tourist Area: Report

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. officials proposed a long-term plan to help North Korea construct a tourist area in return for denuclearization during recent working-level talks in Stockholm, Hankook Ilbo newspaper reported.U.S. negotiators prepared plans on the development of the Kalma tourist area, the paper said, citing an unidentified senior South Korean diplomat familiar with the talks in Stockholm. The paper didn’t say how North Korea reacted to the proposal.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been pushing to complete a resort construction in the Wonsan-Kalma coastal area. In August, Pak Pong Ju, a key member of the ruling party’s politburo, visited the region to encourage workers to make the area “a scenic spot” on the east coast.The talks in Stockholm earlier in October were the first in about eight months between the U.S. and North Korea, but ended with little agreement about what was even on the table. North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Myong Gil said the U.S. arrived “empty-handed” to the meeting, a point disputed by State Department officials.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Jasmine NgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:17:06 -0400
  • Income Inequality Has Soared While Taxes Have Become Dramatically Less Progressive . . . or Not

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    The truth gets its boots on pretty quickly in the Internet age. On October 6, the New York Times ran a piece broadcasting the striking claims made by the economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman in the new book The Triumph of Injustice. Just a couple of weeks later, it’s clear that these claims are built atop a foundation of often questionable and sometimes indefensible assumptions.Per Saez and Zucman, while the rich have been pulling in more and more of the nation’s income — grabbing about a fifth of it now, double what they got a few decades back — they’re paying lower and lower tax rates. Indeed, in 2018, the richest 400 Americans paid the lowest overall tax rate (including state, local, and federal taxes) of any income group. While the very richest Americans in 1950 paid two-thirds of their income in taxes, in 2018 it was down below a quarter; even the full top 0.1 percent barely pay more than the bottom 90 percent these days. It’s not that much of an exaggeration to say we have a flat tax system, not a progressive one.The debunkings came from everywhere: a Twitter thread by Journal of Public Economics editor Wojtek Kopczuk, an article by the economic historian Phil Magness, an academic response from the economist David Splinter, a report from the Republican side of the Senate’s Joint Economic Committee (JEC), a traditional book review in Le Grand Continent, and more.Let’s take the two claims, rising inequality and rich people paying low tax rates, in turn. Both of these problems are probably overstated, in the latter case quite dramatically, in Saez and Zucman’s numbers. And I say “probably” only because no one writing about these trends should pretend that even the best estimates are much more than guesswork, and necessarily so, because the data here are spotty and there are legitimate disagreements over what should even count as income and tax payments.The alleged rise of income inequality was recently the focus of some congressional hearings about the government’s plan to start reporting more data on the topic, as well as an extensive but readable summary of the academic literature from the JEC Republicans. You might think this would be an easy question to answer, whether the rich are pulling away from the rest of us, because the IRS can tell you how much income people report to the government. But — I hope you’re sitting down — not all income is reported to the government. And that’s only the first big obstacle to measuring inequality accurately.We know from the “national accounts,” the data we use to monitor overall economic activity, approximately how much money goes unreported overall. But to account for the missing money while measuring inequality, we need to know how much unreported income goes specifically to the rich versus the poor, and that is hard to do. Splinter, for example, argues that Saez and Zucman use a method that gives too much of this income to the rich; Splinter’s own approach relies on data from IRS audits and gives more of it to folks down the income scale.If your eyes are glazing over, I have bad news: As the JEC report details, this is only the first of many technical decisions researchers must make that affect the results. Should we worry about income inequality before or after taxes are taken out? Should we include governmental transfers as income? Should we analyze married couples together or separately, bearing in mind the decline of marriage in recent decades, especially among the poor? How to handle corporate profits that are retained rather than given out to shareholders? How to handle stocks that have grown in value but have not been sold?The JEC report provides a remarkable buffet of options to anyone wanting to find a study to cite in favor of a preferred narrative, with the general pattern being that Saez and Zucman’s work is on the high end. By all accounts, pre-tax income has become more concentrated at the top, though this trend is more dramatic in some estimates than others. But the share of post-tax income going to the top 1 percent may have risen only from 7.2 to 8.5 percent from 1979 to 2015.If it’s hard to tell how much money people make, it’s even harder to calculate their total tax rates, which requires you to know not only their income but also their payments to several levels of government. Once again the IRS is very helpful when it comes to what’s reported to the federal government, but then you also have to estimate how much money people across the income spectrum spend on state income taxes, sales and property taxes, etc. It’s no easy task.And here too, beyond problems with the basic data, there are arguments over what to include. A big one — a way that The Triumph of Injustice departs even from its authors’ own previous work — has to do with the tax on corporate profits, which has fallen significantly in recent decades. Since corporations are just legal entities, they don’t really pay these taxes; people do. And there’s a lot of debate over how much of this tax burden falls on corporate shareholders, as opposed to other folks, including workers and customers, who tend to be less wealthy and might benefit if the government didn’t take this money. Faced with this conundrum, the right-leaning Tax Foundation will point to studies showing “that labor bears between 50 and 100 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax,” while the left-leaning Tax Policy Center assigns 60 percent of the burden to shareholders, 20 percent to capital in general (because the corporate tax has spillover effects for other forms of capital), and 20 percent to labor.Saez and Zucman’s approach? To assume the entire corporate tax falls on shareholders, and to make this clear only after their number-crunching has been reported as fact in the national media. As the economist Tyler Cowen put it in a scathing post, “no Western fiscal authority I have heard of thinks of tax incidence in these terms.” And as this animation from Kopczuk shows, this new assumption largely explains a big change in the trend for rich people’s taxes even relative to Saez and Zucman’s own approach in a recent paper with Thomas Piketty:> So why is sky falling in the S-Z book? Recall this animation. There are just two changes of relevance here. One is corporate tax incidence. This is what turns very mild decline in progressivity into rapid drop. The other somewhat important one is treatment of capital gains pic.twitter.com/vOQchHMGAY> > -- Wojtek Kopczuk (@wwwojtekk) October 15, 2019There are other points too at which anyone making a chart like this needs to make decisions about what to include as taxes, and for whom. For instance, what are we to make of “refundable” income-tax credits that are paid even to people with no income-tax liability to offset? Should we treat those as offsetting the other taxes that people pay, which after all is one of their purposes? Or should we just classify them as outright transfers, not part of the tax system at all? Unsurprisingly, Saez and Zucman do not include them, because they would boost income and thereby reduce taxes as a percentage of income for the poor.As with inequality, we can point to other sources of data on tax progressivity to show that Saez and Zucman are an outlier. Splinter’s response illustrates this, and so does this from Jason Furman, who headed the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers:> The standard data shows that the tax system is overall progressive. This chart combines CBO estimates for federal taxes with ITEP estimates for state & local taxes. Federal income taxes highly progressive, when you add in payroll/state/local/etc. is still progressive but less so. pic.twitter.com/WTOgm58Fyo> > -- Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) October 7, 2019At every step of the way, Saez and Zucman made decisions that skewed the income distribution toward the top and the tax burden away from it. You can have a reasonable debate about the best way to analyze these data and what they say about our tax policies. But it does no one any favors to treat these estimates as established fact, the way the New York Times did.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:00:58 -0400
  • The U.S. Army And Marines Have a Plan To Take On China and Russia's Navies

    Golocal247.com news

    Dispersed attacks from land and sea.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 09:00:00 -0400
  • Cummings remembered as a mentor to many in Baltimore

    Golocal247.com news

    The top prosecutor in Baltimore knew exactly where to go for guidance after she made the decision to file charges in an explosive case involving the death of a black man in police custody. After that call in May 2015, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced charges ranging from assault to murder against six officers in the case of Freddie Gray, whose death from a neck injury suffered during a jolting ride in the back of a police van had set off some of the worst riots in decades in Baltimore. Cummings "said he was there with me.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 16:50:36 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 Porsche Macan Turbo

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    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:29:00 -0400
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