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Buttigieg, O'Rourke clash over assault-rifle buyback plan

Buttigieg, O'Rourke clash over assault-rifle buyback planAt Tuesday night’s Democratic primary debate, presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg escalated their disagreement over O’Rourke’s proposal for mandatory buybacks of assault weapons.




POSTED OCTOBER 15, 2019 10:57 PM

China detains 2 US citizens who ran teaching program

China detains 2 US citizens who ran teaching programChina said Thursday it detained two U.S. citizens on suspicion of organizing others to illegally cross the border, amid sharpening tensions between the sides over trade, technology and other sensitive issues. Police in the eastern province of Jiangsu arrested Alyssa Petersen and Jacob Harlan on Sept. 27 and Sept. 29, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. "The department handling the case has informed the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai in a timely manner, arranged U.S. diplomats to conduct consular visits and protected the legitimate rights and interests of the two," Geng said at a regular press briefing.




POSTED OCTOBER 17, 2019 9:37 AM

Turkey says Russia promised to keep Kurdish militia away from border -BBC

Turkey says Russia promised to keep Kurdish militia away from border -BBCRussia has promised Ankara that the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey's military is targeting, will not be in the Syrian territories across the border, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying on Thursday. Russia "promised that the PKK or YPG will not be on the other side of the border," Cavusoglu said in an interview with the BBC. Earlier on Thursday, Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman said Syria should get control over its border with Turkey as part of any settlement of the conflict in the region, as Turkey pressed on with its offensive into northeastern Syria.




POSTED OCTOBER 17, 2019 7:21 AM

Trevor Noah Exposes Eric and Don Jr.’s Hunter Biden Nepotism Hypocrisy

Trevor Noah Exposes Eric and Don Jr.’s Hunter Biden Nepotism HypocrisyComedy CentralWith Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings in the news, Trevor Noah turned his attention to the issue of nepotism Wednesday night. “The truth is, your name could be a big reason that you get a leg up in life,” The Daily Show host began. “With that said,” he added, “you can’t deny, it’s not a good look that a Ukrainian company hired Hunter Biden just months after Joe Biden became the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine. Because it looks very much like he got this business because of his father’s position.” “And I understand why a lot of people would complain about that,” he continued. “What I don’t understand is why these people are complaining about that.” With that, he cut to a clip of Donald Trump Jr. accusing Hunter Biden of trading on his name and Eric Trump arguing that he and his brother are exempt from criticism because they do not sit on any corporate boards. “First of all, I’m not surprised nobody has put Beavis and Forehead on any corporate boards,” Noah said. “I don’t even think they’re allowed on diving boards.” But more importantly, the host said, “If there was ever an example of people who got opportunities because of their names, it’s these two.” For instance, if Donald Trump Jr. was not Donald Trump’s son, Noah asked why anyone would be paying him $50,000 to make a speech. “To share his expertise on bad beards?”  Jimmy Kimmel Goes Off on Lara Trump: A ‘Heartless Imbecile With Lip Injections’“Also, if Trump’s sons are actually concerned, like truly concerned, about children of politicians doing business overseas,” Noah added, “then can someone please explain to me why they have been doing this?” He then allowed various news reports to lay out the details of continued foreign projects currently being carried out by Eric and Don Jr. on behalf of the Trump Organization. “Yeah, that’s right, even with their dad in office, the Trumps are still growing their business in places like India, Philippines, Indonesia, Uruguay,” Noah said. “They’re all over the world. It’s like The Amazing Race with no running and no chins.” But “at least Donald and Eric are one step removed from the Trump presidency,” Noah said before turning his attention to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who have official roles in the White House and yet still have entanglements with businesses that benefit from foreign money. “Now let’s be clear,” Noah concluded. “I’m not defending Hunter Biden. I don’t know him. I don’t know about his business. I’m just saying that the last people who should be talking about the blurred lines of family names and political influence are the people currently running their home office from the White House.” Trevor Noah Roasts Joe Biden Over Bad Debate Answer on Son HunterRead 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.




POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2019 9:33 PM

The most shocking part of the 'meltdown' photo Trump tweeted isn't who's in it — it's who isn't

The most shocking part of the 'meltdown' photo Trump tweeted isn't who's in it — it's who isn'tHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi was one of two women at the table at a Wednesday meeting, joined only by Rep. Liz Cheney.




POSTED OCTOBER 17, 2019 9:56 AM

Hong Kong Activist Renews Call for March After Hammer Attack

Hong Kong Activist Renews Call for March After Hammer Attack(Bloomberg) -- One of Hong Kong’s most prominent protest organizers -- including a march planned for Sunday -- was recovering after being attacked on the street by men wielding hammers.Jimmy Sham -- convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized many of the city’s largest peaceful protests -- issued a plea from his hospital bed Thursday for police to allow the march go ahead in the Tsim Tsa Tsui area as planned. Sham was assaulted by four to five men Wednesday while on his way to a meeting in nearby Mong Kok -- the second time he’s been attacked since August.“When Jimmy was at his street counter, many of the citizens expressed that they really hope there will be a safe march on Sunday,” the Civil Human Rights Front said in a statement Thursday. “Jimmy therefore urges the Police to issue Letter of No Objection, so that Hongkongers can express their views.”The Civil Human Rights Front has helped organize several of the largest protests ever held in the former British colony, including two largely peaceful marches in June that drew more than a million people. The demonstrations have since mushroomed into a broader push for greater democracy, leading to regular clashes between protesters and police and occasional incidents of mob violence.On Thursday, Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, was forced to repeatedly halt a question session in the city’s legislature as opposition lawmakers demanded her to step down and address other protester demands. The coming weekend will be the Asian financial center’s 20th-straight weekend of unrest.See also: Hong Kong Police Targeted With Remote-Controlled ExplosiveNg Tak-nam, chief police inspector for the Mong Kok area, condemned the attack on Sham, which he said appeared to have been premeditated. “The police will investigate impartially and seriously, regardless of the person’s background and identity,” Ng told reporters.Sham, who is planning to join the district council elections next month, was attacked in August by two masked men with a baseball bat and knife. Police have arrested three men in connection with that earlier case, charging two of them with conspiracy to assault causing bodily harm. The third is on bail pending further investigation.The Civil Human Rights Front said that the assailants in the latest attack appeared to be aiming for Sham’s head, elbows and knees. The group said he suffered several wounds, but had no broken bones.“The Civil Human Rights Front strongly condemns the acts of the perpetrators,” the group said. “It is not hard to link this incident to a spreading political terror in order to threaten and inhibit the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights.”(Updates with recovery in headline and first paragraph)\--With assistance from Justin Chin.To contact the reporter on this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at sbanjo@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Ben SharplesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




POSTED OCTOBER 17, 2019 3:41 AM

Mystery as plane carrying Russian arms smugglers crashes in Congo

Mystery as plane carrying Russian arms smugglers crashes in CongoThe Democratic Republic of Congo has one of the world’s worst aviation safety records, so reports that an aircraft had tumbled into a remote forest last week caused few international ripples. Since then, however, a deepening mystery over the nature of the cargo and the identity of those on board has left the Congolese government facing awkward questions. The fate of the stricken plane, a mysterious Antonov-72 so far only identified by its former registration number, EK-72903, may also provide a glimpse into the murkier side of Russia’s attempts to reassert its influence in Africa. The details remain scant. Last Thursday, the plane crashed 59 minutes after taking off from the eastern city of Goma bound for the capital Kinshasa. None of the eight people on board survived, officials said. The passengers were identified as the personal chauffeur of Felix Tshisekedi, Congo’s president, and three of his bodyguards. An armoured vehicle used by the president was also on board. A more troubling disclosure followed when two of the four-strong crew were identified. Vitaly Shumkov and Vladimir Sadovnichy, the plane’s pilots, were not only Russian nationals, they both appeared to have a background in gun running. The plane, too, has a murky past. EK-72903 was once owned by an Armenian company whose proprietor has been linked to arms smuggling elsewhere in Africa. Whether the crew were somehow furthering Kremlin interests remains unknown. However, there is no secret that Russia hopes to regain the influence the Soviet Union once wielded in Africa by wooing its leaders with arms sales, private security and “political technologists” adept at winning elections. Such attempts have often been linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin who has been accused of masterminding attempts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. Mr Prigozhin allegedly had Congo in his sights after Russia announced in May that it was sending a team of army specialists to the country. Some Russia media outlets speculated that Mr Prigozhin, was on board the plane ahead of a meeting with President Tshisekedi. That is almost certainly untrue. Slumming it on an Antonov is generally not Mr Progozhin’s style. “He wouldn’t get into a plane like that,” a Congolese government official said.  “This gentleman is an oligarch and if he travels then he travels on his own plane.” The official said that while Mr Prigozhin had not been scheduled to meet President Tshisekedi, other Russian government representatives had requested a meeting to discuss the upcoming summit. It is unclear if any were on board. At least two people described as being “of eastern European origin” were also on the plane. They have not yet been identified, adding to the intrigue surrounding the flight. For the moment, whoever else was on board the plane remains unknown. With some sources saying there may have been 11 people rather than eight on board, UN officials were attempting to identify the remains of the dead — some of whom had been hastily buried — last night. Even that might not put an end to the intrigue of what happened aboard EK-72903. Congo rarely gives up its mysteries. In 1961, a plane departing the country with then UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld on board crashed.  Three inquiries failed to determined the cause of the crash and Hammarskjöld’s death remains a mystery to this day.




POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2019 3:43 PM

Meet the Ohio-Class: America's Nuclear Doomsday Submarines

Meet the Ohio-Class: America's Nuclear Doomsday SubmarinesWatch out North Korea, Russia or China.




POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2019 5:00 AM

A Dutch family was discovered waiting for the world to end after one of the siblings snuck off to a bar and spilled the story to a bartender

A Dutch family was discovered waiting for the world to end after one of the siblings snuck off to a bar and spilled the story to a bartenderThe family was found living in a basement on Sunday, where they have reportedly lived for the last nine years waiting for the world's end.




POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2019 12:41 PM

U.S. Indicts Turkish Bank With Ties to Giuliani Client For Evading Iran Sanctions

U.S. Indicts Turkish Bank With Ties to Giuliani Client For Evading Iran SanctionsThe U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday indicted Turkey's second-largest bank on charges of fraud and money laundering, accusing it of helping Iran evade sanctions implemented to curb its nuclear program.Halbank was reportedly involved in the largest Iran sanctions violation to date, sending billions of dollars in gold and cash to Iran in exchange for oil and gas."This is one of the most serious Iran sanctions violations we have seen, and no business should profit from evading our laws or risking our national security," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a statement released by the Justice Department. The statement further alleged that senior Turkish government officials received tens of millions of dollars in bribes to hide the violations from U.S. regulators.Earlier this month it was reported that Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in 2017 pushed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to ask the Justice Department to drop a case against his client Reza Zarrab. An Iranian-Turkish gold trader who himself evaded Iran sanctions, Zarrab went on to testify against Halbank head of international banking Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who was convicted of helping Iran evade sanctions through money laundering and served 28 months in U.S. prison.Zarrab had also alleged that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan knew of Atilla's laundering operation, which Erdogan has denied.The charges against Halbank came as the Trump administration is trying to negotiate its relationship with Turkey, which recently launched an invasion of northeastern Syria after Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region. The invasion is in part intended to combat Kurdish groups that Turkey considers terrorist organizations, some of which were instrumental in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS in Syria.Trump authorized sanctions on the Turkish economy on Monday, however the impact of the sanctions was less damaging than initially assumed.




POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2019 11:30 AM

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