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

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

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:00:21 -0500
  • Republican senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Things happen'

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    Republican Senator Richard Shelby defended an argument from President Trump’s legal team that soliciting foreign interference in an election is not an impeachable offense, saying, “things happen.”

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 15:42:31 -0500
  • 'I stayed alive to tell' - Auschwitz's dwindling survivors recount horrors of Nazi death camp

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

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:14:38 -0500
  • Just as Australia's deadly fires begin to subside, it's being hit with more apocalyptic weather. Videos show enormous dust storms and golf-ball-sized hail battering cars and buildings

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

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 07:15:01 -0500
  • 2 more Puerto Rico officials fired after warehouse break-in

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

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 16:57:22 -0500
  • Two More Bodies Found at Tijuana Property Where Missing California Couple Were Buried Under the Dirt Floor

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

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:00:13 -0500
  • 'I Dare You to Mock Me.' Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger Defends Joe Biden Against Attacks on His Speech in New York Times Op-Ed

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    Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger opened up about his past struggles with stuttering in defending Biden and his speech.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 16:22:32 -0500
  • Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ river

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

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:10:56 -0500
  • Ex-Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line workers reveal the things they couldn't live without on board

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

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 09:35:05 -0500
  • China's Navy Warships Are Now Armed With Land-Attack Missiles

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

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 11:20:00 -0500
  • Gun rights advocates rally peacefully in Virginia

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    Several thousand gun rights supporters rallied peacefully Monday near the Virginia state Capitol under heavy security to protest new proposed gun control legislation. The rally took place without incident under a state of emergency declared by the governor over fears of violence by far-right groups. Dressed in hunting jackets and caps, rally-goers were checked for weapons as they passed through tight security before entering a fenced off area of Richmond's Capitol Square for the so-called "Lobby Day" event.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 16:04:48 -0500
  • A Surge of Migrants Rushes a Mexican Border Crossing

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    CIUDAD TECÚN UMÁN, Guatemala -- After days of walking and hitchhiking, a crowd of migrants rushed a bridge at Guatemala's border with Mexico on Saturday and clashed with Mexican police who used pepper spray and closed the crossing's large metal gates to keep them out.More than 1,000 migrants were trying to cross the bridge spanning the Suchiate River, which delineates a section of the border between Guatemala and Mexico. After calm was restored, small groups of 20 or so migrants, many of them women and children from Central America, were allowed to file through in orderly fashion and register with Mexican migration officials.The melee was the latest test of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's resolve to get tougher on undocumented migration and stop the flow of migrants illegally entering Mexico, many of them trying to make their way to the United States.The governments of Mexico and several Central American countries, the source of many of the undocumented migrants who have sought to cross the southwest border of the United States in recent years, have been under pressure from President Donald Trump to help stem the flow. Trump temporarily withheld development aid and threatened tariffs to try to force his counterparts in the region to take a tougher stance.The showdown on the southern border of Mexico on Saturday involved the vanguard of a mass mobilization of migrants, most of them Hondurans who set off from the northern city of San Pedro Sula earlier in the week as part of a new caravan. They are part of a tradition of mass migrations that have offered safety in numbers to participants.Over the years, such caravans have usually numbered in the hundreds and have mostly passed unnoticed. But in fall 2018, a caravan that at one point numbered more than 7,000, according to the Mexican authorities, caught the attention of Trump. He turned the matter into a campaign issue, warning against an invasion along the American border.By some estimates, the current mobilization is also in the thousands. The Guatemalan authorities say that more than 4,000 migrants, part of this scattered caravan, have entered Guatemala from Honduras since Wednesday. Many of them had been expected to arrive in the small Guatemalan border city of Tecun Uman on Saturday or Sunday.In recent days, as the caravan approached the Guatemalan border with Mexico, the Mexican authorities announced that only migrants who registered with proper documentation seeking asylum, work permits or other protections would be allowed to enter. Once registered in Mexico, migrants were transported on white unmarked buses to another location to continue their application process.Lopez Obrador said Friday that 4,000 jobs in southern Mexico needed to be filled, which seemed to raise hopes among migrants here that they would be offered employment at the border. But at the same time, the Mexican government also stepped up its enforcement.On Saturday, dozens of armed guards lined the banks of the Suchiate River across from Tecun Uman to prevent migrants from slipping across. A recording warned migrants over a loudspeaker that the United States would not be granting asylum and would instead send them back to Guatemala."Mexico will offer opportunities of employment in your country of origin," the message added.On Friday night, Alex Valladares, 28, sat on a sidewalk with other migrants bedding down on plastic and cardboard in Tecun Uman. He said he had worked for years in Indianapolis as an undocumented mechanic until he was discovered by the authorities and sent back to Honduras, his home country."I'm searching for a better life, employment," Valladares said.At one time, his heart was set on returning to the United States. But now, Valladares said, he sees more opportunity in Mexico. A friend who had also been deported from the United States had called to offer him a job as a mechanic in Veracruz, a Mexican city on the Gulf of Mexico. All he had to do was get there."Better that I can stay in Mexico where they'll give me papers to work legally," he said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:09:05 -0500
  • Prince Harry and Boris Johnson's informal 20-minute 'catch-up' behind closed doors

    Golocal247.com news

    The Duke of Sussex and Boris Johnson have had an informal "catch-up" chat behind closed doors just hours after Prince Harry said he had "no other option" but to step back from royal life. Prince Harry carried out what is likely to be one of his few remaining official engagements before the Sussexes take a "leap of faith" and leave the monarchy for a new life in Canada. He and the Prime Minister met for 20 minutes one-to-one without any aides present at the UK-Africa Investment Summit.  Looking relaxed and wearing a suit, shirt and tie, the duke arrived at London's Docklands where Mr Johnson was hosting the global event on Monday. The Duke of Sussex delivered a speech on Sunday night where he told the "truth" about leaving royal duties behind in a bid for a "more peaceful life" for his family. Boris Johnson meanwhile set out his post-Brexit trade pitch to African leaders with his vision to put "people before passports" in an immigration system overhaul. The Prime Minister was tempting premiers from across the continent with the UK's financial and education systems as he opened his investment summit in London's Docklands on Monday. He also announced an end to UK support for thermal coal mining or coal power plants overseas in a bid to use trade to tackle the climate crisis. With the EU departure coming on January 31, Mr Johnson was pledging to be a partner "through thick and thin" with African nations as he eyes fresh trade deals across the globe. And - at the summit also attended by the Duke of Sussex - the PM made a pitch for improved business links from his proposed Australian-style immigration system. "Change is coming and our system is becoming fairer and more equal between all our global friends and partners, treating people the same, wherever they come from," he told the UK-Africa Investment Summit. "By putting people before passports, we will be able to attract the best talent from around the world, wherever they may be." Mr Johnson gave current partnership examples of Nigerian street lights being stocked with low-emission diodes from Dorset, and Angolan families tucking into chicken from Northern Ireland. "We want to build a new future as a global free-trading nation, that's what we will be embarking on on January 31," he said. "But I want to intensify and expand that trade in ways that go far beyond what we sell you or you sell us. "I've just told President (Yoweri) Museveni of Uganda that his beef cattle will have an honoured place on the tables of post-Brexit Britain." Mr Johnson also spoke of the climate crisis and fight to save biodiversity by ending direct official development assistance, investment and export credit as part of his coal plan. "There's no point in the UK reducing the amount of coal we burn if we then trundle over to Africa and line our pockets by encouraging African states to use more of it," he said. "To put it simply not another penny of UK taxpayers' money will be directly invested in digging up coal or burning it for electricity." Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, speaks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as they attend the UK-Africa Investment Summit Credit: Getty Mr Johnson was meeting presidents from Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria at the summit, and was due to have talks with the premiers of Egypt and Kenya at Downing Street on Tuesday. The Duke of Sussex's attendance comes after he said there was "no other option" but for him and wife Meghan to stand down from the royal family. It emerged the couple had wanted to remain as working royals, although not prominent members, and drop their public funding so they could become financially independent - a dual role many commentators said was fraught with problems. But in a statement issued on Saturday after Royal Family talks concluded, the Sussexes announced they will stop carrying out royal duties from the spring, no longer use HRH and will repay the taxpayers' millions spent on their Berkshire home. Critics have accused the couple of turning their backs on the monarchy in order to enjoy the freedom that being able to take on commercial ventures brings. In a speech at a private event for his charity Sentebale on Sunday night in London, Harry told invited guests: "What I want to make clear is we're not walking away, and we certainly aren't walking away from you. "Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible. "I've accepted this, knowing that it doesn't change who I am or how committed I am. "But I hope that helps you understand what it had to come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life." The duke was not officially attending the summit but was holding audiences - one-to-one meetings - with a number of foreign leaders at the request of the UK Government. Harry sat down to talks with Saad-Eddine El Othmani, prime minister of Morocco, Peter Mutharika, president of Malawi and Filipe Nyusi, president of Mozambique.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 09:31:59 -0500
  • Leopard runs into house before being captured in south India

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

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 09:15:50 -0500
  • Prince Harry banned from wearing military uniform after stepping back from armed forces

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    Harry, Duke of Sussex, will be barred from wearing his military uniform after he agreed to step back from his armed forces appointments.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 10:06:10 -0500
  • A Drexel University professor has been charged with stealing $185,000 in government grant money to spend on Philadelphia strip clubs and iTunes

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    The Philadelphia district attorney's office charged Chikaodinaka Nwankpa with theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception last week.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 05:30:33 -0500
  • Report Warned of Threat to U.S. Troops in Germany: Newsweek

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. received intelligence about a potentially imminent attack being planned against military personnel stationed in Germany, Newsweek reported, citing a memo it saw.The 66th Military Intelligence Brigade received third party information stating that a possible attack could occur against soldiers at either Tower Barracks in Grafenwohr or Tower Barracks, Dulmen; the exact location, date and time of possible attack was unknown Information was marked unclassified and from a senior U.S. intelligence official “The source of information stated the attack would be carried out by an unknown Jordanian extremist currently located in Germany near an unknown military base,” the report saidU.S. Army Europe confirmed to Newsweek that a potential threat was identified and investigated last night “German and US officials were consulted and no imminent threat was found to exit”To view the source of this information click hereTo contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Crooks in Miami at ncrooks@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sebastian Tong at stong41@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 16:00:33 -0500
  • You Should Get an Electric Fireplace

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    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 12:00:00 -0500
  • Could Taiwan Stop an Invasion By China?

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    Expert: “Over the next four years, it may be more important to acquire less glamorous but nimbler weapons to prevent Beijing from considering an invasion.”

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 02:25:00 -0500
  • Lebanese security forces, protesters clash for second night

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    Lebanese security forces fired water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas on Sunday to try to break up stone-throwing protesters in Beirut, which has been rocked by some of the worst violence since unrest erupted in October.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 06:52:16 -0500
  • The 25 Best PSP Games

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    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 09:00:00 -0500
  • Nancy Pelosi's daughter said she was able to hand Trump a bottle of water in the White House without anyone checking for contamination

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    The incident happened when Alexandra Pelosi was filming at the White House six weeks after Trump was inaugurated, according to a new book.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 12:13:56 -0500
  • Illegal crossings plunge as US extends policy across border

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

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:24:36 -0500
  • US navy to name aircraft carrier in honour of black Pearl Harbor veteran

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    Doris Miller was working as a mess attendant on the battleship West Virginia the morning of 7 December 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. An alarm sounded, and as the ship drew heavy fire, Miller raced to assist the West Virginia’s fatally wounded commanding officer. He also fired a machine gun against enemy planes.For his bravery and “distinguished devotion to duty” that day, Miller in 1942 was awarded the prestigious Navy Cross, the second-highest military decoration, making him the first African American to receive the medal.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 06:12:35 -0500
  • Ten killed in seating collapse at Ethiopian festival

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    At least ten people were killed Monday and scores injured when a seating area collapsed during a major Orthodox Christian celebration in Ethiopia, with fears the death toll could rise. The accident occurred just before 8am (0500 GMT) Monday in Gondar, a historic city in the country's north, where every year more than a million people gather for the epiphany festivities known as Timkat. Two doctors at the University of Gondar Hospital told AFP that 10 people died when the spectator stands gave way suddenly at Fasilides' Bath, where thousands typically gather to watch worshippers plunge into the holy waters.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 09:58:12 -0500
  • Pair of storms to unleash rain, snow across Middle East this week

    Golocal247.com news

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

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 11:10:00 -0500
  • The Wuhan Pneumonia Crisis Highlights the Danger in China's Opaque Way of Doing Things

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    Downplaying the spread of a deadly new virus is a dangerous strategy

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 05:17:48 -0500
  • Russia Is Worried About Britain's Astute-Class Submarines

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    The class seems to have overcome its technical and financial problems, although the lingering impact of those issues could affect not only future classes of SSNs, but also the UK’s commitment to building a new class of SSBNs.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 01:30:00 -0500
  • Philippine military says 5 Indonesians kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants

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    Eight Indonesians were abducted in Sabah on Thursday. Three were released, while the remaining five were probably brought by their captors to the southern Philippine province of Sulu, said Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the military's Western Mindanao Command.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 06:16:47 -0500
  • Fox News' Chris Wallace says Lindsey Graham's view on impeachment witnesses 'directly contradicts' his 1999 position

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    Fox News' Chris Wallace pointed out Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) updated view on witnesses in a Senate impeachment trial, but Graham swore the situation is now different.House Democrats say "evidence overwhelmingly establishes" Trump's guilt ahead of his Senate impeachment trial, set to begin arguments on Tuesday. But they want to call new witnesses to testify, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton and Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani. Senate Republicans have so far denied the request.Wallace said Graham's view that new witnesses should not appear "directly contradicts what you said as a Republican House impeachment manager in 1999 during the Clinton impeachment trial." At the time, Graham said "there may be some conflict that has to be resolved by presenting live witnesses. That's what happens every day in court and I think the Senate can stand that.""Why were witnesses okay then, but they're over the line now?" asked Wallace.Graham blamed the "railroad job" in the House, saying witnesses were available before the House voted to impeach Trump. "If they were that important, why didn't you call them in the House? Do you need them to make your case?" The Hill reports that in some cases, witnesses were not available or willing to testify until very recently. The White House also blocked several administration officials from appearing before the House. > Senate Judiciary Chairman and the President's closest confidant, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined FOX News Sunday for an exclusive interview. Sen Graham reacts to the Democrat's trial brief saying the President's conduct is the "framers' worst nightmare." FNS FoxNews pic.twitter.com/mppEZ0aAgH> > -- FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) January 19, 2020More stories from theweek.com The strongest case for Joe Biden Boeing goes from bad to worse Trump's legal team calls on Senate to dismiss impeachment charges

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 11:27:00 -0500
  • Trump's Russia adviser 'escorted from White House' amid investigation

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

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 16:06:55 -0500
  • Giuliani associate in campaign cash probe seeks Barr recusal

    An associate of Rudy Giuliani charged with illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. political campaigns has asked Attorney General William Barr to recuse himself in the case and appoint a special prosecutor. The request is made in a letter filed Monday in the docket of the federal campaign finance violation case brought by New York prosecutors against Lev Parnas. The letter signed by defense lawyer Joseph Bondy came a day before the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump was scheduled to start.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 18:25:47 -0500
  • The US Air Force recently acquired a new $64 million Gulfstream private jet for VIP government officials — see inside

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

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:53:00 -0500
  • Evacuation crackdown ordered as Philippine volcano 'recharges'

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

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 04:42:11 -0500
  • US envoy say it's his mustache; South Koreans say otherwise

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. ambassador to South Korea has some unusual explanations for the harsh criticism he's faced in his host country. Or a Japanese ancestry that raises unpleasant reminders of Japan's former colonial domination of Korea? Many South Koreans, however, have a more straight-forward explanation for Harry Harris' struggle to win hearts and minds in Seoul, and it's got more to do with an outspoken manner that they see as undiplomatic and rude.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 04:24:21 -0500
  • After Jeffrey Epstein suicide, Bureau of Prisons tells guards: Stop surfing the web and watch inmates

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    Two corrections officers face criminal charges for claiming they checked on Jeffrey Epstein and other inmates. Feds say they slept and browsed online.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 13:37:39 -0500
  • Taiwan Is Not Worth A War With China (For 1 Key U.S. Ally, That Is)

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    Especially for Australia.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 04:14:00 -0500
  • Gulf carriers fly over Iraq, Iran after military action deters others

    Golocal247.com news

    Qatar Airways, Emirates and several other Gulf airlines still fly in Iraqi and Iranian airspace and to cities in both countries, even as other international carriers have rerouted planes since the United States and Iran traded military strikes. Executives and analysts said carriers in the Gulf, a major transit stop between European and Asian destinations, have few alternative routes to choose from in an area where much of the airspace is kept clear of civilian aircraft for military use. In the latest flare up, a U.S. drone strike killed a top general in Iraq on Jan. 3 and Iran fired missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq on Jan. 8.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 02:54:42 -0500
  • Harvey Weinstein: fourth accuser opts out of settlement to pursue own claim

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    Exclusive: Dominique Huett says settlement amount ‘not very fair’ and joins growing list of women to reject proposed dealA controversial proposed settlement between Harvey Weinstein and alleged victims of his sexual misconduct faces further delays, as a fourth accuser opts out and several others plan to object.Dominique Huett will remove herself from the settlement in order to pursue her own claim against the movie mogul, the Guardian can reveal. At least two other accusers have retained lawyers to file formal objections to the deal.Last month, it was reported that Weinstein and more than 30 women had reached a tentative deal following two years of negotiations.However, the Guardian has learned that a settlement hearing that was due before Weinstein’s criminal trial in New York has been postponed until at least February. It is not known if this was due to the growing number of women opting out.Huett joins three others who have decided to not be a part of the agreement: Wedil David, Kaja Sokola and Alexandra Canosa.Huett told the Guardian: “Originally I thought it was the best option for everyone, but after finding out more details, I think that opting out is the best way to get a better deal for me and for everyone.”Under the proposed deal, Weinstein would not have to pay a penny or admit any wrongdoing. The settlement would be paid by insurance companies representing the producer’s former studio, the Weinstein Company. More than $12m – a quarter of the overall package – would go towards legal costs for Weinstein and his board.“I feel the settlement amount is not very fair for all victims and the way it is structured really benefits the defendants a lot more than us,” Huett said. “I want to opt out to set a precedent for others and say that this settlement is not just.”> The settlement is not very fair and benefits the defendants more than us> > Dominique HuettHuett has retained a new attorney, Douglas Wigdor, who represents two others who have opted out. Wigdor believes the $500,000 Huett was offered was “not fair”. “I think Dominique’s case is worth significantly more than this,” he said.Wigdor will take on Huett’s claim, which was filed in a California court in October 2017, under sex trafficking laws. She was the first alleged Weinstein victim to file a civil claim and unlike many other accusers has a case within the statute of limitations.Huett alleges that in 2010, Weinstein invited her to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel in Los Angeles for a business meeting. She says he forced oral sex on her then masturbated, telling her it was a right of passage to a career in Hollywood.“He wouldn’t take no for an answer,” she said. “I refused and said no but was so shocked and paralysed by fear that I froze.“It’s devastating to think that what he did to me had happened to so many other actresses in the years before and that if his company had acted when they first learnt of his behaviour, it would never have happened to me.”Weinstein has denied any claim, criminal or civil, of non-consensual sex.The proposed settlement with some of his alleged victims is part of a $47m deal aimed at paying Weinstein Company debts. Of this sum, around $6.2m would go to 18 accusers who filed cases in the US, Canada and the UK. Approximately $18.5m is thought to be set aside for class-action participants, more of whom are expected. Board members of the Weinstein Company would be protected from liability.Zelda Perkins and Rowena Chiu have also retained Wigdor to file objections to the deal, the Guardian has learned. Kevin Mintzer is also counsel for Huett, Perkins, and Chiu.Perkins and Chiu, Weinstein’s British assistants in the late 90s, reached a settlement and signed an NDA in 1998 after they alleged he attempted to rape Chiu at the Venice film festival. Perkins and Chiu are not part of the proposed settlement, but say they are speaking out for other victims.“This is the whole reason I broke my NDA, so women can’t be pushed into a corner,” Perkins told the Guardian.“It is not indicative or correct compensation for the crimes and the majority of that money is being fed back to Harvey’s own defence,” she said of the deal. “They’re making it look like he’s compensating victims but he and his board of directors will be gaining more than the individuals will be.”Perkins added: “Ultimately the most important thing is that these women get compensation.”Wigdor said: “We are not seeking to prevent survivors who want to participate in a settlement from doing so. We just want to ensure that those who don’t are not precluded from going after insurance proceeds and the directors, and that the terms of the agreement are fair.”Caitlin Dulany, a lead plaintiff in the settlement, believes it is the best option for many women.If the settlement did not go ahead, she said, “it would mean that the majority of us – whose claims were dismissed or outside the statute of limitations – would be unlikely to recover anything. The settlement is important to me because it recognises the trauma that all survivors have endured, and not just that of a select few.”If the proposed settlement or an amended version were to proceed, it would allow other accusers to join.Katherine Kendall who like Dulany was part of the original class action, said: “It’s been a huge effort for all of us over the past two years, but the main thing is we want to be in a position where other women can come forward and join us..”Lisa Rose, who worked as a British administrator for Weinstein in 1988 and claims he harassed her, said she would file an objection to the settlement but added: “I understand completely that for some women taking the settlement is the right course of action and don’t want to get in their way.”

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 01:00:49 -0500
  • John Roberts Has More Power Than Mitch McConnell Would Like You to Think. But Will He Use It?

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    If John Roberts deems it relevant to call witnesses during the impeachment trial, he, as presiding officer, has the power and the duty to do so, whatever Mitch McConnell thinks.

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  • Biden campaign warns media against spreading Trump misinformation

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    The memo represents an especially strong rebuke of the GOP-backed conspiracy theories.

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  • Cult slayed pregnant woman and five of her children in Panama

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  • Palestinian family pledge appeal over Jerusalem eviction ruling

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    A Palestinian family pledged on Monday to appeal an Israeli court order to evict them from their home in a mainly-Palestinian east Jerusalem neighbourhood in a case lodged by a settler organisation. The Israeli anti-settlement NGO Peace Now said a Jerusalem magistrates court ruled Sunday in favour of evicting the Rajabi family from their home in the Silwan neighbourhood following a lawsuit filed by members of the pro-settlement Ateret Cohanim organisation. The three-storey building houses 17 Palestinians, the family said.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 13:08:33 -0500
  • US seeks to deport Honduran mom, sick children to Guatemala

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    The U.S. government says it will deport a Honduran mother and her two sick children, both of whom are currently hospitalized, to Guatemala as soon as it can get them medically cleared to travel, according to court documents and the family’s advocates. The family’s advocates accuse the U.S. of disregarding the health of the children, ages 1 and 6, to push forward a plan currently being challenged in court to send planeloads of families to different countries so that they can seek asylum elsewhere. Both children have been hospitalized in recent days in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 20:20:21 -0500
  • SpaceX rocket explodes after liftoff as planned; Crew Dragon capsule escapes fireball

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    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, ultimately sacrificing itself for a test.

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  • China Has Been Watching America, And Now Has Special Forces Of Its Own

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  • Women rarely regret decision to get abortion

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    Five years after an abortion, most women still say it was the right decision even if they struggled with their choice at the time, a U.S. study suggests. "We found no evidence of emergent negative emotions about the abortion over the five years," said study leader Corinne Rocca of the University of California, San Francisco. Opponents of abortion have argued against legal access to these procedures in part because of concerns that abortion harms women by causing negative emotions and regret, researchers note in Social Science and Medicine.

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  • The 11 most expensive cities to live in around the world in 2020

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

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  • Lebanese officials vow to step up security after riots

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    Lebanon's top security officials vowed Monday to crack down on vandalism after a week of rioting in Beirut that left hundreds of people injured and damaged public and private property — violence that comes against the backdrop of a deepening political deadlock. The announcement followed a meeting that included President Michel Aoun, as well as the interior and defense ministers, at the presidential palace. Lebanon has been roiled by three months of largely peaceful anti-government protests that over the past week turned into acts of vandalism in parts of Beirut.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 07:12:56 -0500
  • ‘OK, Now What?’: Inside Team Trump’s Scramble to Sell the Soleimani Hit to America

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    In the hours after the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3, U.S. officials in the White House, Pentagon, and State Department worked overtime on assembling a plan to handle the fallout, only to watch senior administration officials and the president himself scuttle their effort in real time on national television. The ensuing days became a mad dash to reconcile the intense intra-administration tensions over what the intelligence actually said about Iranian plots, and how best to sell their case to the American public. At the very top was a president who stewed and complained to staff about how the killing he’d just ordered might negatively affect his re-election prospects and ensnare him in a quagmire in the Middle East of his own creation.The plan to take out Soleimani had been approved months earlier by President Donald Trump after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then-National Security Adviser John Bolton pushed for more to be done to manage Iran’s aggression in the Middle East. But the president for years tried to avoid a direct military confrontation with Tehran, and hitting Soleimani was a move that could edge the two countries closer to war.When an American contractor was killed in Iraq in late December, President Trump’s national security team presented him with a slew of options on how to respond, and killing Soleimani was on the list. National security advisers reminded the president that he had publicly drawn a line in the sand, saying that if the regime killed Americans there would be severe consequences. Still, the strike was a departure from the regular Trump playbook and officials knew it would take a robust effort to explain not only the reasoning behind the attack but also the administration’s goal on Iran.“There was this sudden nature about it all. Yeah, it had been in the works for some time. But it didn’t feel like we were all thinking the same on how to move forward,” said one U.S. official, referring to the strike on Soleimani. “It was like, ‘OK, now what?’” For more than a week, Trump, Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence and officials from the national security community, including at the Pentagon, held twice-daily meetings and conference calls to make sure all government agencies were on the same page regarding messaging, according to two individuals familiar with those conversations.Despite that effort, what resulted appeared to be an uncoordinated effort to justify an action by national security officials who were varied in their answers about the pre-strike intelligence and who struggled to define the administration’s strategy on Iran post strike.That internal confusion on how to re-frame the administration’s approach to dealing with Iran led to weeks of what appeared to be frequent mixed messaging, critiques about the administration's apparent lack of strategy, calls from Congress for more robust intelligence briefings—and allegations that Trump and his lieutenants were actively misleading a nation into a sharp military escalation.This article is based on interviews with 10 U.S. government officials and several former administration officials. The State Department and White House House did not comment on the record for this story.Worry over the “counterpunch”For several days following Soleimani’s assassination, Pentagon officials warned Trump and his national security advisers that Iran had a variety of responses it could carry out to make the Americans pay. Among them, sources said, were Iranian attacks on senior U.S. military officers overseas, or violence targeting American outposts in countries like Iraq. Their bottom line was that Iran would hit back, and hit back hard. The president worried aloud to his team about how the strike could impact the way voters viewed him in the upcoming election. After all, avoiding costly foreign wars in the Middle East had been one of the key promises— and points of contrast—he made as a candidate in 2016. One official told The Daily Beast that in meetings at the White House Trump was “preoccupied” with ensuring that his public statements on Iran—notably that he would not drag the U.S. into a war with the country—would hold following the assassination. Once Soleimani was gone, Trump was adamant that the administration “get things back to normal” with Iran, one official told The Daily Beast. According to another U.S. official, senior administration officials, including President Trump, were framing the strike as a de-escalatory measure even before the attack was ordered. The idea was that if the U.S. didn’t hit Soleimani, more people would die because Iran would continue to carry out attacks in the region.Trump’s insistence on returning to “normal” with Iran directly after he ordered the death of the Islamic republic’s top military leader underscores this president’s wild vacillations between diplomatic overtures and teasing violent retribution, where a call for peace one moment could be followed by a threat to destroy Iranian cultural sites—a tactic that is considered a war crime under international law.The president inquired about this not long before greenlighting, then abruptly calling off, military strikes on Iran that he approved knowing the body count was estimated to be high.And even as he publicly celebrated this massive escalation with Iran and aggressively campaigned on, and fundraised off of, his decision, Trump continued to lament privately to close allies that it would be “crazy” to plunge America into another invasion or full-blown war in the Middle East, according to two people who spoke to Trump in the days following the Soleimani hit.He then pledged he would not “let it happen” on his “watch.” Of course, none of the president’s stated reservations about starting a new war, or his stated desire to bring soldiers home, kept him and his administration from deploying thousands more American troops to the region as the U.S. and Iran walked up to the brink of all-out warfare early this month.The Soleimani strike, though, forced the president to pause, even just briefly, to consider whether what he had ordered would have lasting, irreversible consequences—repercussions he’d never meant to bump up against.“You know, he's sincerely grappling with this, which is good. I mean, war should be hard and we should grapple with it. I just don't want any one person to say, okay, I've grappled with it we should do it,” Sen. Tim Kaine told The Daily Beast in an interview about the escalating tension in Iran. Since the Soleimani strike, the Virginia Democrat has led a bipartisan push in the Senate to rein in Trump’s authority to wage war in Iran without congressional approval. “If I were president I shouldn't have the ability to just on my own say, let’s do this,” Kaine added. “It should be deliberative, because that's what the troops and their families deserve.”President Trump’s concerns were fed, in part, by comments from lawmakers and other analysts that the strike on Soleimani could lead quickly to a major, sustained conflict.“We need to get ready for a major pushback. Our people in Iraq and the Middle East are going to be targeted. We need to be ready to defend our people in the Middle East,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in an interview with The Daily Beast the night of the strike. “I think we need to be ready for a big counterpunch.”“Overselling the intel”In the first week after the Jan. 3 strike, officials appeared on television and radio shows in an attempt to frame the Soleimani strike as an act of de-escalation. Just hours after the strike, Brian Hook, the special representative for Iran, went on BBC World Service radio saying that killing Soleimani was designed to “advance the cause of peace.”Officials at the State Department, in coordination with the White House, drafted talking points advising those who would appear in the media to underscore Soleimani’s “malign activities” and his role in killing American troops over the years, according to two U.S. officials. But the White House wanted to advance a different argument—one that wasn’t about what Iran had already done, but what U.S. officials claimed Iran was about to do. They said the U.S. killed Soleimani because he was planning “imminent” attacks that would harm American interests. That talking point in particular was emailed out to officials across the Pentagon, White House, and State Department, and even to several GOP lawmakers’ offices repeatedly the week of the strike, according to several officials who spoke to The Daily Beast. It became, for a time, the central rationale the administration offered for the assassination. On the night of the hit, the Pentagon said only that Soleimani was “actively developing plans” for an unspecified attack. By Sunday Jan. 5, Pompeo said on several morning talk shows that there were actually “constant threats” from Iran, rather than a specific one the strike preempted. And officials told a varying story about how many Americans could be killed. That next week, in briefings to Congress, the administration struggled to explain what exactly the alleged “imminent” attack was. Senators left a closed-door briefing Wednesday, Jan. 8, unconvinced, angry, and warning that the intelligence put forward did not match how senior officials described it. And when the dissatisfied lawmakers pressed for a clearer picture, Graham ended the briefing even though several members had yet to ask their questions.“It was right when things were really starting to get heated and Graham just said something like, ‘Hey don’t you all have to get back to the White House?’,” the source said.For Kaine, the problem wasn’t the intel, it was some of the messengers. “I think the intel has been strong. But I think some of the political people have been overselling the intel,” said Kaine. “What I heard of the political folks doing seems to me to be significantly beyond what the intel says.”Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), a member of the House intelligence committee who received a separate classified briefing on the Soleimani strike, said he “saw nothing related to imminence.”“To exaggerate your view of what intelligence means is dangerous,” he told The Daily Beast. “This was either a misrepresentation or a degree of incompetence in analyzing the intelligence.”Senators were also displeased with how the administration’s briefers, including Pompeo, answered questions about Iraq and its parliament vote to oust American troops from the country after the Soleimani assassination. According to two people in the room, the briefers dismissed questions about the Baghdad vote, telling lawmakers “don’t worry about it,” according to an individual who was in the room. “One of them said ‘that’s just how the Iraqis talk. We will take care of it.’”“When you take strikes… in Iraq over their objections, there’s going to be consequences to that. And that’s the kind of thing where you got to be thinking down the board. If they object to us using Iraq as a field of battle… but we’re saying yeah, we’re doing it anyway. Well, what do you think is going to happen?” Kaine told The Daily Beast in reference to the briefing. “I certainly didn't get much sense that they had thought through, like, oh, they are probably going to kick us out of the country.”Trump on Jan. 9 told reporters that the intelligence actually showed that Iran was “looking to blow up our embassy.” The next day, he went bigger in a Fox News interview, saying that there “probably would’ve been four embassies.” But two days after that, on Jan. 12, Trump’s claim was put into question by his own defense secretary. In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Mark Esper conceded that he had not in fact seen a piece of intelligence “with regard to four embassies.” But, in an apparent attempt to cover for Trump, Esper said the president “believed that it probably and could have been attacks against additional embassies.”According to two officials who spoke to The Daily Beast, Trump was outwardly frustrated by critiques of his embassy claim, telling his close confidants that he was furious with Esper’s performance on CNN.Lawmakers on Capitol Hill called on the Trump administration to explain the president’s remarks, demanding briefings with Pompeo and other administration officials—which were scheduled this week and then canceled without explanation. According to two senior U.S. officials, Trump and Pompeo spoke about the need to avoid answering more questions about the embassy threats.“This whole episode has been one of mixed messages. Mixed messages is a function of no real strategy,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “When you don’t have a strategy, you get all sorts of confusing events on top of each other.”“Aggressive opinions”Officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said part of that confusion on messaging came as a result of abundant input by GOP lawmakers with “aggressive opinions on how to handle Iran,” as one official put it. In the days after the assassination, Trump spoke with Republican leaders in the Senate and the House, picking their brains on how to redefine the administration’s years-long policy of maximum pressure—a campaign to wage economic warfare on Tehran. Some of those same senators had publicly and behind closed doors denounced the administration’s maximum pressure campaign. They argued that the campaign wasn’t doing enough to change Iran’s behavior. In the days leading up to the strike, Graham spoke with President Trump. “I won’t get into the details,” Graham told The Daily Beast. “But he told me Soleimani was a target and that they had caught him red-handed.” Graham said he had advocated for the president to take a tougher military stance against Iran following the attacks on the Saudi oil refineries in September.“I didn’t have any specific targets in mind,” Graham said. “I just thought we needed to be doing more.”Several national security officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said there was a push by GOP lawmakers, including Graham, in the days after the strike to fundamentally re-vamp the administration’s maximum pressure campaign by adding a military component.“If there are any more threats against Americans or our interests then we should hit refineries and oil infrastructure inside Iran,” Graham said. “The military option should be on the table.” The campaign was not initially designed to include military power as a form of maximum pressure, according to two former Obama administration officials. Instead, its architects envisioned it as a means of economic strangulation, whereby Iran would be put under such crippling sanctions that it would opt to transform its foreign policy and take an unspecified grand bargain that the administration began offering after abandoning the nuclear deal in 2018. Graham told The Daily Beast that he is working on an alternative to the Obama administration's 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. “I'm not surprised the President has close relationships with these folks,” Kaine told The Daily Beast, referring to GOP lawmakers. “But it makes me nervous. Rather than senators pressuring the president, hey, go after Iran, let them make the case on the floor of the Senate.”After two weeks of shifting talking points on Iran, re-defining the administration’s policy, Pompeo seemed to edge the closest to articulating a clear response on the administration’s policy when he appeared for a speech at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University on Jan. 13.“President Trump and those of us on his national security team are re-establishing deterrence… against Iran. The goal is twofold. First we want to deprive the regime of resources. And second we just want Iran to act like a normal nation,” he said, sighing. “Just be like Norway.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 05:04:26 -0500
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