stephen jay gould

(september 10, 1941-may 20,2002)
  • Trump news: President launches foul-mouthed rant about impeachment as he adds Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz to his legal team

    Trump news: President launches foul-mouthed rant about impeachment as he adds Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz to his legal teamAs the Senate prepares to hold its third presidential impeachment trial in US history, the defence team for Donald Trump was revealed to include Ken Starr, Robert Ray, Alan Dershowitz and Pam Bondi.Mr Starr led the investigation into Bill Clinton in the late 1990s while Dershowitz has defended such controversial public figures as OJ Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein.


    read more

  • ICE ups ante in standoff with NYC: 'This is not a request'

    ICE ups ante in standoff with NYC: 'This is not a request'Federal authorities are turning to a new tactic in the escalating conflict over New York City's so-called sanctuary policies, issuing four “immigration subpoenas” to the city for information about inmates wanted for deportation. “This is not a request — it's a demand,” Henry Lucero, a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, told The Associated Press. Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration said Saturday the city would review the subpoenas.


    read more

  • An ISIS preacher captured in Iraq was apparently so overweight that police had to take him away in the back of a pickup truck

    An ISIS preacher captured in Iraq was apparently so overweight that police had to take him away in the back of a pickup truckShifa al-Nima was captured in the Mansour neighborhood of Mosul by the Nineveh police command, according to Iraqi police.


    read more

  • Off-duty Hong Kong police officer arrested for supporting protests

    Off-duty Hong Kong police officer arrested for supporting protestsAn off-duty Hong Kong police officer was arrested along with seven other people on Friday as they tried to put pro-democracy posters on a footbridge, police said. It's the first known case of a police officer being apprehended for supporting the massive demonstrations that have led to more than 6,500 arrests in the past seven months. The officer, 31, and the seven other people aged 14 to 61, were arrested at 3:00 am on Friday in Tuen Mun, a district in northwest Hong Kong.


    read more

  • Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ river

    Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ riverVanessa 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.


    read more

  • Revealed: The Secrets Behind Russia's Crazy 100-Megaton Nuclear Torpedo

    Revealed: The Secrets Behind Russia's Crazy 100-Megaton Nuclear TorpedoFrom fiction to reality.


    read more

  • Canada says black boxes from Iran crash should be sent to France

    Canada says black boxes from Iran crash should be sent to FranceCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday urged Iran to send the black boxes from the passenger plane shot down by its forces to France for analysis and said the first remains of victims should soon arrive back in Canada. Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa that France was one of the few countries with the ability to read the flight and cockpit data recorders from the jet, which he said were badly damaged. Iran says it shot down Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 last week by accident, killing all 176 people aboard, 57 of whom were Canadian.


    read more

  • A plane slid off the runway and more than 800 flights were canceled as winter weather hit the Midwest

    A plane slid off the runway and more than 800 flights were canceled as winter weather hit the MidwestAuthorities issued alerts for areas across the Northeast as blizzard conditions were forecasted to New York and New England over the weekend.


    read more

  • US seeks to deport Honduran mom, sick children to Guatemala

    US seeks to deport Honduran mom, sick children to GuatemalaThe 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.


    read more

  • Trump must be removed from office to safeguard 2020 election, Democrats say in impeachment trial brief

    Trump must be removed from office to safeguard 2020 election, Democrats say in impeachment trial briefDonald Trump must be removed from office to safeguard the 2020 election, preserve the constitution and protect national security, according to an impeachment trial brief filed by House Democrats.The US president abused the powers of his office, “abandoned his oath to faithfully execute the laws and betrayed his public trust” in his dealings with Ukraine, the memorandum stated.


    read more

  • Argentina’s Chubut Bonds Tumble as Province Seeks Debt Overhaul

    Argentina’s Chubut Bonds Tumble as Province Seeks Debt Overhaul(Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s Chubut province bonds plunged to the lowest since November after local officials said they wanted to renegotiate the debt.The bonds due 2026 slid as much as 8 cents to 63.3 cents on the dollar after its economy minister Oscar Antonena proposed reducing coupons and suspending principal payments for four years on $650 million of the overseas bonds. Antonena told local reporters that the province is sending the proposal to its local legislature along with a fiscal readjustment plan that would shrink its bloated public sector.The province’s plan comes as other Argentine issuers affected by a plunge in the peso and an economic slowdown struggle to pay their debts. President Alberto Fernandez’s administration is seeking to renegotiate the country’s debt with private creditors and the International Monetary Fund. Earlier this week, the Province of Buenos Aires -- Argentina’s most populous province -- also requested to push back a $250 million principal payment due Jan. 26 until May.Chubut’s proposal to its local congress includes a four-year hiring freeze on government jobs, opening a voluntary retirement plan for public employees, cutting political appointments by as much as 20%, and raising taxes by 50% over the next four years, Antonena said. Chubut will have an estimated fiscal deficit of 22 billion pesos ($367 million) this year. Its public sector has ballooned to 65,000 public employees, compared to 22,000 in 2003, the minister said.“What we face today isn’t a debt problem, it’s a problem with the structure of our salary load,” Antonena told local reporters on Jan. 15. “For the proposal to be successful, we need to reach debt sustainability after changing the province’s fiscal structure.”Out of Chubut’s $855 million total debt, around 80% is held in international bonds, according to a government presentation. The $650 million of bonds Chubut is seeking to restructure are backed by oil and gas royalties that are paid directly into a trust, which meant the government couldn’t access the funds to pay for public expenses like salaries. The province has been warning it would seek to modify its debt load since January 2018.Chubut’s proposal, which would delay maturities without imposing a loss on the principal to creditors, mimics the federal government’s strategy to stimulate the economy by freeing up funds otherwise earmarked to pay the debt. But Chubut’s large fiscal imbalance means just delaying payments may not be enough, according to Roger Horn, a senior emerging-markets strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities America in New York.“A few years of debt service relief is not going to do too much to help a province like Chubut, which can’t even pay teachers on time,” Horn said. “It’s nice to see them talk about no haircut, but there’s a possibility that a haircut might be the only solution to right-size their debt burden, especially after last year’s currency devaluation.”Province officials declined to comment for the story.The province, received a 1 billion peso ($17 million) advance in funding from the federal government Jan. 7, citing “urgent commitments” arising from budgeting constraints and debt payments as the reason.“It’s imperative to reprofile the debt, considering that other provinces like Buenos Aires also said they can’t pay for their commitments,” Antonena said. “We’re working alongside the national government, which is working with us as it seeks to take the entire country, not just Chubut, out of this national crisis.”To contact the reporters on this story: Scott Squires in Buenos Aires at ssquires4@bloomberg.net;Jorgelina do Rosario in Buenos Aires at jdorosario@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Carolina Millan at cmillanronch@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.


    read more

  • Woman pleads guilty to killing husband by putting eye drops in his water

    Woman pleads guilty to killing husband by putting eye drops in his waterA South Carolina woman pleaded guilty to fatally poisoning her husband by putting eye drops in his water for days. She was sentenced to 25 years in prison.


    read more

  • The TSA apologized after an agent pulled a Native American passenger's braid and said "giddyup!" during a pat down

    The TSA apologized after an agent pulled a Native American passenger's braid and said "giddyup!" during a pat downTara Houska was going through security at the Minneapolis airport on Monday when she said an agent humiliated her by whipping her braids.


    read more

  • Syria refugees bring new tastes and traditions to Kurdish Iraq

    Syria refugees bring new tastes and traditions to Kurdish IraqAt first, no one in the Iraqi Kurdish capital Arbil would drink the bitter coffee at Syrian refugee Abdussamad Abdulqadir's cafe. Since conflict broke out in Syria in 2011, many ethnic Kurds living in the country's northeast fled across the border to Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. When Abdulqadir fled his northeast Syrian hometown of Qamishli six years ago, he settled in Arbil and opened a cafe in its bustling market.


    read more

  • China Thinks It Can Nuke American Cities. Should We Worry?

    China Thinks It Can Nuke American Cities. Should We Worry?World War III is no joke...


    read more

  • Democrats release new debate qualification thresholds

    Democrats release new debate qualification thresholdsInstead of just meeting a polling and donor threshold as required for previous debates, candidates now have an alternate way to participate


    read more

  • 'You have not seen anything yet,' climate activist Greta says ahead of Davos

    'You have not seen anything yet,' climate activist Greta says ahead of DavosSwedish activist Greta Thunberg marched with 10,000 protesters in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Friday and said "you have not seen anything yet" before some head to Davos next week to challenge the global financial elite to fight climate change. "So, we are now in a new year and we have entered a new decade and so far, during this decade, we have seen no sign whatsoever that real climate action is coming and that has to change,” Thunberg said in a speech in Lausanne. Hundreds will take trains over the weekend and then march to Klosters near Davos, the annual gathering of world political and business leaders that Thunberg is attending for the second year in a row and will take part in two panel events.


    read more

  • Remains of fallen US soldier returned to Fort Bragg

    Remains of fallen US soldier returned to Fort BraggThe remains of a paratrooper who was killed a week ago in Afghanistan have been returned to his family in the U.S. The family of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin greeted his flag-draped casket at Pope Army Airfield at Fort Bragg on Saturday, The Fayetteville Observer reported. The 29-year-old from Newport News, Virginia, was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.


    read more

  • The Hole in the Impeachment Case

    The Hole in the Impeachment CaseThought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging file of real-estate transfers through which Trump laundered racketeering proceeds for Putin’s favored mobsters and oligarchs; or Trump is recorded cutting a deal to drop Obama-era sanctions against Putin’s regime if Russian spies hack Democratic accounts.Thought experiment No. 2: Adam Schiff is not a demagogue. (Remember, this is fantasy.) At the very first televised hearing, when he alleged that President Trump told Ukrainian president Zelensky, “I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent . . . lots of it,” Schiff was not defrauding the public. Instead, impeachment’s Inspector Clouseau can actually prove that Trump was asking a foreign government to manufacture out of whole cloth evidence that Vice President Biden and his son were cashing in on the former’s political influence (as opposed to asking that Ukraine look into an arrangement so objectively sleazy that the Obama administration itself agitated over what to do about it).What do these two scenarios have in common, besides being fictional? Answer: If either of them were real, we’d already be talking about President Pence’s upcoming State of the Union address.This is the point that gets lost in all the endless chatter over impeachment strategy and procedure. Everything that is happening owes to the fact that we do not have an offense sufficiently grave for invocation of the Constitution’s nuclear option. If we had one, the machinations and the posturing would be unnecessary — even ridiculous.Why are we talking about how Chairman Schiff, Speaker Pelosi, and House Democrats rushed through the impeachment inquiry without making a real effort to interview key witnesses?Why was the Democrats’ impeachment gambit driven by the election calendar rather than the nature of the president’s offense? Why were the timing of hearings and the unreasonable limits imposed on Republicans’ ability to call witnesses dictated by the frantic rush to get done before Christmas recess -- to the point that Democrats cynically vacated a subpoena they’d served on a relevant administration witness, fearing a few weeks of court battles that they might lose?Why did Democrats grope from week to week in a struggle over what to call the misconduct they accused the president of committing – campaign finance, extortion, quid pro quo, bribery? How did they end up with an amorphous “abuse of power” case? How did they conclude that an administration that goes to court rather than instantly surrendering potentially privileged information commits obstruction?Why such tedious recriminations over adoption of Senate procedures that were approved by a 100–0 vote the last time there was an impeachment trial? Why all the kvetching over whether witnesses will be called when those procedures provide for the calling of witnesses in the likely event that 51 senators — after hearing nearly two weeks of presentation and argument from both sides -- want to hear from one or two of them?Why, with Election Day only ten months away, would Speaker Pelosi stoke an impeachment vote that could be perilous for many of her members, on the insistence that Trump was such a clear and present danger she could brook no delay, but then . . . sit on the impeachment articles for a month, accomplishing nothing in the interim except to undermine the presidential bids of several Senate Democrats, who will be trapped in Washington when they should be out campaigning with Iowa’s caucuses just two weeks away?None of this would have happened if there had been a truly impeachable offense.Adam Schiff is a smart guy. He did not idly dream up a “make up dirt” parody. He framed it because he knows that’s the kind of misconduct you would need to prove to warrant impeachment and removal of a president. In fact, Schiff could never prove that, but he figured parody is good enough for 2020 campaign purposes — and that’s what this exercise is all about.If collusion with Russia had been fact rather than farce, Trump would never have made it to an impeachment trial. He’d have had to resign, Prior to November 8, 2016, Republicans were not the ones in need of convincing that Russia was a dangerous geopolitical threat. If it had been real collusion that brought Democrats around to that conclusion, the votes to impeach and remove would have been overwhelming.And the timing would have been irrelevant. If Americans had been seized by a truly impeachable offense, it would not matter whether Election Day was two years, two months, or two weeks away. The public and the political class would not tolerate an agent of the Kremlin in the Oval Office.If there were such egregious misconduct that the public was convinced of the need to remove Trump, such that two-thirds of the Senate would ignore partisan ties and do just that, there would be no partisan stunts. Democratic leaders would have worked cooperatively with their GOP counterparts, as was done in prior impeachments. They would have told the president: “Sure, you can have your lawyers here, and call whatever witnesses you want.” There would be a bipartisan sense that the president had done profound wrong. There would be a sense of history, not contest. Congressional leaders would want to be remembered as statesmen, not apparatchiks.If there were a real impeachable offense, there would be no fretting about witnesses at the trial. Senate leaders would be contemplating that, after hearing the case extensively presented by both sides, there might well be enough votes to convict without witnesses. But if there were an appetite for witnesses, witnesses would be called . . . as they were in Watergate. And just as in Watergate, if the president withheld vital evidence of appalling lawlessness, the public would not be broadly indifferent to administration stonewalling.If there were an obviously impeachable offense, the garrisons of Fort Knox could not have stopped Nancy Pelosi from personally marching impeachment articles into the Senate the second the House had adopted them -- in what would have been an overwhelming bipartisan vote (of the kind that Pelosi, not long ago, said would be imperative for a legitimate impeachment effort).The Framers expected presidents to abuse their powers from time to time. And not just presidents. Our Constitution’s theory of the human condition, and thus of governance, is that power is apt to corrupt anyone. It needs to be divided, and the peer components need to be incentivized to check each other. The operating assumption is that, otherwise, one component would accumulate too much power and inevitably fall prey to the tyrannical temptation. But as Madison observed, men are not angels. Separation of powers arms us against inevitable abuse, it does not prevent abuse from happening. Abuse is a given: Congress uses lawmaking power to encroach on the other branches’ prerogatives; judges legislate from the bench, presidents leverage their awesome powers for political advantage. The expectation is not that government officials will never overreach; it is that when one branch does overreach, the others will bring it into line.That is the norm: corrective action or inaction, political pressure, naming and shaming, power of the purse, and so on. We expect to criticize, inveigh, even censure. We don’t leap from abuse to expulsion. We don’t expect routinely to expel members of Congress or impeach presidents and judges. That is reserved for historically extraordinary wrongs.On Ukraine, nothing of consequence came of President Trump’s bull-in-a-china-shop excesses. Sure, they ought to be a 2020 campaign issue. Democrats, instead, would have us exaggerate them into historically extraordinary wrongs. For that, you need gamesmanship. If there were real impeachable misconduct, there would be no time or place for games.


    read more

  • Delta plane slides off taxiway amid winter storm; airlines issue travel advisories into weekend

    Delta plane slides off taxiway amid winter storm; airlines issue travel advisories into weekendAirlines are issuing travel waivers on account of a winter storm headed for much of the northern U.S. this weekend.


    read more

  • Lesotho Premier to Resign as Police Probe Wife’s Murder

    Lesotho Premier to Resign as Police Probe Wife’s Murder(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterLesotho’s prime minister said he intends to step down, following increased calls for his resignation over the murder of his second wife, which police have linked to the woman he married a little over two months later.Thomas Thabane, 80, was inaugurated as prime minister of the tiny African mountain kingdom two days after his second wife was shot in June 2017. He previously held the post from 2012 to 2015, but fled to South Africa in 2014 after an alleged coup attempt.“I have decided to retire from my position as the prime minister of Lesotho, and the time of my retirement will be officially announced when that time comes,” Thabane said in the capital, Maseru, on Friday. His decision to resign had already been announced the previous day by Communications Minister Thesele Maseribane.Earlier this month, court documents showed that the country’s police chief asked Thabane to clarify why his mobile phone number was linked to the crime scene, naming Thabane’s current wife, Maesiah Thabane, as a suspect in the killing. Thabane had issued a notice to replace the police chief but withdrew it after the Lesotho High Court intervened.Maesiah has been on the run since the police issued an arrest warrant last week. Neither she nor her husband have commented on the murder case.The opposition on Wednesday said it would organize protests if Thabane doesn’t resign within seven days, while a faction within his All Basotho Convention also urged him to step down.Lesotho, which is surrounded by South Africa, has one of the highest murder rates on the continent.(Updates with Thabane’s statement in third paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Mathabiso Ralengau in Johannesburg at mralengau@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net, Pauline Bax, Antony SguazzinFor 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.


    read more

  • USS Abraham Lincoln shatters US Navy's record for longest post-Cold War carrier deployment with 10-month around-the-world tour

    USS Abraham Lincoln shatters US Navy's record for longest post-Cold War carrier deployment with 10-month around-the-world tourThe Lincoln broke a cruise record set nearly two decades earlier, sailed around the world, and sent warnings to both Russia and Iran.


    read more

  • Austria's 'ghetto' language classes stir segregation fears

    Austria's 'ghetto' language classes stir segregation fearsEvery morning Abulrahman leaves his normal primary school lessons in Vienna and joins about 20 other children for three hours to learn to read, write and speak German. Despite conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's new coalition partners, the Greens, having expressed concerns about the controversial policy, it looks set to continue. Kurz has pledged to maintain his anti-immigration reforms -- with junior partner, the Greens, conceding -- including the special classes, which the government argues allow children with weak German skills to learn at their own pace without holding others back.


    read more

  • Israel's F-35i 'Adir' Stealth Fighter Is a Beast (And Now A Second Squadron Is Ready)

    Israel's F-35i 'Adir' Stealth Fighter Is a Beast (And Now A Second Squadron Is Ready)Iran, you might want to read this.


    read more

  • As Iran and Iraq simmer, giants of Shiite world vie for influence

    As Iran and Iraq simmer, giants of Shiite world vie for influenceThe separation of religion and state is splitting the Shiite world, pitting the supreme leader of Iran, a theocracy, against Iraq’s grand ayatollah.


    read more

  • Ten charred bodies found in vehicle in violence-plagued Mexican state

    Ten charred bodies found in vehicle in violence-plagued Mexican stateMexican prosecutors are investigating the discovery of a burned-out vehicle containing the charred bodies of 10 people in the southwestern state of Guerrero, authorities said late on Friday. Police made the grisly discovery on a country road in the municipality of Chilapa de Alvarez after locals saw the vehicle on fire and alerted authorities, state security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said in a statement published on Facebook.


    read more

  • Discovery of unused disaster supplies angers Puerto Rico

    Discovery of unused disaster supplies angers Puerto RicoPeople in a southern Puerto Rico city discovered a warehouse filled with water, cots and other unused emergency supplies, then set off a social media uproar Saturday when they broke in to retrieve goods as the area struggles to recover from a strong earthquake. With anger spreading in the U.S. territory after video of the event in Ponce appeared on Facebook, Gov. Wanda Vázquez quickly fired the director of the island's emergency management agency. The governor said she had ordered an investigation after learning the emergency supplies had been piled in the warehouse since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017.


    read more

  • Republican group hits Trump with $1 million attack ads on his favorite Fox shows

    Republican group hits Trump with $1 million attack ads on his favorite Fox showsRepublicans for the Rule of Law is launching a $1 million ad campaign aimed at pressuring Senate Republicans into calling witnesses during President Trump’s impeachment trial.


    read more

  • Rain douses some Australian bush fires but flash floods now threaten wildlife

    Rain douses some Australian bush fires but flash floods now threaten wildlifeHeavy rains in fire-ravaged eastern Australia have brought welcome relief for firefighters and farmers, but sparked flash floods that have led to fresh scrambles to save native animals.  As the rain hit on Thursday the New South Wales State Emergency Services department warned that the sudden heavy downpours in some areas would bring flash flooding, falling trees and landslides where the fires have wiped out vegetation.  On Friday, the warnings were realised when flash floods hit the Australia Reptile Park on the NSW east coast, and the state's koalas - having lost thousands of their number and huge swathes of their habitat - needed to be rescued again as floods thundered down fire-blasted hills empty of vegetation.  Park director Tim Faulkner told local media that the sudden floods on Friday morning were “incredible”.  “Just last week we were having daily meetings to discuss the imminent threat of bushfires,” he said. “Today, we've had the whole team out there, drenched, acting fast to secure the safety of our animals and defend the park from the onslaught of water… We haven't seen flooding like this at the park for over 15 years.” And while the rains have doused fires in some areas, blazes continue to rage across many other parts of the country where the weather stayed dry, including in other parts of New South Wales where 82 fires were still burning, with 30 out of control, and in the state of Victoria, to the south. Parts of the state’s Alpine region were evacuated again as erratic winds caused spot fires around a large blaze at Mount Buffalo.  The rain also completely missed Kangaroo Island, the nation's third biggest off the southern coast of the mainland, where fires have devastated the formerly wildlife-rich national park.  The authorities have warned the crisis could worsen again with Australia only halfway through its summer. The unprecedented fires, fuelled by climate change and a years-long drought, have already claimed 28 lives over the past five months. They have scorched massive tracts of pristine forests in eastern and southern Australia, decimated livestock on already barren farms and destroyed 2,000 homes. In areas where rain has arrived, there are new concerns that muddy ash will be swept into rivers and lakes, exacerbating an emerging crisis as fish die in vast numbers due to ash poisoning the waterways. The NSW Department of Primary Industries has received reports of “hundreds of thousands” of fish dead in the Macleay river since December 2019.


    read more

  • How Trump's impeachment differs from a criminal trial

    How Trump's impeachment differs from a criminal trialYes, it's a trial — but the Senate's impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump won't resemble anything Americans have seen on Court TV. In Trump's trial, the Senate will serve as both judge and jury. COURTROOM TRIAL: Federal trials, both civil and criminal, are presided over by District Court judges who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.


    read more

  • Abandoned by Allies, EU Censure Pushes Orban Toward EPP Exit

    Abandoned by Allies, EU Censure Pushes Orban Toward EPP Exit(Bloomberg) -- Hungary’s prime minister said he was on the verge of quitting the European Union’s biggest political group after it backed a resolution demanding that the bloc intensify efforts to rein in his perceived democratic backsliding.In a joint resolution on Hungary and Poland, the European Parliament said Thursday that EU probes into the rule of law in both countries haven’t resulted in improvements. EU lawmakers also called for additional mechanisms to reinforce the bloc’s ability to discipline rogue member states.Pointedly for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose ruling Fidesz party is in the EPP, a large majority of the umbrella group supported the resolution. The EPP is considering whether to expel Fidesz over the dismantlement of checks and balances in Hungary.“We were within a centimeter of quitting the EPP,” Orban told state radio in an interview on Friday. “When our allies betray us -- and the majority of the EPP betrayed us -- we have no place there.”The EPP suspended Fidesz in March over the erosion of the rule-of-law. Orban reiterated that he may preemptively withdraw his party from the EPP, and if he does he will most likely create a new EU umbrella platform.Orban has already held talks about possible cooperation with Poland’s nationalist ruling Law & Justice Party, which is a member of a smaller group in the European Parliament.“Things can’t go on like this, that’s for sure,” Orban said, adding that the only reason he didn’t withdraw Fidesz from the EPP already was because Italian, French and Spanish members voted against the resolution. “That gives us some hope, though it’s waning.”(Updates with Orban comments in fourth and last paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Veronika Gulyas.To contact the reporter on this story: Zoltan Simon in Budapest at zsimon@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net, Andrea Dudik, Michael WinfreyFor 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.


    read more

  • Princess Cruises responds after 'Marriage Story' actress speaks out, sues alleging bedbugs

    Princess Cruises responds after 'Marriage Story' actress speaks out, sues alleging bedbugsA "Marriage Story" actress and her husband are suing Princess Cruises, alleging their room was infested with bedbugs.


    read more

  • Why Did The U.S. Navy Surface 3 Submarines At The Same Time In Asia?

    Why Did The U.S. Navy Surface 3 Submarines At The Same Time In Asia?A stern message to China.


    read more

  • Argentines remember prosecutor killed while probing attack on Jews

    Argentines remember prosecutor killed while probing attack on JewsArgentines paid tribute Saturday to a prosecutor on the fifth anniversary of his unsolved death while probing the bombing of a Jewish community center -- an attack in which he alleged a presidential cover-up to shield Iran in exchange for trade. Prosecutor Alberto Nisman led the probe of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association headquarters, which left 85 dead and 300 wounded. In 2015, his body was found in his Buenos Aires apartment with a gunshot wound to the head, delivered at close range from a handgun found at his side.


    read more

  • Migrants enter slowly at Guatemala-Mexico border after scuffles

    Migrants enter slowly at Guatemala-Mexico border after scufflesCentral American migrants entered Mexico from Guatemala in small groups on Saturday after brief clashes earlier in the day when dozens of people tried to force their way across the border and were pushed back by Mexican security forces. Hundreds of people who entered Guatemala from Honduras in recent days have been arriving at the Mexican border, with the bulk of them still advancing in a larger caravan, testing the resolve of Mexico to heed U.S. demands to contain migrant flows. President Donald Trump has threatened to hurt Mexico and Central American countries economically if they allow large groups to reach the U.S. border.


    read more

  • Assessing Israel’s tactical laser breakthrough

    Assessing Israel’s tactical laser breakthroughIsrael's timeline to field laser capabilities for its military may prove challenging. It is important to understand the technology’s promise — as well as its limitations.


    read more

  • Los Angeles teachers are suing Delta after a plane dumped jet fuel on them, allegedly leaving them dizzy and nauseous

    Los Angeles teachers are suing Delta after a plane dumped jet fuel on them, allegedly leaving them dizzy and nauseousTeachers at an elementary school outside of Los Angeles, California are suing Delta after a plane dropped fuel on area schools, causing 60 injuries.


    read more

  • The most iconic tourist attraction in 26 countries around the world

    The most iconic tourist attraction in 26 countries around the worldThere's something powerful about finally seeing a famous landmark or natural wonder in person instead of on a postcard (or on Instagram).


    read more

  • US couple found dead in Tijuana, son-in-law charged

    US couple found dead in Tijuana, son-in-law chargedA United States couple missing for a week in Tijuana were found Friday buried on the property of one of their homes in this border city, Mexican authorities said. Baja California state prosecutor Hirán Sánchez said the bodies of María Teresa López, 65, and 70-year-old husband, Jesús Rubén López, were discovered with the help of cadaver dogs. The couple, who were naturalized U.S. citizens living in Garden Grove, California, had crossed the border to Tijuana on Jan. 10 to collect some $6,400 (120,000 pesos) in rent from apartments they owned in the city, Sánchez said.


    read more

  • These People Will Defend President Trump in His Impeachment Trial

    These People Will Defend President Trump in His Impeachment Trial(Bloomberg) -- The Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump is set to begin in earnest on Tuesday and the president has selected these nine people to defend him.The attorneys will argue Trump’s case that he should be acquitted of the House’s charges that he abused his power and obstructed the congressional investigation into the Ukraine scandal. The group is comprised of White House lawyers, one of the president’s personal attorneys and others in private practice, including some who have spoken out publicly against Trump’s impeachment.The defense:Pat Cipollone, White House counselCipollone, the top White House lawyer since October 2018, has played a lead role in defending Trump throughout the impeachment process. In October, he penned a scathing letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating the White House would not cooperate with an impeachment inquiry that he derided as an unfair attempt to “overturn” the 2016 presidential election. Arguing the president’s case in the Senate trial, however, will be an unusual role for Cipollone, who has mostly shunned the spotlight. Cipollone has also clashed with internal rivals, such as acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, over impeachment strategy but a person familiar with the situation said the team appears to be getting along ahead of the trial.Jay Sekulow, Trump personal attorneySekulow joined the president’s outside legal team in 2017 during then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and has remained on board ever since, helping handle cases involving Trump’s tax returns and financial dealings. Sekulow has been in the public eye much more than Cipollone, making television appearances and hosting his own radio show. He made his name arguing religious liberty cases before the Supreme Court, but representing the president at an impeachment trial will give him an even bigger stage.Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School professor emeritusA constitutional law expert and well-known legal commentator, Dershowitz has made a career of flocking to controversial, high-profile cases. He defended O.J. Simpson from murder charges and helped negotiate a non-prosecution agreement for financier Jeffrey Epstein when he was investigated in Florida for alleged sexual abuse of underage girls. He said his role on Trump’s team is to address constitutional issues related to impeachment. Dershowitz said his position on the constitutional issues is non-partisan and he “would be making exactly the same arguments if Hillary Clinton had been elected and impeached on the same grounds.” He wrote a book titled “The Case Against Impeaching Trump” that was released after Mueller’s Russia investigation. Some Trump allies were wary of Dershowitz’s inclusion on the team because he faces a defamation suit from a woman who says she was forced to have sex with Epstein’s friends, including Dershowitz, who denies the allegations.Kenneth Starr, former Whitewater independent counselThe roles have been reversed for Starr, whose report alleging that Bill Clinton lied under oath about an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky led to the former president’s impeachment. Starr’s public criticism of Trump’s impeachment on cable TV has drawn scorn from Democrats who considered Clinton’s impeachment to be an overreach by Republicans. Starr resigned as president of Baylor University in 2016 amid accusations of mishandling of on-campus sexual assault allegations. He also represented Epstein in the 2008 Florida case.Pam Bondi, special White House adviserBondi, a former Florida attorney general, joined Trump’s West Wing staff last fall to bolster the president’s defense. She has made appearances on Fox News and other cable TV outlets defending Trump against the impeachment charges brought by the House. In Florida, Bondi helped lead an unsuccessful lawsuit filed by a group of states that sought to overturn Obamacare. Her entry into the White House, however, was complicated by her lobbying on behalf of the government of Qatar. She wound down her foreign lobbying work before joining the White House staff.Robert Ray, former Whitewater independent counselRay succeeded Starr as independent counsel and submitted the final report on the Whitewater investigation. Ray has defended Trump from allegations that he obstructed justice by attempting to fire Mueller as special counsel. He also spoke to Republican senators about impeachment in November, according to a person familiar with the conversations.Jane Raskin, Florida lawyerTrump previously relied on Raskin and her husband, Marty Raskin, who practice law in Miami, to help with his response to the Mueller investigation. The two worked closely with Sekulow. Earlier in her career, she worked in the Justice Department’s criminal division and at the Washington law firm Hale & Dorr, now called WilmerHale.Eric Herschmann, partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLPThe New York-based lawyer works at the firm of Marc Kasowitz, the lawyer Trump initially hired to represent him in the Mueller investigation. Herschmann focuses his practice on commercial and civil litigation, according to his firm biography. He formerly worked at Citibank’s corporate audit department and in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.Michael Purpura, deputy White House counselOne of Cipollone’s top lieutenants, Purpura is expected to play a behind-the-scenes role. He has been involved in the White House’s trial preparations as well as the broader response to the impeachment inquiry. Purpura is a veteran federal prosecutor and worked in the George W. Bush White House alongside Emmet Flood, who went on to serve as the top White House lawyer for Trump handling the Mueller probe.Patrick Philbin, deputy White House counselCipollone will call on his other other senior assistant to help represent the president at trial. Philbin was one of the aides involved in the drafting a Dec. 17 letter to Pelosi likening impeachment to the Salem witch trials. A former appointee in the Bush Justice Department, Philbin was present in 2004 when then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey sought to stop White House officials from persuading ailing Attorney General John Ashcroft to renew a warrantless wiretapping program. Comey was fired as FBI director in 2017 by Trump.\--With assistance from Josh Wingrove.To contact the reporter on this story: Jordan Fabian in Washington at jfabian6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Justin Blum, Steve GeimannFor 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.


    read more

  • Joe Biden says 'you can keep' your private insurance 'if your employer doesn't take it away from you'

    Joe Biden says 'you can keep' your private insurance 'if your employer doesn't take it away from you'Former Vice President Joe Biden is still promising "If you like your insurance, you can keep it" — with a twist.In his endorsement interview with The New York Times published Friday, Biden is asked about that phrase both he and former President Barack Obama have said in the past. And after accepting that he actually did say it, Biden promised that "if you like your plan, you can keep it," provided "your employer doesn't take it away from you."While the ObamaCare mantra of keeping the insurance you like ended up not exactly being true, Biden still modified it in a July 2019 primary debate to say under his presidency, "If you like your health care plan, your employer-based plan, you can keep it. If in fact you have private insurance, you can keep it." There's video proof of Biden saying that but, when confronted with it in his Times interview, Biden replied with "I didn't say that, by the way."The interview moved on, and Biden was asked about how if there was a public health insurance option, employers may stop offering insurance altogether.> The new Biden pitch: ‘If you like your private insurance, you can keep it, assuming your employer doesn’t take it away from you’ pic.twitter.com/65Xtvw2gNr> > — Andrew Perez (@andrewperezdc) January 17, 2020That all devolved into what Biden saying something that would look perfect on a campaign coffee mug as long as it fits: "If you like your plan, you can keep it, assuming — I should add the obvious — if your employer doesn't take it away from you. Okay?"More stories from theweek.com Trump is getting the band back together French officials warn of violence from subgroups in protest movement Mindhunter just got Netflixed


    read more

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

    China Has Been Watching America, And Now Has Special Forces Of Its OwnAmerica heavily relies on its elite special forces.


    read more

  • US dumps huge amounts of sand on Miami Beach to tackle climate change erosion

    US dumps huge amounts of sand on Miami Beach to tackle climate change erosionDozens of trucks have started dumping hundreds of thousands of tons of sand on Miami Beach as part of US government measures to protect Florida's tourist destinations against the effects of climate change. "We have erosion hotspots," said Stephen Leatherman, an expert on beaches and the environment at Florida International University. Leatherman -- known locally as "Dr Beach" -- said that rising sea levels, triggered by climate change, are causing the accelerated erosion of the famous beach, as well as coastal storms and in particular hurricanes.


    read more

  • Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls Trump a 'clown,' defends Iran's military

    Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls Trump a 'clown,' defends Iran's militaryIran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called President Donald Trump a "clown" as he led Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time since 2012.


    read more

  • German population at record high, but growth slowest since 2012

    German population at record high, but growth slowest since 2012Germany's population reached a record high of 83.2 million people last year thanks to migration but it grew at the slowest pace since 2012, the statistics office said on Friday as Europe's largest economy experiences a chronic birth deficit. Germany has one of the oldest populations in the world and has recorded more deaths than births ever since 1972. The aging population is a challenge for the country's public pension system and is causing headaches for companies eager to hire skilled workers.


    read more

  • A mysterious and deadly virus from China could have infected 35 times more people than official totals, scientists warn

    A mysterious and deadly virus from China could have infected 35 times more people than official totals, scientists warnAirports in the US and parts of Asia have started screening travellers from Wuhan, central China, in the hope of stopping the disease from spreading.


    read more

  • U.K. monarchy will look smaller in future with Prince Charles

    U.K. monarchy will look smaller in future with Prince CharlesPrince Charles, the future king, has long been seen as a potential modernizer who wants a more modest monarchy in line with other European royal households — and the streamlining process has already begun with the astounding developments of recent months.


    read more

  • Man kills grizzly in self-defense, keeps claws as a memento

    Man kills grizzly in self-defense, keeps claws as a mementoA Montana man told authorities that he cut off a grizzly bear's claws as a memento after shooting it in self-defense because he was mad that the bear was going to eat him, according to court records. Bryan Berg, 35, appeared in court on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Missoula after pleading guilty to illegal transport of grizzly bear claws, a misdemeanor, according to the Flathead Beacon. Grizzly bears in northwestern Montana are classified as a threatened species.


    read more

  • White House Will Say That Democrats Trying to Overturn 2016

    White House Will Say That Democrats Trying to Overturn 2016(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s legal team says Democrats mounted a “brazen” bid to overturn the 2016 election, echoing the president’s aggressive posture in the first formal White House response to impeachment proceedings in the U.S. Senate.Two people close to the team previewed how Trump’s lawyers plan to mount his defense over the coming weeks, largely tracking public statements the president and his aides have given during the process.The officials spoke in a call with reporters conducted on the condition of anonymity before the six-page filing was released on Saturday That document will be followed on Monday by the team’s complete legal brief in which they expand on their arguments.At almost the same time Saturday, the House impeachment managers filed a 111-page brief saying the president’s pattern of misconduct made him a “threat to the nation and the rule of law.” The document includes evidence the managers said “overwhelmingly” showed Trump guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.The White House filing denounced the House Democrats’ process as fundamentally unfair and the articles of impeachment as unconstitutional.The document also seemed addressed as much to the president’s political supporters as it is to the U.S. Senate, arguing that the impeachment trial was “a brazen and unlawful attempt” to invalidate the votes of Americans in the 2016 election and to meddle in the 2020 election.Trump is facing two articles of impeachment stemming from efforts to persuade Ukraine to undertake an investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden.In the impeachment resolution sent to the Senate, the House of Representatives charges that Trump “solicited interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming presidential election by pressuring the government there to publicly announce the investigation.Impeachment Trial Deadlines Will Hint at Trump’s DefenseThe House also alleges that Trump conditioned $391 million in foreign aid on Ukraine’s public announcement, compromising “the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.”The people familiar with the president’s legal strategy said the filing was intended to challenge both the merits and constitutionality of the impeachment arguments.“The articles of impeachment are constitutionally invalid on their face. They fail to allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever, let alone high crimes or misdemeanors,” the team says in the filing.Trump and his lawyers have said repeatedly no such arm-twisting occurred, noting that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy denied the existence of a pressure campaign and stressing that foreign aid was eventually delivered to Ukraine despite the government never announcing an investigation into the Bidens.The White House also argued that the president was justified in asking Ukraine to investigate possible corruption, and that his responsibilities required the president to be a good steward of public funds.This week the non-partisan Government Accountability Office said it was illegal for Trump to withhold military aid to Ukraine -- a conclusion Trump’s legal team said it “obviously” disagrees with.Here’s the Story on Impeachment, Trump and Ukraine: QuickTakeSeparately, the impeachment resolution accuses the president of obstructing Congress because he instructed Executive Branch agencies and officials not to comply with the House of Representatives’ investigation into the Ukraine matter.A number of key witnesses -- including former National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney -- did not comply with subpoenas or requests for testimony during the inquest, leaving Democrats without concrete proof that Trump himself had directly ordered the withholding of aid unless Ukraine launched the Biden investigations.“Through these actions, President Trump sought to arrogate to himself the right to determine the propriety, scope, and nature of an impeachment inquiry into his own conduct,” the House argued in its impeachment resolution. The House said “no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively.”The White House argues that Trump was relying on long-standing and bipartisan notions of executive privilege, and that the president has an institutional right to protect internal deliberations.The White House also chided Democrats for voting on impeachment before legal challenges to the ignored subpoenas could be completed, suggesting that the obstruction charge was little more than political pretenseOnce the trial brief is filed, Trump’s legal team will go live with its defense as the impeachment trial begins in earnest next week. The president’s legal team will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and the Trump’s private attorney, Jay Sekulow.They’ll be joined by former Clinton impeachment prosecutor Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz, the law professor and constitutional rights expert who gained notoriety for his efforts to defend high-profile men accused of harming women, including O.J. Simpson and Jeffrey Epstein.Former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, Trump private attorney Jane Raskin, former independent counsel Robert Ray, and Eric Herschmann, a partner at a law firm who has represented Trump in numerous cases in recent years, round out the president’s team.The people familiar with the president’s strategy said the current plan for the trial was for Cipollone to lead off the president’s defense, with Sekulow following him. Other members of the legal team expect to give discrete presentations on specific topics.Seven House Democrats -- iincluding Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler -- have been appointed by the House to present their case. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will oversee the proceedings, and swore in senators as jurors last week.Those familiar with the president’s strategy described the calling of witnesses as a two-way street, saying they expected to be able to call individuals they wanted to testify if senators voted to compel White House officials to speak.The trial is expected to begin in full on Tuesday, with a vote on rules including how many hours each side has to make their case.Democrats are preparing to force a vote at the outset to call witnesses, including Mulvaney, Bolton, Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey and Mulvaney senior adviser Robert Blair.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants to decide that issue at a later time, and appears to have the votes to withstand the bid by Democrats.Trump’s chances of actual removal remain slim, as 67 senators are needed to remove him from office - meaning 20 Republicans would need to cross party lines to convict the president.(Updates with White House tweets, adds reference to House legal brief in fourth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Sink in Washington at jsink1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor 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.


    read more

  • A 15-year-old orphan who lives with his grandparents is being kicked out of their senior living community because he's too young

    A 15-year-old orphan who lives with his grandparents is being kicked out of their senior living community because he's too youngCollin Clabaugh has been living with his grandparents in a 55-and-over gated community in Arizona since last year, when both of his parents died.


    read more