stephen jay gould

(september 10, 1941-may 20,2002)
  • Meghan Markle recycles blue Veronica Beard for South Africa museum visit

    Meghan Markle recycles blue Veronica Beard for South Africa museum visitThe duchess swapped into a blue Veronica Beard wrap dress for the occasion, one that she had previously worn on her royal tour of the Pacific last fall.


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  • Long-live the Electoral College! All of the Reasons to Keep It

    Long-live the Electoral College! All of the Reasons to Keep ItSen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., recently proposed killing it on the grounds that the presidential selection mechanism leads candidates to focus on just a handful of “swing states” that are most likely to determine the election.


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  • Jon Karl Schools Meghan McCain: Actually, It’s ‘Very Easy to Understand’ Why Trump’s Ukraine Call Is ‘Bad’

    Jon Karl Schools Meghan McCain: Actually, It’s ‘Very Easy to Understand’ Why Trump’s Ukraine Call Is ‘Bad’In the latest edition of your daily “What did Meghan McCain say this time?” update, the conservative View co-host expressed her skepticism about the latest scandal coming out of Trumpworld.McCain suggested Monday to ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl that the media has cried wolf too many times with Trump-related bombshells that she doesn’t know how bad the Ukraine call really is.Karl, meanwhile, concisely explained to the ex-Fox News host why the commander-in-chief seeking assistance and interference from a foreign leader is, indeed, “problematic.”After the View panel noted that Trump admitted over the weekend that his call with the Ukrainian president was “largely” about “corruption” as it related to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Karl went on to report that many in the Trump orbit are now calling on the president to release the transcript of the call.“They say because they look so bad, by blocking this [whistleblower complaint], it seems like they are hiding something and they’re saying, ‘Well, what he said isn’t that bad,’” the ABC reporter added.With Karl further noting that there is “no evidence of corruption” regarding the Bidens and Ukraine, McCain jumped into the fray.“I have a question for conservatives,” she said. “I’m very skeptical of anything anymore because I feel like—no disrespect to journalists—but every day the end of the world is coming so how bad is this really?” McCain wondered.“I think that this is significant and this is a little bit different and very easy to understand,” Karl replied. “And you have what the president himself has already acknowledged, which is even if there was no quid pro quo, even if he wasn’t holding that aid over the head of the president of Ukraine, merely bringing up your political opponent in a conversation with a newly elected president, any president of a foreign country, is going to be seen as problematic.”After they both acknowledged that mild Trump critic Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has raised some objections to Trump’s actions but could easily flip-flop down the line, Karl said that he’s “hearing that Republicans don’t like defending this.”“No, I don’t,” McCain reacted. “But you have to understand the skepticism because again, impeachment every day. And we all trust you, obviously.”Co-host Abby Huntsman, a close friend of McCain’s and a former Fox Newser herself, interjected that the whistleblower complaint that pushed this into the spotlight may have come from a secondhand source, thus further raising skepticism over the complaint’s veracity.“That’s why I point to what the president himself said,” Karl retorted.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


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  • Missing Marine found safe at Texas rest stop

    Missing Marine found safe at Texas rest stopA U.S. Marine thought to have left Arizona for California’s Camp Pendleton never arrived, but was found days later at a Texas rest area, unharmed.


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  • Jessi Combs, Fastest Woman on Four Wheels, May Get into Guinness Record Books

    Jessi Combs, Fastest Woman on Four Wheels, May Get into Guinness Record BooksCombs died in a crash on August 29 while pursuing a record; now her speed on that day may be immortalized.


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  • Tropical Storm Karen forms in Caribbean as it takes aim at Puerto Rico

    Tropical Storm Karen forms in Caribbean as it takes aim at Puerto RicoTropical Storm Karen took shape near the Windward Islands of the Caribbean on Sunday as it headed for the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, still struggling to recover from devastating back-to-back hurricanes in 2017. Karen, packing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph), is on track to pass near or over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday as a tropical storm, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami reported.


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  • Gorsuch says US Supreme Court not split on partisan lines

    Gorsuch says US Supreme Court not split on partisan linesThe conventional wisdom that the court is split along partisan lines based on the political views of the president that appointed each justice is false, a U.S. Supreme Court justice said. Gorsuch is considered one of the Supreme Court's most conservative members, though he recently agreed with more liberal colleagues in a decision reaffirming a criminal defendant's right to a jury trial. Gorsuch noted he uses the original meaning of the Constitution to guide his judicial decisions, in contrast with judges who believe interpretations of the document should evolve over time.


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  • Huawei exec in Canada court, bids to quash extradition

    Huawei exec in Canada court, bids to quash extraditionTop Chinese telecom executive Meng Wanzhou and her lawyers headed to court on Monday to try to have her extradition case thrown out, arguing that her rights were violated. The arrest of Meng -- a rising star whose father Ren Zhengfei founded Huawei and over three decades grew it into a global telecom giant -- caused an unprecedented diplomatic rift between Canada and China. The United States wants to put Meng on trial for fraud for allegedly violating Iran sanctions and lying about it to US banks -- accusations her lawyers dispute.


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  • Elizabeth Warren's choice: 'Medicare for All' purity or a path to beating Donald Trump?

    Elizabeth Warren's choice: 'Medicare for All' purity or a path to beating Donald Trump?Warren is not as all or nothing as her health care rhetoric suggests. But her support for phasing out private insurance is scaring people off.


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  • New York Post blasts Bill de Blasio with 'obituary' for his ended presidential campaign

    New York Post blasts Bill de Blasio with 'obituary' for his ended presidential campaignThe New York Post wrote that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's presidential campaign had "died" from "ego-induced psychosis."


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  • Iran claims UK was open to paying £400m in owed money to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

    Iran claims UK was open to paying £400m in owed money to free Nazanin Zaghari-RatcliffeThe Iranian foreign minister has claimed that the UK offered release £400m owed to Iran from a decades-old deal in return for Tehran freeing Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian charity worker.  Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, Javad Zarif said that both Philip Hammond and Boris Johnson were open to the proposal when they were Foreign Secretary but that it was taken off the table by Jeremy Hunt.  The idea involves the UK returning £400m which the Shah of Iran paid in the 1970s to purchase 1,750 tanks and armoured cars from Britain. The UK did not deliver the tanks after the Shah was overthrown and Iran has repeatedly demanded the money back.  Mr Zarif said both Mr Hammond and Mr Johnson considered the idea but that it was nixed by Mr Hunt because he harboured ambitions to become prime minister and did not want to be seen to be paying a ransom to Iran.  “Jeremy started talking about ‘you’re asking for ransom’. And I said: ‘Come on, this is not something that I started. This is something that Philip started,’” Mr Zarif said. “Jeremy started to play tough because he wanted to become prime minister and it didn’t work out for anybody.”  Javad Zarif made the claims at a briefing in New York Credit: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images He added that he had also discussed the proposal with Dominic Raab, the current foreign secretary, without reaching a conclusion.  “[Mr Raab raised it] and I told him that there was an offer from their side which unfortunately hasn’t been fulfilled. Basically he made a statement and I made a rebuttal and then we said goodbye.” Richard Ratcliffe, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, told the Guardian he was glad that Mr Zarif had made the offer of an exchange of payments for his wife’s freedom so explicit. “I am glad that foreign minister Zarif has been so clear. Transparency has been a long time coming,” he said.  An international arbitration court ruled in 2009 that the UK must pay the money back but Britain’s own high court has yet to issue a ruling on the subject.  British officials have said privately that the money will have to be returned at some point but that it cannot be seen to be encouraging Iran’s arrest of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other UK citizens.  There was no immediate comment from the Foreign Office on Mr Zarif's claims.


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  • How Iran or Russia Could Fight America in a War: Kill the GPS

    How Iran or Russia Could Fight America in a War: Kill the GPSIt is the key to America's modern military.


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  • South Korea Justice Minister’s Home Raided in Corruption Investigation

    South Korea Justice Minister’s Home Raided in Corruption Investigation(Bloomberg) -- South Korean prosecutors raided the home of Justice Minister Cho Kuk, the Yonhap News Agency reported, as part of a widening corruption investigation that has already dented support for President Moon Jae-in.Investigators entered Cho’s house shortly after 9 a.m. Monday, Yonhap said, citing the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. The move comes amid a range of inquiries into issues involving Cho and his wife including their children’s university applications and an investment in a private equity fund. Cho has denied wrongdoing.The Seoul Central Prosecutors Office, the Justice Ministry and the presidential office declined to comment when reached by phone Monday.The raid comes two weeks after Moon appointed Cho -- a political ally and close confidant -- despite parliamentary resistance to his nomination. The president’s approval rating slipped to a record low of 40% last week, a regular Gallup Korea survey showed, as the appointment controversy, a slowing economy and setbacks in U.S.-North Korea talks all weighed on his support.Prosecutors are investigating how Cho’s daughter won admission to a prestigious university after she was credited as a main author of a published scientific paper while a high school student on a brief internship. They’re also looking into how his family made a hefty profit from a questionable investment in the private equity fund.Cho’s university professor wife Chung Kyung-shim was indicted earlier this month on allegations that she interfered with the probe by forging documents, YTN reported. Chung has denied the allegations in a Facebook post.On Monday, prosecutors visited Cho’s home in southern Seoul to collect computer hard drives and numerous work-related documents, Yonhap said. Investigators have visited numerous locations related to the probes, including the private equity fund’s office and university campuses.To contact the reporter on this story: Jihye Lee in Seoul at jlee2352@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • The UK expects to spend £100 million flying back stranded Thomas Cook passengers, which is only £50 million less than bailing out the company

    The UK expects to spend £100 million flying back stranded Thomas Cook passengers, which is only £50 million less than bailing out the companyThe collapse of Thomas Cook left 600,000 people stranded and prompted the UK to launch a massive effort to get 150,000 British people home.


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  • Ethiopia says detains suspected Islamist militants planning attacks

    Ethiopia says detains suspected Islamist militants planning attacksEthiopia said on Saturday it had arrested an unspecified number of Islamist militant members of the Somali group al Shabaab and Islamic State who were planning to carry out attacks in the country on various targets including hotels. Some of those arrested were carrying out intelligence work including photographing potential targets, the National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) said in a statement read out on state-affiliated broadcaster Fana. "The group was ... preparing to attack hotels, religious festivities gathering places and public areas in Addis Ababa," NISS said.


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  • Afghan officials: 40 civilians killed in anti-Taliban raid

    Afghan officials: 40 civilians killed in anti-Taliban raidAnti-Taliban raids by Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes killed at least 40 civilians attending a wedding party in the southern Helmand province, Afghan officials said. The civilian deaths in Sunday night's raids on Taliban hideouts further rattled Afghanistan amid an upsurge in violence that's followed the collapse this month of U.S.-Taliban peace talks to end America's longest war. "We are saddened and divested to hear that civilians have lost their lives in an incident in Helmand despite President Ghani's repeated call for extra cautions in conducting military operations," said Sediq Sediqqi, President Ashraf Ghani's spokesman.


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  • Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Rhinos

    Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Rhinos


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  • Protesters block US capital to demand action on climate change

    Protesters block US capital to demand action on climate changeThousands of environmental protesters blocked traffic in central Washington on Monday to demand action on climate change in the capital of one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases. Small group of demonstrators gathered at key intersections in the city to "bring attention to everybody that this is not just Washington DC, this is the entire planet," said protester Maryan Pollock. The street protests came as world leaders gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York for a special summit on climate change.


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  • A 6-year-old was arrested for battery after throwing a tantrum in class, grandmother says

    A 6-year-old was arrested for battery after throwing a tantrum in class, grandmother saysAn Orlando school resource officer is facing an investigation after he arrested a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old on misdemeanor charges.


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  • White House Press Sec: Trump ‘Put a Stop’ to Briefing Because Reporters Were Being Mean

    White House Press Sec: Trump ‘Put a Stop’ to Briefing Because Reporters Were Being MeanAny hope that Americans may one day see Trump’s new press secretary taking questions from reporters in a formal White House press briefing went out the window on Monday morning when Stephanie Grisham sat down for her first appearance on Fox & Friends since taking over for Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier this year. Before Grisham even got a chance to explain why she has yet to brief the media, the Fox hosts were giving her cover. Steve Doocy suggested that President Trump “doesn’t really need anybody to do the talking for him” because he’s such a “great communicator.”“He’s his own best spokesperson, it’s true,” Trump’s official spokesperson replied, pointing to Trump’s helicopter-side chats with the press as evidence that he’s the “most accessible” president in history. “Is this the new press briefing?” Ainsley Earhardt asked. “Before, we saw all of his press secretaries in front of the podium.” Noting that Saturday Night Live “made fun of” Sean Spicer for his briefing behavior, she told Grisham, “You’ll never have that moment because no longer are we doing that, right?” “Not right now,” Grisham said, adding, “to be honest the briefings had become a lot of theater and I think that a lot of reporters were doing it to…” Doocy finished her sentence for her with, “get famous!” Without naming names, Grisham seemed to criticize White House reporters like CNN’s Jim Acosta and ABC’s Jonathan Karl for writing books about their experiences. When Brian Kilmeade asked Grisham if Trump “took it personal” when reporters demanded answers in briefings with Spicer or Sanders—in other words, doing their jobs by holding the administration accountable—she replied, “Absolutely.”“I think it’s so important that the spokesperson for the president can adequately speak to his policies and get his message out there. And I think the president saw that that’s not what was happening,” she said. “It had become, again, theater, and they weren’t being good to his people. And he doesn’t like that. He’s very loyal to his people, and he put a stop to it.” Sean Spicer Has Most Embarrassing ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Debut Ever, PeriodRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


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  • Patriot Missile Defense: America's Answer to Ballistic Missiles, Drones, and Aerial Threats

    Patriot Missile Defense: America's Answer to Ballistic Missiles, Drones, and Aerial ThreatsCan it handle 21st-century threats?


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  • A Motorcade on Michigan's Mackinac Island? Some Call Vice President Mike Pence's Flouting Vehicle Ban 'Disrespectful'

    A Motorcade on Michigan's Mackinac Island? Some Call Vice President Mike Pence's Flouting Vehicle Ban 'Disrespectful'The vehicle ban has been in place on the island for about 121 years


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  • Chinese journalists will have to pass a government test on Marxism and President Xi Jinping to be granted press passes

    Chinese journalists will have to pass a government test on Marxism and President Xi Jinping to be granted press passes'Pilot tests' will reportedly be issued to Chinese journalists next month on an app to test their loyalty to President Xi Jinping to get press passes.


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  • Stacks of cash shown at trial of Sudan's toppled leader Bashir

    Stacks of cash shown at trial of Sudan's toppled leader BashirStacks of cash piled high were shown as evidence on Saturday against ousted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir at his trial on charges of possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption. Millions of euros and Sudanese pounds were found at Bashir's residence in April after he was overthrown and detained by the military following months of demonstrations against his rule. The court heard four defense witnesses on Saturday, including Abubakr Awad, who was minister of state for the presidency until Bashir's fall, before it was adjourned until next Saturday.


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  • Iran's Guard says ready for 'any scenario' amid US standoff

    Iran's Guard says ready for 'any scenario' amid US standoffIran's powerful Revolutionary Guard is ready for combat and "any scenario," its chief commander said Saturday, as the country's nuclear deal with world powers collapses and the U.S. alleged Iran was behind a weekend attack on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia that shook global energy markets. Iran has denied involvement in the Sept. 14 attack that was initially claimed by Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.


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  • Delta has an incredible fare sale through Wednesday with flights as low as $97

    Delta has an incredible fare sale through Wednesday with flights as low as $97Regular travelers probably don't associate the idea of sales and low-fares with a carrier like Delta Airlines, which are more in the wheelhouse of a low-cost brand like Southwest that offers up flash fare sales on the regular.Nevertheless, that's exactly what Delta has going at the moment \-- a fare sale with deals that start as low as only $97, though they come with a few important catches.One is that you've only got until September 25, to lock one of these fares in. Just as important to know: These are Delta basic economy fares, a classification that leaves several things to chance. You'll be assigned a seat at check-in, for example, and you'll be stuck in the last boarding group and thus will probably have to gate-check your luggage.If you can be fine with those limitations, though, there are some great deals to be had. In most cases, they're fares that are meant for travel happening sometime between October and February 2020, and the deals include a $97 round-trip offer in basic economy between Atlanta and Nashville; a $99 round-trip offer between Los Angeles and San Diego; a $117 offer between Austin and Cincinnatti; and a $127 offer between Seattle and San Jose.The full list of routes and discounted fares offered can be found on Delta's sale website. Of course, just because a fare that's discounted here looks pretty low doesn't mean you won't find a comparable offer elsewhere -- one that may also have some of the perks like earlier boarding that you're denied through this Delta sale. Speaking of those basic economy limitations here, savvy travelers should be able to easily get around them using certain co-branded credit cards that offer perks like early boarding, luggage benefits and the like.If you decide these deals are worth it, though, remember -- you've only got a few more days to decide, as the fare sale is only good through Wednesday.


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  • Israeli woman dies months after wounds from Gaza rocket

    Israeli woman dies months after wounds from Gaza rocketAn Israeli woman wounded by Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip in November 2018 has died from her injuries, officials said Monday. The southern coastal city of Ashkelon, where she lived, announced the death of Nina Genisdanova in a statement. Israeli media said she was 74 and died last week.


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  • Police suspect longstanding 'beef' led to deadly shooting at South Carolina bar

    Police suspect longstanding 'beef' led to deadly shooting at South Carolina barPolice say a longstanding "beef" turned deadly Saturday, leading to a shooting that killed two and injured several in South Carolina.


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  • Trump says he'll consider releasing transcript of call with Ukraine leader

    Trump says he'll consider releasing transcript of call with Ukraine leaderEarlier, two members of his Cabinet threw cold water on the idea.


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  • Number One Priority: The Pentagon Is Doubling-Down on Hypersonic Missiles

    Number One Priority: The Pentagon Is Doubling-Down on Hypersonic MissilesAn important weapon of the future.


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  • Government warns people against using conditioner after a nuclear explosion

    Government warns people against using conditioner after a nuclear explosionLast month, the United States pulled out of a nuclear treaty with Russia that prohibited the two nations from possessing, producing or testing thousands of land-based missiles. The U.S. then conducted a missile test that would have been forbidden under the treaty. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a few dos and don'ts that citizens should remember in case a nuclear explosion were to take place.


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  • A Russian navy boat was attacked and sunk by a walrus in the Arctic

    A Russian navy boat was attacked and sunk by a walrus in the ArcticA landing craft carrying researchers ashore from a Russian navy tugboat was attacked and apparently sunk by walruses during an Arctic expedition.


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  • Zimbabwe's Mugabe died from cancer, president says

    Zimbabwe's Mugabe died from cancer, president saysFormer Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe died from cancer after chemotherapy treatment was stopped because it was no longer effective, a state-owned newspaper quoted President Emmerson Mnangagwa as saying, the first time the government has given the cause of his death. Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe to independence and crushed his foes during nearly four decades of rule that impoverished his country, died on Sept 6. Mnangagwa told ruling party supporters in New York where he is attending this week's United Nations General Assembly that Mugabe had cancer, but he did not disclose the type.


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  • Arab lawmakers in Israel endorse Gantz for prime minister

    Arab lawmakers in Israel endorse Gantz for prime ministerThe Arab bloc in Israel's parliament abandoned its usual hands-off stance Sunday and endorsed former military chief Benny Gantz for prime minister, potentially giving him the edge over hard-line incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu. The historic move marked the first time in nearly three decades that the Arab parties backed a candidate for prime minster, reflecting their contempt for Netanyahu, who was accused of fomenting hatred of the Arabs during his re-election campaign. "Benny Gantz is not our cup of tea," said Arab lawmaker Ahmad Tibi.


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  • Weather radar picks up mysterious shadow across three states ‘caused by huge dragonfly swarm’

    Weather radar picks up mysterious shadow across three states ‘caused by huge dragonfly swarm’An enormous mystery cloud has baffled US meteorologists this week who spotted the shape stretching over parts of Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, but saw no rainfall.The National Weather Service spotted the “conundrum”, and suggested it could be a swarm of “bugs”, however the altitude was so high, they were initially sceptical such a massive number of creatures could be flying so high.


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  • Suspected drones disrupt Dubai flights

    Suspected drones disrupt Dubai flightsFlights at Dubai's international airport, one of the world's busiest, were briefly disrupted Sunday due to "suspected drone activity," officials said. Two arriving flights had to be diverted, it said, while media reports said the planes had landed at a smaller airport in the neighbouring emirate of Sharjah. "Dubai Airports can confirm that flight arrivals were briefly disrupted at Dubai International from 12:36 (0836 GMT) to 12:51 (0851 GMT) UAE local time this afternoon due to suspected drone activity," a spokesperson said in a statement Sunday.


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  • Capital gains tax reform may be coming. Here's what Republicans and Democrats want

    Capital gains tax reform may be coming. Here's what Republicans and Democrats wantSome Republicans are pushing an idea to tie the tax to inflation, which would lower what many owe. Democrats want to see the rich pay more.


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  • A Crackdown on Islam Is Spreading Across China

    A Crackdown on Islam Is Spreading Across ChinaYINCHUAN, China -- In China's northwest, the government is stripping the most overt expressions of the Islamic faith from a picturesque valley where most residents are devout Muslims. Authorities have destroyed domes and minarets on mosques, including one in a small village near Linxia, a city known as "Little Mecca."Similar demolitions have been carried out in Inner Mongolia, Henan and Ningxia, the homeland of China's largest Muslim ethnic minority, the Hui. In the southern province of Yunnan, three mosques were closed. From Beijing to Ningxia, officials have banned the public use of Arabic script.This campaign represents the newest front in the Chinese Communist Party's sweeping rollback of individual religious freedoms, after decades of relative openness that allowed more moderate forms of Islam to blossom. The harsh crackdown on Muslims that began with the Uighurs in Xinjiang is spreading to more regions and more groups.It is driven by the party's fear that adherence to the Muslim faith could turn into religious extremism and open defiance of its rule. Across China, the party is now imposing new restrictions on Islamic customs and practices, in line with a confidential party directive, parts of which have been seen by The New York Times.The measures reflect the hard-line policies of China's leader, Xi Jinping, who has sought to reassert the primacy of the Communist Party and its ideology in all walks of life.The campaign has prompted concerns that the repression of Uighur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang has begun to bleed into other parts of China, targeting Hui and other Muslims who have been better integrated than Uighurs into Chinese society. Last year, a top party official from Ningxia praised Xinjiang's government during a visit there and pledged to increase cooperation between the two regions on security matters.Haiyun Ma, a Hui Muslim professor at Frostburg State University in Maryland, said the crackdown was continuing a long history of animosity toward Islam in China that has alienated believers."The People's Republic of China has become the world's foremost purveyor of anti-Islamic ideology and hate," he wrote in a recent essay for the Hudson Institute. "This, in turn, has translated into broad public support for the Beijing government's intensifying oppression of Muslims in the Xinjiang region and elsewhere in the country."None of the new measures, so far, have approached the brutality of Xinjiang's mass detentions and invasive surveillance of Uighurs. But they have already stirred anxiety among the Hui, who number more than 10 million."We are now backtracking again," Cui Haoxin, a Hui Muslim poet who publishes under the name An Ran, said in an interview in Jinan, south of Beijing, where he lives.To Cui, the methods of repression that are smothering Uighur society in Xinjiang now loom over all of China. "One day, this model will not only target Muslims," he said. "Everyone will be harmed by it."'Sinicization of Islam'Islam has had followers in China for centuries. There are now 22 million to 23 million Muslims, a tiny minority in a country of 1.4 billion. Among them, the Hui and the Uighurs make up the largest ethnic groups. Uighurs primarily live in Xinjiang, but the Hui live in enclaves scattered around the nation.The restrictions they now face can be traced to 2015, when Xi first raised the issue of what he called the "Sinicization of Islam," saying all faiths should be subordinate to Chinese culture and the Communist Party. Last year, Xi's government issued a confidential directive that ordered local officials to prevent Islam from interfering with secular life and the state's functions.Critics of China's policies who are outside the country provided excerpts from the directive to The Times. The directive, titled "Reinforcing and Improving Islam Work in the New Situation," has not been made public. It was issued by the State Council, China's Cabinet, in April of last year and classified as confidential for 20 years.The directive warns against the "Arabization" of Islamic places, fashions and rituals in China, singling out the influence of Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam's holiest sites, as a cause for concern.It prohibits the use of the Islamic financial system. It bars mosques or other private Islamic organizations from organizing kindergartens or after-school programs, and it forbids Arabic-language schools to teach religion or send students abroad to study.The most visible aspect of the crackdown has been the targeting of mosques built with domes, minarets and other architectural details characteristic of Central Asia or the Arabic world.Taken in isolation, some of these measures seem limited. Others seem capricious: some mosques with Arabic features have been left untouched, while others nearby have been altered or shut down.But on a national scale, the trend is clear. Cui, the poet, calls it the harshest campaign against faith since the end of the Cultural Revolution, when so-called Red Guards unleashed by Mao Zedong destroyed mosques across the country.Targeting Domes and Arabic ScriptIn the state's view, the spread of Islamic customs dangerously subverts social and political conformity.In Ningxia, the provincial government banned public displays of Arabic script, even removing the word "halal" from the official seal it distributes to restaurants that follow Islamic customs for preparing food. The seals now use Chinese characters. That prohibition spread this summer to Beijing and elsewhere.The authorities in several provinces have stopped distributing halal certificates for food, dairy and wheat producers and restaurants. Chinese state media have described this as an effort to curb a "pan-halal tendency" in which Islamic standards are being applied, in the government's view, to too many types of foods or restaurants.Ningxia and Gansu have also banned the traditional call to prayer. Around historical mosques there, prayer times are now announced with a grating claxon. One imam in Ningxia's capital, Yinchuan, said authorities had recently visited and warned him to make no public statements on religious matters.Auuthorities have also targeted the mosques themselves. In Gansu, construction workers in Gazhuang, a village near Linxia, descended on a mosque in April, tearing off its golden dome. It has not yet reopened. Plainclothes policemen prevented two Times journalists from entering.In the southern province of Yunnan, where there have long been Hui communities, authorities last December padlocked mosques in three small villages that had been run without official permission. There were protests and brief scuffles with police, to no avail. The county issued a statement accusing the mosques of holding illegal religious activities and classes.In one of the villages, Huihuideng, Ma Jiwu carried his grandson outside the shuttered local mosque, which had operated inside a home.Ma, wearing the distinctive skullcap that many Hui wear, said the imams there had ignored warnings to move their services to the village's main mosque, where a Chinese flag hangs in the central courtyard and a large red banner exhorts worshippers, "Love your country, love your religion.""They did not listen," Ma said.Near the main mosque, a woman said the closing of the smaller one had stirred resentment, but also a feeling of resignation. She used a Chinese idiom for helplessness against a superior force, in this case the government: "The arm cannot twist the thigh."Xiong Kunxin, a professor of ethnic studies at Minzu University in Beijing, defended the government's recent actions. He said that China's far-reaching economic changes over the last 40 years had been accompanied by a loosening of restrictions on religious practice, but that the laxity had gone too far."Now China's economic development has reached a certain height," he said, "and suddenly problems related to religious and other affairs are being discovered."In the case of Islam, he cited the proliferation of mosques and the spread of "halal" practices into public life, saying they conflicted with the cultural values of the majority Han Chinese population.Official statistics indicate that there are now more mosques in China than Buddhist temples: 35,000 compared with 33,500. In the last year, scores of mosques have been altered, closed or destroyed entirely, many of them in Xinjiang, according to officials and news reports.'The Major Enemy the State Faces'The party asserts that it has the right to control all organized religion. Critics ascribe that to its fear that religious organizations could challenge its political power. In the past, the party's repression has triggered violent responses.In 1975, during Mao's Cultural Revolution, the People's Liberation Army surrounded Shadian, a mostly Hui Muslim town in Yunnan province where residents had protested the closure of mosques. Clashes ensued, prompting a massive military intervention that razed the town and left more than 1,600 people dead.The current pressure has also been met with unrest, though not on that scale. In August 2018 in Weizhou, a village in Ningxia, protests erupted when the authorities sent demolition workers to a newly built mosque. After a tense showdown that lasted several days, the local government promised to suspend the destruction and review the plans.Nearly a year later, police officers still block the roads into the village, turning away foreigners, including diplomats and two Times journalists who tried to visit in May.China claims that it allows freedom of religion, but emphasizes that the state must always come first. The Ningxia government, asked about its recent restrictions on Islam, said that China had rules on religious practice just like any other country.Mosques that violate laws such as building codes will be closed, it said, and schools and universities will not permit religious activities."Arabic is a foreign language," the government said about the restrictions on public signage, adding that they had been imposed "to make things convenient for the general public."In an interview, Ma, the Frostburg State scholar, said the current leadership viewed religion as "the major enemy the state faces." He said senior officials had studied the role played by faith -- particularly the Catholic Church in Poland -- in the collapse of the Soviet Union and its dominion in Eastern Europe.Believers have little recourse against the intensifying crackdown. Ma predicted that it would not relent soon, but that it would ultimately fail, as other campaigns against Muslims have."I really doubt they can eliminate religious faith," he said. "That is impossible."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


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  • Why Russia's Air Force Is So Dangerous

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  • UN chief urges action to make Earth carbon neutral by 2050

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  • Kevin Hart Likely To File Lawsuit Against Company Who Built His Barracuda

    Kevin Hart Likely To File Lawsuit Against Company Who Built His BarracudaHart along with the other two people involved in the crash are said to be armed with lawyers.Whenever anything happens to a celebrity, whether it’s good, bad, major, or mundane, news circulates as fast as a dry Christmas tree going up in flames after being doused in gasoline. That’s what happened with one of the biggest names in Hollywood today, Kevin Hart, when his insanely modified 1970 Plymouth Barracuda dubbed Menace was involved in a major accident on Labor Day weekend which left the classic in a pile of twisted metal.Now that actor/comedian Kevin Hart has been released from the hospital after sustaining three fractures to his spine that required back surgery, it is said that he is now in the process of preparing a lawsuit against Speedkore, the company who built his beastly 720-horsepower Plymouth Barracuda that was powered by a modern 6.4L Hemi V8 and topped with a Whipple supercharger. In addition, the driver, Jared S. Black, and the backseat passenger who sustained minor injuries, have also hired lawyers due to the lack of safety equipment in the car which is said to have a roll cage, airbags, and five-point harnesses. They believe the addition of these safety features would have prevented their injuries.According to TMZ, the big issue is that Speedkore should have refused the job to Hart even if he wanted the custom car to come without safety equipment. TMZ contacted 10 different custom car companies to see if they would still offer cars without safety equipment considering the Hart crash, and 8 out of 10 said that they still would.The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash but talks of changing the laws revolving around classic cars are already in the works. If this legislation is approved, that means that all cars, no matter how old, must have seatbelts or harnesses installed to be legal and road worthy. While safety is no doubt a priority, these classics have been around for decades without any of these features. Also, this means drilling holes into million-dollar Concours cars just to add tacky seatbelts that will hardly ever be used. Plus, it is not unheard of for these laws to trickle over to other states. So, if Kevin Hart, and the two others involved in the crash, file lawsuits against SpeedKore over safety equipment, what impact will that have on the impending changes on California laws regarding safety restraints in muscle cars? No doubt it would have a negative impact for classic car owners that are forced to drill into their beloved classic cars to add features they have never been equipped with.It was Labor Day weekend when Hart threw the keys to his powerful '70 Barracuda over to his friend, Jared Black. A female passenger crammed in the back, although, it is unsure where she was sitting due to a rear seat delete. They set off for Mulholland drive, an infamous road known as "The Snake" that is notorious for bad accidents. It features twists and turns with large drop-offs on each side. Black lost control of the car on Mulholland where it went down an embankment and crashed through a wooden fence. Both Hart and Black suffered back injuries, and the woman with them suffered minor injuries.One should know what could go wrong when toying with a car of that caliber. Knowing the raw power it possesses, and still getting rowdy with it anyway should not be a fault of the manufacturer, but the fault of those knowing and getting in anyway. Even the rear passenger got in knowing that there was no seat for her to occupy. Source: TMZ Read More... * Watch A 1970 Chevy Chevelle LS6 Barn Find * One-Up Your Buddies With This Monster 1972 Chevy C50


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  • With military parade, Iran tells the US and other Western forces to leave the Persian Gulf

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  • India seizes one tonne of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

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  • Florida caretaker napped while man with Down syndrome died in hot car, according to police

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  • Most Protesters Depart After Mobbing Malls: Hong Kong Update

    Most Protesters Depart After Mobbing Malls: Hong Kong Update(Bloomberg) -- Most protesters departed the sites of rallies at malls in Hong Kong’s Kowloon and New Territories districts, after an afternoon that saw some people vandalize a train station before clashing with riot police in Shatin.The rallies were relatively muted coming after Saturday’s clashes that continued late into the night with protesters throwing petrol bombs and police firing tear gas, and some officers coming under direct attack. Hong Kong anticipates large-scale protests on the Oct. 1 anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.Local activists -- including protest leader Joshua Wong -- testified at a hearing in Washington last week in support of human rights legislation. There’s momentum growing for Congress to take fast action to pressure Beijing to back off any crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators by threatening its special trading status with the U.S.The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 has bipartisan support and would require yearly assessments of whether the Asian financial hub remains sufficiently autonomous from China to justify its unique treatment under American law. The city’s pro-democracy movement, which began over opposition to since-scrapped legislation allowing extraditions to the mainland, is in its fourth month.Here’s the latest:Another Station Closed (8:30 p.m.)Most protesters had departed their various demonstration sites, with a handful of subway stations closed in the wake of the clashes. The latest to close was Kwai Fong, where trains were no longer stopping, according to the MTR’s website.Kowloon Station Shuttered (6:45 p.m.)Kowloon subway station, a transit hub, was the third to close on Sunday, according to MTR Corp. It came after protesters and riot police clashed in Shatin. Meanwhile, protesters who had gathered at Maritime Square shopping mall, next to the also-closed Tsing Yi station, began leaving the mall after police inside the station moved out of sight.Trains Skip Shatin, Tsing Yi (5:30 p.m.)Both Shatin and Tsing Yi stations were closed by early evening and shutters came down over storefronts at the New Town Plaza mall where protesters had gathered for hours. Some demonstrators vandalized automated MTR ticket machines and others poured liquid on the floor of the mall, which is connected to the subway station. The shopping mall is operated by Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. Protesters jeered as police closed the shutters between Tsing Yi station and the Maritime Square shopping mall.Earlier in the afternoon, protesters removed a Chinese national flag outside Shatin City Hall and brought it inside to the mall. Some stepped and spray painted on it, then threw it in the Shing Mun River.Carrie Lam Speaks at Reception (3:55 p.m.)The city’s chief executive spoke at a National Day reception hosted by the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, according to a government statement. Lam said Hong Kong has faced grave challenges recently, and that the government would try its best to keep order and safeguard working people’s livelihoods.Shatin shopping center sit-in (1 p.m.)Hundreds of masked people massed in a busy shopping mall in the New Territories town of Shatin where they staged a sit-in, sang songs and musicians gave impromptu performances. The multilevel center was packed with protesters on every floor, raising the ire of some shoppers who shouted abuse at them.Meanwhile, there was no evidence of any service disruptions at the airport or train stations, even as transport was curtailed because of the threat of demonstrations.Police obtain protesters’ data: report (9:10 a.m.)Police obtained data of protesters’ bus commutes from Octopus stored-value smart cards and CCTV camera footage from Kowloon Motor Bus Company, the South China Morning Post cited an unidentified senior police officer as saying.Curtailed traffic to airport (9 a.m. Sunday)Airport Authority Hong Kong suspended some transport to the airport in anticipation of protests targeting the facility. All “E” route buses traveling from the city to the airport and the nearby AsiaWorld-Expo will end the trip at Tung Chung from 10:30 a.m., it said in an e-mailed statement Sunday morning. Airport Express trains bound for the airport will only pick up passengers at the Hong Kong Station from 9 a.m until the end of the day’s service.Violence spreads (Sunday 02.15 a.m.)Protesters in Tuen Mun repeatedly threw petrol bombs at officers, police said in a statement. Some activists attacked a policeman with “hard objects” and tried to snatch his gun, according to the statement.In the border town of Yuen Long, petrol bombs were hurled at police vehicles and demonstrators attacked rail carriages, police said. Officers had to break up clashes between opposing groups in different parts of the district, according to the statement.Protesters blocked roads in the busy shopping district of Mong Kok, where officers fired tear gas and 40 mm react rounds to disperse mobs, police said.Mall sit-in (8 p.m.)Protesters gathered in a shopping mall in Yuen Long after a rally in Tuen Mun turned violent. With stores shut, the demonstrators took over the center, singing and chanting. Hundreds staged a sit-in while others milled around waving banners.Police fire tear gas (5 p.m.)Police fired tear gas after protesters hurled petrol bombs and set fire to barriers built across roads near shopping malls in Tuen Mun. Thousands of demonstrators roamed through Tuen Mun streets after a peaceful rally in a park.Light rail service in the area was suspended on three routes, MTR Corp., operator of the city’s train network, said on its website. Police said that the protesters damaged train station facilities and obstructed traffic.Tear gas warning (3:50 p.m.)Police raised a black flag outside the train station in Tuen Mun as thousands more protesters poured into the area. The black-flag warning is a signal that officers might fire tear gas.Football rally (2 p.m.)The stands of the Tuen Mun sports ground were packed with anti-China demonstrators who watched masked players compete in a game of football in one of the more convivial events since protests began. By mid-afternoon, the turnout at the rally had failed to match a previous one at the venue when crowds packed the stands and filled the pitch.Clean-up clashes (10:10 a.m.)Small groups of people scraped walls of notices plastered on boards in public areas citywide by anti-China protesters.In the border town of Yuen Long, the scene of previous clashes, a small number of people gathered outside the train station, carrying cleaning implements and wearing T-shirts with pro-Beijing slogans. As they tried to clean the walls adorned in bright stickers with anti-government messages, they were confronted by another group clad in black. Police separated them and led some away.Rail service suspension (Saturday 10 a.m.)MTR said service at the Tuen Mun and Yuen Long stations would be suspended. The Tuen Mun station would close at 1 p.m. and Yuen Long would shut at 3 p.m., it said on its website, citing public activities. Rallies are planned in both areas Saturday.Police: 1,474 People Arrested Since June (4:16 p.m.)Hong Kong police gave updated figures for arrests made since June, saying 1,474 protesters had been detained. Calls for their release is one of demonstrators’ major demands as the movement grinds into October.U.S. Legislation ‘Hot Air,’ Ip Says (12:58 p.m.)Pro-establishment lawmaker Regina Ip pushed back at the U.S. during a conference organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, calling the legislation “hot air” and threatening action by Beijing if American lawmakers don’t back down. Ip, who made clear she was not speaking on behalf of the city’s leader Carrie Lam, also urged American audience members to call their congresspeople and ask them to not impose sanctions on Hong Kong.Amnesty Alleges Police ‘Torture’ (12:23 p.m.)Hong Kong police beat up protesters who were in custody and committed acts that amount to “torture” during demonstrations, human rights group Amnesty International alleged. Officers used “unnecessary and excessive force” in making arrests, beat a demonstrator for declining to answer a question and then held him to the floor, shined laser pens in the eyes of people who had been detained -- and threatened to electrocute a man’s genitals after he refused to unlock his phone. The new report could fuel anger among protesters who have pushed back at what they see as aggressive police tactics.Weekend EventsOn Sunday, protesters will attempt another disruption of the international airport’s transportation network. Previous attempts haven’t gained much traction.\--With assistance from Stephen Tan, Shelly Banjo, Iain Marlow and Natalie Lung.To contact the reporters on this story: Aaron Mc Nicholas in Hong Kong at amcnicholas2@bloomberg.net;Bei Hu in Hong Kong at bhu5@bloomberg.net;Justin Chin in Hong Kong at hchin15@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Stanley James, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • Iran Might Need a Nuclear Weapon to Sink an Aircraft Carrier

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  • 4 die after bus with Chinese tourists crashes in Utah

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  • Face transplant recipient's donor face failing

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