stephen jay gould

(september 10, 1941-may 20,2002)
  • Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leave

    Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leaveAustralia's government on Wednesday called on China to allow an Australian child and his Uighur mother to leave the country, days after co-signing a letter denouncing Beijing's treatment of the Muslim minority. China has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities into re-education camps in tightly controlled Xinjiang region, in the country's northwest. Sadam Abdusalam has campaigned for months for his Uighur wife, Nadila Wumaier, and their son Lutifeier, whom he has never met, to be allowed to come to Australia.


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  • New York businesswoman and Jamaican immigrant Scherie Murray launches campaign to unseat Ocasio-Cortez

    New York businesswoman and Jamaican immigrant Scherie Murray launches campaign to unseat Ocasio-Cortez"There’s a crisis in Queens and it’s called AOC," said Scherie Murray, a Republican businesswoman who is challenging Ocasio-Cortez in 2020.


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  • Here’s the Lineup for the Second Democratic Presidential Debate

    Here’s the Lineup for the Second Democratic Presidential Debate(Bloomberg) -- The Democratic National Committee and CNN unveiled the list of candidates who will take part in the second presidential primary debates of the 2020 election.The debates will take place in Detroit on July 30 and 31 with 10 candidates on each stage. The group participating each night will be selected at random in a live draw on CNN on Thursday. Each night’s slate will be designed to feature a mix of high-polling and low-polling contenders.Below are the candidates who have qualified based on the DNC rules.Joe Biden, former vice presidentCory Booker, U.S. senator from New JerseyPete Buttigieg, South Bend, Indiana, mayorJulian Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban DevelopmentTulsi Gabbard, U.S. congresswoman from HawaiiKirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator from New YorkKamala Harris, U.S. senator from CaliforniaJay Inslee, Washington governorAmy Klobuchar, U.S. senator from MinnesotaBeto O’Rourke, former U.S. congressman from TexasBernie Sanders, U.S. senator from VermontElizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from MassachusettsMarianne Williamson, spiritual healerAndrew Yang, entrepreneurMichael Bennet, U.S. senator from ColoradoTim Ryan, U.S. congressman from OhioJohn Hickenlooper, former Colorado governorBill de Blasio, New York City mayorJohn Delaney, former U.S. congressman from MarylandSteve Bullock: Montana governorTo qualify, the DNC required a threshold of at least 1% support in major polls, or 65,000 individual donations from at least 20 states. If more than 20 candidates qualified under at least one criteria, the DNC would decide who to cut.The candidates who won’t make the second debate are Seth Moulton, congressman from Massachusetts and Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida. Billionaire activist Tom Steyer and former Pennsylvania Representative Joe Sestak, who recently joined the race, didn’t qualify because they haven’t been included in polls.The contenders have been grouped into three tiers based on polling to ensure that each stage features a mix of top-scoring and lower-scoring candidates. Contenders in each group will be divided evenly over the two nights. The top tier includes Biden, Warren, Sanders and Harris. In the last debate, Warren was the only top-polling candidate on the first night.(Updates with selection procedure in final paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Max Berley in Washington at mberley@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Wendy Benjaminson, Max BerleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • Samantha Bee Shocked Kellyanne Conway Somehow Even ‘More Racist’ Than Trump

    Samantha Bee Shocked Kellyanne Conway Somehow Even ‘More Racist’ Than TrumpTBSSamantha Bee didn’t have time to cover all of President Trump’s recent “racisms,” instead choosing to zero in on his demand that four freshmen Congresswomen of color go back to the countries “from which they came.” “Sadly, the only thing that should surprise anyone is that he wrote ‘from which they came’ to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition,” the Full Frontal host joked. “Way to go, Shakespeare, now return your head to the orifice from which it came.” “Of course, it wasn't long before spokes-golem Kellyanne Conway leapt to his defense by somehow sounding more racist than her boss,” Bee continued before playing the clip of the White House counselor literally responding to a reporter’s question with, “What’s your ethnicity?” “Fun fact,” Bee said, “that's also how she answers the phone.”  Seth Meyers Tears Into Cowardly Republicans Hiding from Racist Trump TweetsFrom there, she moved onto the resolution condemning Trump’s remarks that passed the House with the support of only four Republican members. “So most House Republicans are A-OK with racism,” Bee said, “which is great news if Biden is elected because at least he has a history of working with segregationists.” The host spent the rest of her opening segment breaking down just how racist Trump’s policies are, including his efforts to stop even legal immigration to the United States. “It’s almost as if he doesn’t like people from certain parts of the world or something,” Bee said. “God, if only there were a word for that.” For more, listen to Samantha Bee on The Last Laugh podcast below.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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  • Investigators 'discover mysterious 200lb load' on board MH370 after take-off

    Investigators 'discover mysterious 200lb load' on board MH370 after take-offInvestigators looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have discovered a “mysterious 200lb load” added to the flight list after take-off, according to an engineer whose wife and two children were on board. Ghyslain Wattrelos said the cargo was revealed in a report on the passengers and baggage by French investigators. Mr Wattrelos, who believes the flight was deliberately downed, told Le Parisien newspaper: “It was also learned that a mysterious load of 89 kilos was added to the flight list after take-off. A container was also overloaded, without anyone knowing why. It may be incompetence or manipulation. Everything is possible. This will be part of the questions for the Malaysians.” MH370 became one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries when it vanished with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. French investigators who examined flight data at Boeing’s headquarters in Seattle believe that the pilot was in control of the airliner “right up to the end”.  A modern mystery | Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mr Wattrelos said the investigators told him the data “lends weight” to the theory that the pilot crashed into the sea in a murder-suicide, although they stressed that there was no proof. The investigators expect it to take up to a year to examine the data fully. However, some experts believe a hijack by a stowaway is a possibility and the mysterious load could lend credence to the theory. Tim Termini, an aviation security specialist, told Channel 5 earlier this month: “It’s highly likely that a hijack took place and again, there’s four options for the hijack. "One is the hijack of the aircraft through a crew member. The second is a hijack coming from a passenger. A third option, which is a fairly unusual one, would be a stowaway. And then of course the fourth option is an electrical takeover of the aircraft from a ground-based station.” Mr Wattrelos, 54, who has led a campaign to find out what happened to the flight, acknowledged that “there is a risk that I may never learn the full truth.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.


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  • The California hiker who was found after spending 4 days alone in the wilderness says she got lost after fleeing a man with a knife

    The California hiker who was found after spending 4 days alone in the wilderness says she got lost after fleeing a man with a knifeSheryl Powell, 60, disappeared on Friday while on a camping trip with her husband. Search teams found her alive and well on Monday.


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  • UPDATE 1-Turkish lira steady, shrugs off Ankara's removal from F-35 programme

    UPDATE 1-Turkish lira steady, shrugs off Ankara's removal from F-35 programmeThe Turkish lira was steady on Thursday, shrugging off the U.S. decision to remove Ankara from the F-35 fighter jet programme after it began receiving delivery of the Russian S-400 missile defence system last week. Isik Okte, a strategist at TEB Yatirim/BNP Paribas, said the statement from the Pentagon on Wednesday regarding Ankara's removal from the F-35 programme was more moderate than expected. "It is seen as certain that the U.S. will impose CAATSA sanctions but a much harder statement could have been made by the Pentagon," he said, referring to a 2017 law known as the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.


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  • How Kim Jong Un Got Mercedes-Benz Pullman Limos Home to North Korea

    How Kim Jong Un Got Mercedes-Benz Pullman Limos Home to North KoreaResearchers tracked the luxury cars all the way from the Netherlands, in apparent defiance of sanctions.


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  • North Carolina father of 7 dies trying to save his drowning children at beach

    North Carolina father of 7 dies trying to save his drowning children at beachA North Carolina father drowned Sunday while rescuing two of his youngchildren who were swept away by a wave while walking on a submerged jetty atWrightsville Beach


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  • Argentina still waiting for 1994 Jewish center bombing justice

    Argentina still waiting for 1994 Jewish center bombing justiceArgentina marks the 25th anniversary of the bomb attack on a Jewish center that left 85 people dead with a day of mourning on Thursday, but the relatives of victims are still waiting for justice. "This attack, even if there was a large anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic component -- of course -- was an attack on Argentina and Argentine society," said Weinstein, who worked at the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), where the attack was carried out. A truck loaded with explosives was driven into the AMIA center in a densely populated central area of Buenos Aires, also leaving 300 people wounded.


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  • Humane Society SOS: Dogs swim for their lives as Ark. shelter floods. Community comes to the rescue.

    Humane Society SOS: Dogs swim for their lives as Ark. shelter floods. Community comes to the rescue.An Arkansas animal shelter issued an SOS as flash flooding poured in and a puppy drowned. Then the community came to the rescue.


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  • House Rebuffs Democrat’s Bid to Impeach Trump Over Tweets

    House Rebuffs Democrat’s Bid to Impeach Trump Over Tweets(Bloomberg) -- The House blocked a Democratic member’s bid to impeach President Donald Trump amid resistance from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders.In a 332-95 vote Wednesday, the House refused to advance Texas Democrat Al Green’s impeachment resolution that cited the president’s tweets against four freshman House Democrats, all women of color, and other comments denounced as racist. All of those who voted to move forward with the measure were Democrats.“We have just received an overwhelming vote against impeachment and that’s the end of it,” Trump told reporters after the vote. “Let the Democrats get back to work.”In the last Congress when Republicans controlled the House, Green twice tried to get a vote on articles of impeachment against Trump. Both attempts were soundly rejected, with many Democrats joining Republicans in opposition.Pelosi previously said that a number of Trump’s actions could be impeachable, but she has urged caution and patience while House committees continue their investigations.“We have six committees that are working on following the facts in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of power, and the rest, that the president may have engaged in,” Pelosi said Wednesday before the House action. “That is the serious path we are on.”More than 70 Democrats have said they support impeachment, but most of those discussions have focused on potential abuses of presidential power and findings in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.“I think this is an enough-is-enough situation,” said Green. His resolution asserted that Trump is “unfit to represent the American values of decency and morality, respectability and civility, honesty and propriety, reputability and integrity.”He said the timing of his impeachment effort, a day after the House voted to condemn Trump’s remarks, made sense -- even though many Democrats are waiting for Mueller to testify to two House committees next week.“We’ll go where the facts will lead us,” said Pelosi of California.(Updates with Trump quote in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Josh Wingrove.To contact the reporters on this story: Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.net;Erik Wasson in Washington at ewasson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • Chappaquiddick 50 years on: The car crash that forever tarnished Ted Kennedy

    Chappaquiddick 50 years on: The car crash that forever tarnished Ted KennedyHe was the handsome young senator from an American political dynasty, widely tipped to win the White House. Heavily favoured to win the Democratic nomination for the presidency, Ted Kennedy looked set to square-off against Republican incumbent Richard Nixon at the 1972 election.But his hopes of emulating his older brother John F Kennedy were irreparably damaged 50 years ago.A car crash in Chappaquiddick would claim the life of a young female political campaigner and forever tarnish his reputation. Here The Independent examines the incident. What happened?On 18 July, 1969, Kennedy, aged 37 at the time, had been attending a party on Chappaquiddick Island, part of the affluent Massachusetts resort Martha’s Vineyard.The Massachusetts senator had left the party with Mary Jo Kopechne, a 28-year-old political campaign specialist. He later testified at inquest that she had asked him to drop her back at a hotel.At around midnight, Kennedy’s car swerved off a narrow, unlit bridge with no guardrails and plummeted into the Poucha Pond.He escaped the sinking saloon. Kopechne did not. Kennedy claimed he made several attempts to save her before giving up and returning to the party on foot.Later, he said he returned with two friends for another rescue attempt but that was foiled by the strong tide.Ten hours passed before the senator reported the incident to the police, minutes before Kopechne’s body was recovered from the vehicle. John Farrar, the diver who recovered the corpse, said he believed she died from suffocation rather than drowning, trapped potentially for hours in a small air pocket inside the car. What action was taken?Just a week after the crash on 25 July, Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended two-month prison sentence, the statutory minimum for the offence.His attorneys had argued he should be granted a lenient sentence by the judge, due to his age, character and prior reputation. That night the senator made a speech in which he insisted he had not been driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, as well as denying “widely circulated suspicions of immoral conduct” surrounding his relationship with Kopechne.He described his decision not to immediately report the incident to the police as “indefensible”, stating that he was overcome by a “jumble of emotions—grief, fear, doubt, exhaustion, panic, confusion, and shock.”An inquest would later conclude there was “probable cause to believe” Kennedy had been operating the vehicle negligently. A tarnished figureKennedy’s inaction caused significant damage to his reputation.Prior to the incident, he was popular throughout the country and was seen by many to follow in the footsteps of his brothers, John and Robert, by running for the presidency. Five years before the crash, Kennedy had been re-elected to the senate with 75 per cent of the vote. In an election 15 months after the crash, his margin of victory was reduced to 64 per cent. He did not run in the 1972 or 1976 presidential race, a decision likely taken as a result of Kopechne’s death. When Kennedy decided to run in 1980, renewed interest in the Chappaquiddick incident hindered his campaign.His Democratic primary opponent, then-president Jimmy Carter, frequently called into question Kennedy’s character by alluding to the events on the resort island. After a failed campaign, Kennedy abandoned his White House dreams. He went on to serve in the Senate for another four decades until his death.In Kennedy’s posthumous memoir, True Compass, he called the incident a “horrible tragedy that haunts me every day of life.” The Edward M Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, a body created in honour of his 47 years of service in the Senate, has no plans to commemorate the incident and the death of Kopechne.


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  • Your Kids Won't Have Any Room For Candy After These Halloween Dinner Ideas

    Your Kids Won't Have Any Room For Candy After These Halloween Dinner Ideas


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  • Woman killed while riding in SUV with husband was just minutes from home before shooting

    Woman killed while riding in SUV with husband was just minutes from home before shooting'You have taken an angel from us' Saron James and her husband Cleveland had been married for 40 years before someone opened fire on their SUV and killed her.


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  • Teachers union has become an arm of the abortion-rights left. Conservatives should quit.

    Teachers union has become an arm of the abortion-rights left. Conservatives should quit.Why would the NEA go out of its way to take extreme stands on hot-button issues so far removed from the real problems facing our nation’s schools?


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  • Asylum seekers waiting in Nuevo Laredo fear lurking dangers

    Asylum seekers waiting in Nuevo Laredo fear lurking dangersThe round-faced woman from La Ceiba, Honduras, and her 5- and 12-year-old sons arrived in this city across the border from Laredo, Texas, where she had been promised a job and hoped to build a new life. As the United States tries to slow the flow of mostly Central American migrants and asylum seekers to its southern border and pressures Mexico to assist, months-long stays on the Mexican side of the frontier have become the rule for many. The U.S. government tells its own employees not to set foot in nearly all parts of the state.


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  • Ex-chairman of Vietnam's BIDV bank dies in detention

    Ex-chairman of Vietnam's BIDV bank dies in detentionA former head of Vietnam's second largest listed bank, the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), died in detention on Thursday, state media and three sources with direct knowledge of the situation said. Tran Bac Ha was arrested in November last year in a widening crackdown on corruption in the Southeast Asian country, which has seen its Communist-ruled government launch investigations into hundreds of public officials and several executives at state-owned enterprises jailed. Ha had not stood trial and was being held at a military detention center near Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.


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  • UK raises alarm after mother held by Iran is taken to mental ward

    UK raises alarm after mother held by Iran is taken to mental wardLondon demanded the immediate release Wednesday of a jailed British-Iranian aid worker whose husband said she has been transferred to the mental ward of a public hospital in Tehran. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case has roiled Britain's relations with the Islamic republic since her 2016 arrest and conviction on sedition charges over which she has held a series of hunger strikes. "We are extremely concrned about Nazanin's welfare and call for her immediate release," Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said.


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  • 2-year-old girl who disappeared from Michigan campsite found alive

    2-year-old girl who disappeared from Michigan campsite found alivePolice have found the 2-year-old who went missing from a campsite in Comins Township, Michigan, on Monday. The search lasted more than 24 hours.


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  • House Vote to Repeal Obamacare Tax Shows Health Care Tension

    House Vote to Repeal Obamacare Tax Shows Health Care Tension(Bloomberg) -- The House voted overwhelmingly to repeal a tax Wednesday intended to fund the Affordable Care Act, preserving tax breaks for employer-sponsored insurance plans favored by large corporations.In a reversal of the usual partisan roles, Democrats rather than Republicans led the charge to kill a key part of Obamacare.The bill to repeal the levy commonly known as the “Cadillac tax” passed 419-6 with bipartisan support. The 40% excise tax on the most generous and expensive employer health-insurance plans was included in Obamacare as a measure that economists said would help curb health costs.Congress kept delaying its implementation so the tax has never actually been collected. Had it gone into effect, it would have hit about one in five employers that offer health benefits to their workers, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The vote to repeal the tax highlights the conflicting forces pulling at Democrats when campaigning versus legislating.Several of the party’s presidential candidates led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren support replacing nearly all private insurance with a government-run system financed by tax increases. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner in the race, has a less sweeping plan to bolster Obamacare, but it still would offer a public health insurance option funded by tax hikes on the wealthy.But in Congress, Democrats and Republicans are facing pressure from labor unions and large companies to move in the opposite direction by keeping tax advantages for employer-sponsored plans. Supporters of repealing the tax say keeping it in place would force employers to offer less generous health insurance to their workers.Employers can reap large tax savings by compensating their employees in the form of more extensive health insurance, rather than wages, which are subject to payroll taxes. Employer-paid premiums are exempt from federal income and payroll taxes, and the premiums employees pay are also often excluded from taxable income.Changing Minds“I’ve been a supporter of the Cadillac tax because I thought it would” lower health care costs, said Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House. “But I’ve read some additional material on it and it’s obviously overwhelmingly thought this will not have the effect in terms of raising money or controlling cost that I thought it would have.”The dissonance among Democrats about whether to expand or shrink employer-sponsored health coverage makes them look like “gymnasts,” said Representative Mike Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican.“Where are you on this stuff?” he said. “Wait a minute, you’re all advocating that there be no such thing as employer-sponsored coverage.”The repeated delays in imposing the Cadillac tax delays mean that Congress was never able to test whether it would curb the explosion of health care spending, which has risen an average 4.2% every quarter between 2010 and 2018, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The repeal also would mean that the Treasury Department won’t collect the $201 billion the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated it would raise over a decade.Obamacare TaxesObamacare included several other tax increases, including a 3.8% tax on investment income and a 0.9% levy on wages for top-earners. The portion of the law that was supposed to be financed through the Cadillac tax instead would be paid for through deficit spending, unless lawmakers propose a last-minute tax increase to offset the cost.Democrats have generally opposed measures to chip away at President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, but the Cadillac tax has been unpopular since it became part of the code.The measure to repeal it, H.R. 748, was passed under a fast-track procedure requiring two-thirds support among House members.Yet popularity doesn’t necessarily mean good policy, said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Politicians don’t like the tax on health benefits, but nearly every economist thinks the Cadillac tax or a similar measure is necessary to help slow the rise in health-care costs and curb overuse of health services, he added.“Just because it’s bipartisan doesn’t mean it’s good,” he said.Not all Democrats are on board with eliminating the tax. Representative Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat, said he opposes the repeal because the cost isn’t offset and there wasn’t any discussion about how scuttling the tax would affect the Affordable Care Act overall.“I think we are lapsing into some very bad habits in the majority,” he said. “We need to start instilling some fiscal discipline in this place and making some tough decisions.”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, hasn’t committed to addressing the issue in his chamber. Because the repeal effort is led by Democrats, it sets up a path for McConnell to use it as a vehicle to attach Republican tax priorities, such as correcting errors in the 2017 tax law or extending several expired tax breaks that benefit the biodiesel and energy industries.“We’ve kicked the can down the road for so long on this one that the assumption is that it’s never going to go into effect,” said Representative Dan Kildee, a Michigan Democrat. “There’s a certain inevitability to this one getting repealed.”\--With assistance from Emily Wilkins.To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • Big Guns: Army Prototypes Range-Doubling New Artillery Weapon to Outgun Russia

    Big Guns: Army Prototypes Range-Doubling New Artillery Weapon to Outgun RussiaThe Army is building prototypes of a new artillery cannon that can more than double the range of existing weapons and vastly alter the strategic and tactical landscape shaping land war into the future.The Army program, called Extended Range Cannon Artillery, has been developing for several years; it is now entering a new phase through an Army deal with BAE Systems to build “Increment 1” prototypes.“This prototype phase will address capability gaps in the Army’s indirect fire systems and improve the rate and range of fire with the development of power distribution software and hardware integration solutions,” a BAE Systems statement said.During testing thus far, the Army has successfully fired a 155mm artillery round 62 kilometers - marking a technical breakthrough in the realm of land-based weapons and progressing toward its stated goal of being able to outrange and outgun Russian and Chinese weapons.Currently, most land-fired artillery shot from an M777 Towed Howitzer or Self-Propelled Howitzer are able to pinpoint targets out to 30km - so hitting 62km dramatically changes Army offensive attack capability. As part of an effort to ensure the heavy M777 is sufficiently mobile, the Army completed a “mobility” demonstration of ERCA prototypes last year.


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  • Kellyanne Conway says White House is sick and tired of people who don't respect America

    Kellyanne Conway says White House is sick and tired of people who don't respect AmericaCounselor to the president Kellyanne Conway defends the president wading into the controversy surrounding progressive Democrat freshmen congresswomen.


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  • Senate Republicans pray Trump will take budget deal

    Senate Republicans pray Trump will take budget dealTrump has balked at previous bipartisan agreements, and hard-line conservatives are sure to pressure the president.


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  • China Is Drafting Urgent Plan to Resolve Hong Kong Chaos, SCMP Says

    China Is Drafting Urgent Plan to Resolve Hong Kong Chaos, SCMP Says(Bloomberg) -- Chinese officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs are working on an urgent strategy to solve the city’s political chaos and have ruled out the use of military force, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the discussions.They will soon present top leaders in Beijing with both an immediate plan to handle the mass protests and a longer-term strategy that could result in China overhauling its management of the former British colony, the newspaper said, without elaborating on a date.Beijing maintains that the crisis is best left for Hong Kong authorities to resolve and doesn’t want to get directly involved, according to the report. Beijing has expressed public support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam throughout weeks of unrest and political gridlock, saying this week that it “firmly supports” her leadership.On Thursday, China condemned a joint motion for a resolution in the European Parliament that called on EU member states and other nations to investigate export controls “to deny China, and in particular Hong Kong, access to technologies” that could be used to violate human rights.“China strongly opposes this,” spokesman Lu Kang said. “China does value its relations with Europe, but maintaining a healthy relationship requires joint efforts.“Lam on Monday vowed she would remain in office, after a Financial Times report said she had offered to resign but that Beijing insisted she stay and clean up “the mess she created.”The Chinese officials also see Hong Kong’s police force as key to maintaining stability, the newspaper said. Officers’ tactics have come under fire after they used rounds of tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and pepper spray in dispersing the protests. Demonstrators have demanded an independent investigation into what they deem a use of excessive force, while opposition lawmakers have called for the resignation of security chief John Lee.Earlier: Hong Kong Police Tactics Under Fire as Legislature ResumesMainland officials want to avoid bloodshed and ensure the financial hub remains largely stable, the newspaper reported, citing the people familiar. China’s approach will be to “lure the snake from its hole,” according to one adviser cited by the SCMP, taking a defensive position until the opposition reveals its strategy.They’re also considering whether the current environment makes it too risky for President Xi Jinping to visit another former European colony, Macau, later this year for 20th anniversary celebrations of its return to Chinese rule, the paper reported.Crowds of Hong Kong protesters have turned out in unprecedented sizes every week since mid-June. In recent gatherings, their anger has focused on China. More protests are being planned in neighborhoods across the city by demonstrators vowing to spread the word until Lam responds to their demands, including the official withdrawal of legislation that would allow extraditions to the mainland and first sparked the rallies.There are indications that Xi and his top officials are preparing for their annual summer conclave in the seaside city of Beidaihe, which this year will bear even closer watching than usual as China faces growing risks at home and abroad, including Hong Kong’s unrest and an ongoing trade war with the U.S.(Updates in fourth paragraph with China foreign ministry comments)\--With assistance from Dandan Li.To contact the reporters on this story: Karen Leigh in Hong Kong at kleigh4@bloomberg.net;Dominic Lau in Hong Kong at dlau92@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, James Mayger, Iain MarlowFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 7,800 police in Philippines punished for deadly drug raids

    7,800 police in Philippines punished for deadly drug raidsThousands of Philippine police officers have received administrative punishments with more than 2,000 dismissed for wrongdoings during raids where drug suspects were killed under the president's crackdown, officials said Thursday. Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Rafael Banaag told a news conference that 14,724 police were investigated for their involvement in police drug operations that led to deaths from July 2016 until last April. A tally presented by Banaag showed that 2,367 police officers have been fired, 4,100 suspended while the rest were reprimanded, demoted, had their salaries forfeited or deprived of certain privileges.


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  • New York City removed 110 trash cans. Now garbage is overflowing and the rats are 'running wild'

    New York City removed 110 trash cans. Now garbage is overflowing and the rats are 'running wild'Rats are populating the Upper West Side thanks to the removal of trash cans by the New York City Department of Sanitation.


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  • Citing Brexit, Ireland to oppose EU move to scrap spring/autumn time change

    Citing Brexit, Ireland to oppose EU move to scrap spring/autumn time changeIreland will oppose an EU proposal to stop moving the bloc's clocks forward by an hour in spring and back again in the autumn, as it fears Brexit could otherwise leave the island split into two time zones. The European Union has observed the practice of daylight saving time since 2001.


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  • View Photos of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO

    View Photos of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO


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  • India demands Pakistan release accused 'spy' after world court ruling

    India demands Pakistan release accused 'spy' after world court rulingIndia on Thursday demanded that Pakistan release an alleged spy after the International Court of Justice called for a review of a death sentence against him. The arch-rivals each declared victory after the world court ruling made late Wednesday. India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said Jadhav, a former navy officer, "is in the illegal custody of Pakistan under fabricated charges" as he welcomed the court ruling.


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  • The U.S. Marine Corps Has Lost More Than 25,000 Marines to Misconduct

    The U.S. Marine Corps Has Lost More Than 25,000 Marines to MisconductThe Marine Corps has lost more than 25,000 Marines to misconduct over the past decade, according to Commandant Gen. David Berger.In his 2019 Commandant's Planning Guidance, Berger said that the Corps "continued loss of 8,000 Marines per year to non-EAS attrition is unacceptable," using an acronym to describe the end of active service in an enlistment.A total of 25,336 Marines were booted from the Corps between 2009 and 2019; 11,765 were for drug and alcohol offenses, while 13,571 were over unspecified misconduct."This must change," Berger wrote, noting that the cost to replace that many Marines was in excess of $1 billion.Interestingly, that number should be even higher, as its section on drug use reveals. Since Oct. 2017, 2,410 Marines tested positive for illegal drug use, but only 1,175, or 48.8%, had been separated. "I am deeply troubled by the continued retention of Marines failing to adhere to our standards related to drug use.""We are an elite institution of warriors, and will remain so on my watch," Berger wrote. "It is our shared responsibility to ensure the continued health of our collective soul and identity."Toward the end of the 26-page document, which largely focused on changes Berger intended to implement as the top Marine officer, the new commandant talked about misconduct in the force and what he called "destructive" behavior.Of sexual assault, for example, Berger said that despite the Corps' efforts, "the continued rise in reporting leads me to conclude that we still do not fully understand the scope and scale of this issue, or that we can say with any confident that the measures we have taken to date are preventing sexual assaults."


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  • 'What am I supposed to do with you?' Judge bars Roger Stone from social media for breaking gag order

    'What am I supposed to do with you?' Judge bars Roger Stone from social media for breaking gag orderA federal judge ordered former Trump adviser Roger Stone to stop using social media after saying he had violated a gag order in his criminal case.


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  • ‘Quite phenomenal’: Arctic heatwave hits most northerly settlement in world

    ‘Quite phenomenal’: Arctic heatwave hits most northerly settlement in worldThe planet's most northerly human settlement is in the midst of an "unprecedented" heatwave as parts of the Arctic endure one of their hottest summers on record.Canada's weather agency confirmed on Tuesday that temperatures in Alert, Nunavut, peaked at 21C at the weekend – far exceeding the July average for the area of around 5C.Overnight temperatures on Sunday remained above 15C; again, well in excess of nighttime lows that usually hover around freezing in a settlement that lies less than 900km from the North Pole.The previous temperature record for the town, of 20C, was set in 1956.In a further alarm bell for the region, the mercury climbed above 20C for a second day on Monday – the first time Alert's climate station has recorded two consecutive days of 20C-plus temperatures in its history.Alert is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world – with a population numbering less than 100 – and is far to the north of the Arctic Circle.David Phillips, Environment Canada's chief climatologist, said the weather in the far north of Canada was "quite spectacular" and "unprecedented".He told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: "It's nothing that you would have ever seen." Armel Castellan, a meteorologist at the Canadian environment ministry, told AFP the extreme weather was "quite phenomenal"."It's an absolute record, we've never seen that before," he said.Unusually, Victoria, 4,000km south of Alert, enjoyed cooler temperatures of 20.6C while the Arctic settlement baked.Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, said: "These two communities have a staggering amount of lines of latitude in between them, with the City of Victoria situated at 48°N, while Alert is plopped north of 82°N."This is in fact the first time a temperature warmer than 20C has been measured north of 80° on the planet."Alert's heatwave comes as nearby Alaska saw its own record temperatures earlier this month.Anchorage, the state's largest city, sweltered in 32C on 4 July – shattering the seasonal high of around 24C.Other local records were set across southern Alaska and came after five weeks of above average temperatures in the outlying US state.Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the University of Alaska, said at the time that exceptionally warm weather events would only become more frequent because of the loss of sea ice and warming in the Arctic Ocean."These kinds of extreme weather events become much more likely in a warming world," he said."Surface temperatures are above normal everywhere around Alaska. The entire Gulf of Alaska, in the Bering Sea, in the Chukchi Sea south of the ice edge, exceptionally warm waters, warmest on record, and of course record-low sea ice extent for this time of year off the north and northwest coasts of the state."Research published at the start of the year found Arctic summers may be hotter than they have been for 115,000 years.Evidence that this century is the warmest the region has faced for millennia came from plants collected in the remote wilderness of Baffin Island.As glaciers melt in the Canadian Arctic, landscapes are emerging that have not been ice-free for more than 40,000 years.“The Arctic is currently warming two to three times faster than the rest of the globe,” said Simon Pendleton, a PhD student at the University of Colorado at Boulder who led the research.


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  • Iran Knows It Can't Bet on Trump 2020 Defeat as Sanctions Bite

    Iran Knows It Can't Bet on Trump 2020 Defeat as Sanctions Bite(Bloomberg) -- As Iran weighs the merits of talks with the U.S. and tensions remain high in the Persian Gulf, the Islamic Republic’s leadership is preparing for a second Donald Trump term and mindful of how two key countries fared in high-stakes negotiations with him: Mexico and North Korea.“There is a better than 50 percent chance that he might still be in office, so we will need to deal with him for another six years,” Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif said Wednesday in a television interview with Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait.Tehran and Washington remain at an impasse. While Trump administration officials say they’re open to talks without preconditions, Iran’s government wants some easing of sanctions that have crippled oil sales and undermined its economy. One example looming over Tehran’s thinking, Zarif said, is America’s neighbor, ally and key trading partner, Mexico.“After renegotiating NAFTA, he raised a new demand and he tried to push Mexicans into giving in a bit more,” Zarif said of Trump’s recent threats to impose new trade penalties over undocumented border crossings. “So he always believes, it seems, that ‘What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.”’Iran’s economy has been crippled by the ratcheting up of U.S. sanctions that have restricted the OPEC member’s oil sales, fueled inflation and undermined domestic support for President Hassan Rouhani’s government. Fears of a new Middle East war have climbed after a spate of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, the downing of an American drone and the British seizure of a tanker carrying Iranian oil.As the standoff following Trump’s withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear accord continues, Iran is pressing European parties to the deal to live up to promises that Tehran would continue to get economic benefits from sticking to its side of the agreement. But he also signaled that Iran will continue to enrich uranium beyond levels agreed to in the deal, saying it’s entitled to do so until Europe delivers on its commitments.“We will continue with the steps, and these steps are legal, in line with the agreement,” Zarif said, when asked about the likelihood of continuing uranium enrichment. He said the U.S. “shot itself in the foot” by abandoning the accord, which Trump has frequently called the “worst deal ever.”And while maintaining that Iran has no plans to build nuclear weapons, Zarif said Iran already had engaged far more seriously with the U.S. than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ever has, only to get burned.“We worked out not a two-page document but a 150-page document,” he said, comparing the 2015 accord with last year’s vague declaration between Trump and Kim in Singapore, which analysts say hasn’t stopped North Korea’s nuclear program.Zarif, who has been Iran’s foreign minister since 2013, was the lead negotiator in the multi-party nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It was supposed to yield economic advantages for Iran but instead renewed U.S. sanctions have shattered that expectation. Iran is producing oil at the slowest clip since 1986, making U.S. sanctions one of the most brutal episodes confronting Iran’s economy since the 1979 revolution.No ‘Photo Opportunity’Zarif said Iran has no interest in a high-profile summit for the sake of show -- such as a hypothetical meeting with Trump at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort -- and is waiting to see what the U.S. is prepared to do to restart discussions.“The Supreme Leader doesn’t leave the country,” Zarif said, referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s head of state and commander-in-chief of its armed forces.Pressed on whether he, as foreign minister, would accept such an invitation, Zarif said, “It’s not the question of a photo opportunity, it’s the question of moving forward.”Comparing trying to broker a new nuclear or missile deal with the U.S. to buying “a horse twice,” Zarif effectively dismissed what has been a core demand from U.S. officials such as Secretary of State Michael Pompeo: that Iran include its missile program and its funding of proxy groups in the region as part of a new agreement.“We did not leave the negotiating table,” Zarif said. “It was the United States which abruptly decided to leave the negotiating table. They can come back.”To contact the reporters on this story: Margaret Talev in Washington at mtalev@bloomberg.net;David Wainer in New York at dwainer3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net, Michael ShepardFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • Arrested reporter slams conditions at US detention centers

    Arrested reporter slams conditions at US detention centersA Spanish-language reporter who was recently released from immigration custody said Wednesday he was held for 15 months in detention centers that were plagued by insects and he had to bathe with cold water from water hoses. During a news conference, Manuel Duran discussed what he called inhumane conditions at immigration detention facilities in Louisiana and Alabama. Duran was released from an Alabama facility on bail last week as immigration courts consider his request for asylum.


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  • Greek man confesses to rape, murder of U.S. biologist, police say

    Greek man confesses to rape, murder of U.S. biologist, police sayGreek police believe they have found the man who raped and murdered an American biologist whose body was discovered on the island of Crete on July 8, a senior official said on Tuesday.


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  • Vietnam, China embroiled in South China Sea standoff

    Vietnam, China embroiled in South China Sea standoffVietnamese and Chinese ships have been embroiled in a weeks-long standoff near an offshore oil block in disputed waters of the South China Sea, which fall within Vietnam's exclusive economic zone, two Washington-based think-tanks said on Wednesday. China's U-shaped "nine-dash line" marks a vast expanse of the South China Sea that it claims, including large swathes of Vietnam's continental shelf where it has awarded oil concessions. One of the oil blocks it surveyed is licensed by Vietnam to Spanish energy firm Repsol , which was forced last year and in 2017 to cease operations in Vietnamese waters because of pressure from China.


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  • 'Dangerous': Air Force responds to plans to 'storm Area 51' and 'see them aliens'

    'Dangerous': Air Force responds to plans to 'storm Area 51' and 'see them aliens'As more than a million people on Facebook say they're "going" to a joke event to "storm Area 51," the U.S. military has responded to the plans.


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  • Trial of 'El Chapo': rare glimpse inside the drug world

    Trial of 'El Chapo': rare glimpse inside the drug worldThe trial of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman provided a rare and terrifying look into the workings of one of the world's largest cartels. Over the space of nearly three months, a New York jury heard 56 government witnesses deliver dramatic evidence against Guzman. According to the witnesses, the Sinaloa cartel, of which Guzman was a co-leader, flooded the United States with cocaine with the blessing of countless police, military officers and Mexican officials -- going all the way up to the president -- who turned their heads in exchange for bribes worth millions.


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  • We Asked Two Experts If a War with Iran Is Coming

    We Asked Two Experts If a War with Iran Is ComingPollack stated that Washington’s actions were counterproductive to America’s interests in securing a new, better nuclear deal. America’s policy of maximum pressure on Iran continues, with the U.S. Department of the Treasury announcing new sanctions on eight Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commanders. That directive was tweeted during a luncheon event on Iran at the Center for the National Interest, which was moderated by Geoffrey Kemp, the Senior Director of Regional Security Programs at CFTNI who also served in the White House during the first Reagan administration as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the National Security Council Staff. The discussion focused on the ongoing crisis, Iran and America’s interests, and whether war could be avoided.“[Donald] Trump’s approach is self-defeating,” declared panelist Kenneth Pollack, Resident Scholar for Middle Eastern Political-Military Affairs at the American Enterprise Institute, and both a former Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs and a former Director for Persian Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council. Pollack explained that the hardliners keep claiming vindication, noting that they had warned that the United States might tear up the Iran deal. Pollack emphasized that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei started in the moderate camp but has drifted steadily toward a hardline position.(This first appeared in June 2019.)


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  • Puerto Rico: thousands protest governor's sexist and homophobic texts

    Puerto Rico: thousands protest governor's sexist and homophobic texts* Ricardo Rosselló resisting calls to resign over leaked messages * Ricky Martin and other performers join crowds on streets of San JuanThousands marched in Puerto Rico to demand the resignation of Rossello. Photograph: Eric Rojas/AFP/Getty ImagesAccompanied by some of Puerto Rico’s most famous performers, thousands of people marched to the governor’s residence in San Juan on Wednesday chanting demands for the embattled governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to resign after the leak of online chats that show him making misogynistic slurs and mocking his constituents.The crowd ranged from teenagers to retirees, with some waving the island’s flag printed in black and gray rather than red, white and blue to symbolize their discontent with a government they call corrupt and unresponsive to its people. Musicians Ricky Martin, Residente and Bad Bunny marched and addressed the crowd.Police erected concrete barricades and shop owners covered store windows with metal sheeting or plywood as if a hurricane were coming. The multicolored umbrellas that form a photogenic awning over the street in front of the governor’s mansion were taken down.The turnout filled several city blocks in colonial Old San Juan but appeared to fall short of the many tens of thousands that some Rosselló opponents had predicted. Many older protesters went home before nightfall as chanting young people filled Old San Juan’s Totem Plaza and the first few blocks leading up to the 16th century fortress where the governor resides.Karla Villalon has three elementary-age children and an 81-year-old grandmother. Her kids have been uprooted twice in two years when first one school, then another, was closed by budget cuts under Rosselló. Her grandmother, a retired teacher, is anguished over the possibility of losing her pension in future rounds of cutbacks.Villalon was outraged when Rosselló’s former education secretary was arrested and accused of steering millions in improper contracts to politically connected contractors. Then hundreds of pages of online chats between Rosselló and members of his administration leaked, revealing the men mocking women, the disabled and victims of Hurricane Maria. Villalon has had enough.“It’s the final straw,” the homemaker said before the march. “My kids’ classrooms have mold in them ... There’s just so much outrage that’s been building over time.”Demonstrators chant and wave Puerto Rican flags in San Juan. Photograph: Gabriella N Baez/ReutersThe Rosselló administration has remained under siege since the weekend after leaked text messages between the governor and a number of his inner circle revealed a slew of misogynist and homophobic comments shared between the group.A number of senior members of the administration have already resigned in the wake of the scandal, but on Monday Rosselló refused to tender his resignation, claiming that while the messages were inappropriate they were not illegal.“I’m not proud of what I did,” Rosselló told reporters on Tuesday. “Those were merely comments – but they were hurtful comments. So, I apologize for what I’ve done but again, I need to move forward and continue on the work we’re doing for Puerto Rico.”The affair only only adds to sustained criticism of Rosselló’s leadership as sweeping austerity and privatization measures imposed after Hurricane Maria decimated the island almost two years ago drew public backlash.Puerto Rico, an unincorporated US territory, is in the midst of a multibillion-dollar debt crisis now managed by an unelected oversight board appointed in Washington that oversees much of the island’s economic affairs.Shortly before the text message scandal, referred to as “RickyLeaks”, a number of administration officials and contractors, including the former education secretary Julia Keleher, were arrested by the FBI over allegations of corruption and misappropriation of $15.5m in federal funds apportioned to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.Workers cover shop windows with wood in preparation for protests against Governor Ricardo Rosselló near La Fortaleza in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday. Photograph: Carlos Giusti/APKey figures in the movement to oust Rosselló remained hopeful that the protests on Wednesday would remain peaceful.A number of high-profile Puerto Ricans, including the actor and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, singer Ricky Martin and trap artist Benito Martínez Ocasio, known by his stage name Bad Bunny, have also lent vocal support to the protests. Martin and Ocasio are expected to appear at the protests.San Juan’s firebrand mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, an outspoken critic of Rosselló, told the Guardian by text message the demonstrations would mark “a historic day in Puerto Rico”.Cruz, who announced she would challenge Rosselló in elections next year, became the face of resistance to the Trump administration’s faltering efforts to assist during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria.Both Mayor Cruz and Ricky Martin also appeared as targets of abuse in the leaked text messages.According to the messages, Rosselló referred to Cruz as “off her meds” while other administration officials mocked Martin’s sexuality.


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  • Cop helps save 12-day-old baby during traffic stop

    Cop helps save 12-day-old baby during traffic stopDeputy William Kimbro administered CPR and was awarded the Life-Saving Medal from the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department


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  • Over-the-Top Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes That Are Worth Every Calorie

    Over-the-Top Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes That Are Worth Every Calorie


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  • Pakistan arrests US-wanted terror suspect in Mumbai attacks

    Pakistan arrests US-wanted terror suspect in Mumbai attacksPakistan on Wednesday arrested a radical cleric and U.S.-wanted terror suspect implicated in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, officials said, just days ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan's trip to Washington. Hafiz Saeed was taken into custody in Punjab province while traveling from the eastern city of Lahore to the city of Gujranwala, according to counterterrorism official Mohammad Shafiq. Saeed founded the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which was blamed for the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.


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  • Landlords Sue NYC Over New Rent Caps on a Million Apartments

    Landlords Sue NYC Over New Rent Caps on a Million Apartments(Bloomberg) -- New York City’s rent-stabilization law is under attack after a group of real-estate trade groups and landlords sued to overturn regulations that cover more than 1 million apartments.The decades-old law that limits rent increases violates the U.S. Constitution by placing an unfair burden on property owners, particularly those who own pre-1974 buildings with six or more units, according to the suit, filed Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.The state legislature, now under full Democratic control, adopted sweeping tenant protections in June that further cap rent increases and restrict landlords’ ability to evict residents. The massive rewrite of the rent rules, which cover about 2.4 million residents, aimed to preserve affordable housing by eliminating tools landlords used to remove units from regulation. The package also abolished a “vacancy bonus” that allowed property owners to raise rents 20% when a tenant left.The plaintiffs say the update further eroded their rights and that the law’s “irrationality and arbitrariness” and “web of restrictions override core rights of property owners.”Read More: NYC Tenants Get a Rent-Law Blessing That Landlords See as CurseThe landlords claim the rules have morphed over the years so that they benefit too many higher earners, while renters who make less than $35,000 a year account for just 38% of rent-stabilized renters. The breakdown is about the same for unregulated apartments, the groups claim, suggesting the law isn’t much different from the unregulated market.The trade groups claim that 22% of rent-stabilized tenants make more than $100,000 a year and that married couples without children are over-represented in rent-stabilized apartments despite being less likely to suffer rental hardship than couples with children.The city said the suit threatens ordinary New Yorkers.“Dismantling rent stabilization would be a devastating blow to everyday New Yorkers who are working hard to call this great city home,” Jane Meyer, the mayor’s deputy press secretary, said in a statement. She said the city would review the suit and continue to “fight to protect affordability, prevent harassment and keep this a city for everyone.”Supreme Court SnubTenants-rights groups argued the changes were needed to counter decades of abuse by some landlords and a shrinking supply of affordable housing. Tens of thousands of apartments have been removed from rent-stabilized status, sending rents higher as neighborhoods are gentrified. The effort won support from Governor Andrew Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, as well as New York City mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio.The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the city’s rent-stabilization system in 2012, turning away an appeal from landlords who said the city had violated their constitutional rights by limiting rents on three one-bedroom apartments in their Upper West Side brownstone. The state of New York defended the statute, citing previous Supreme Court decisions that judges “should not sit as super-legislatures reviewing matters of economic policy, but should ask only whether a legislature’s policy judgments are rational.”Among the plaintiffs is the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords. When the law was amended, the landlords said it would cause buildings to fall into disrepair because owners wouldn’t be able to afford to maintain them.The case is Community Housing Improvement Program v. City of New York, 19-cv-4087, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).(Updates with second paragraph under Supreme Court Snub)\--With assistance from Gerald Porter Jr..To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net;Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter JeffreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • India's 'Dosa King' dies months after losing appeal against murder conviction

    India's 'Dosa King' dies months after losing appeal against murder convictionThe founder of the largest Indian chain of restaurants offering southern food at home and abroad, "Dosa King" P. Rajagopal, died on Thursday, nearly four months after he lost his final appeal against a murder conviction. A court in the southern Indian city of Chennai in 2009 handed Rajagopal a life term for kidnapping and killing the husband of a woman he wanted to marry. The Supreme Court in March upheld that decision.


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  • At least 1 dead, 15 injured — including 3 firefighters — in California house explosion

    At least 1 dead, 15 injured — including 3 firefighters — in California house explosionA California gas company reports one of its employees died in an explosion Monday afternoon in Murietta, California.


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  • Australian detained in China expected to be charged: lawyer

    Australian detained in China expected to be charged: lawyerAn Australian national who was detained in China on national security grounds is expected to be formally charged, his lawyer said Thursday, amid tensions between Canberra and Beijing. Chinese-Australian author and democracy advocate Yang Jun, whose pen name is Yang Hengjun, was detained in January shortly after making a rare return to China from the United States. The foreign ministry in Beijing said then he was suspected of endangering "China's national security" -- which often implies espionage allegations.


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  • The F-35 Has A New Problem That Won't Be Easy To Solve

    The F-35 Has A New Problem That Won't Be Easy To SolveThe U.S. military’s growing fleet of F-35 stealth fighters will fall short of the 80-percent readiness goal that former defense secretary James Mattis instituted before quitting in protest of Pres. Donald Trump’s foreign policy in January 2019.Former secretary of the army Mark Esper, who is Trump’s nominee to replace Mattis, in mid-July 2019 told a Senate committee the roughly 300-strong fleet of F-35s belonging to the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps “is not expected” to meet Mattis’s readiness goal.Esper blamed the F-35’s canopy, or “transparency.”“Transparency supply shortages continue to be the main obstacle to achieving this,” Esper told the committee. “We are seeking additional sources to fix unserviceable canopies.”The Government Accountability Office highlighted the canopy shortage in an April 2019 report. The F-35’s canopy, which features a special coating that reflects radar waves and prevents them from bouncing off the inside of the cockpit -- a potentially major source of radar returns -- “failed more frequently than expected,” the GAO pointed out.Lockheed Martin, which builds the F-35, searched for an additional subcontractor to help boost canopy-production, the GAO reported.The F-35 isn’t the only warplane to fall short of the readiness goal. Mattis directed all Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22 and F-35 squadrons to achieve an 80-percent mission-capable rate by the end of September 2019.The F-16 fleet is expected to meet the readiness goal this year, Esper told the Senate. The Navy and Marines have reported that the F/A-18 force also will meet the goal.


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  • Drug makers flooded US with billions of opioid pills as epidemic surged, data shows

    Drug makers flooded US with billions of opioid pills as epidemic surged, data showsStatistics are a blow to country’s biggest pharmaceuticals that paid millions of dollars in out of court settlementsPurdue sold $3bn of its high-strength branded drug, OxyContin, which in 2010, was about one-third of the opioid market by value at its peak. Photograph: Toby Talbot/APDrug makers and distributors flooded the US with more than 75bn opioid pills in the crucial years when the country’s epidemic of painkiller addiction and deaths surged to record levels, according to previously secret data released by an American court.The publication of the Drug Enforcement Administration statistics is a blow to some of the country’s biggest pharmaceutical firms that have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in out of court settlements in part to keep sealed evidence that they profiteered from escalating demand for opioids even as public health officials were declaring an epidemic.The database covers 2006 to 2012 when opioid prescriptions reached a peak of 282m a year, enough to supply every American adult with a month’s worth of pills. By then, annual sales of narcotic painkillers had surged past $8bn.US district judge Dan Polster, in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, is hearing about 2,000 civil cases brought by cities and counties coast-to-coast against opioid makers and distributors, wrapped into a giant case known as a multi-district litigation.He ordered the release of the data following a year-long legal battle by newspaper companies the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, the state worst hit by the opioid epidemic, and the Washington Post.Deliveries of the two most common opioids, hydrocodone and oxycodone, escalated by more than 50% in the years covered by the database, to 12.6bn pills in 2012 alone, an analysis of the DEA numbers by the Washington Post found.By then the federal agency the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had declared a public health crisis because of the surging death toll from overdoses. Some of the largest increases in sales were to parts of the country already devastated by opioids.Nearly nine out of 10 of the pills were manufactured by subsidiaries of three pharmaceutical multinationals – Mallinckrodt, Endo and Actavis, since renamed Allergan.These companies may not be household names but the pills they sold ardently, often allegedly inappropriately for treatment of chronic pain and while downplaying the risks of addiction, infiltrated communities all across the US in the last two decades.Mallinckrodt sold nearly 29bn opioids in the six years to 2012, taking 38% of the US market. Actavis was not far behind while Endo sold 11bn opioid tablets. Among Endo’s drugs was a high-strength opioid, Opana, that it was forced to pull from the market because it was killing so many people.Meanwhile Purdue Pharma is alleged to have played a leading role in driving the mass prescribing that unleashed the epidemic by changing the practice and culture of pain treatment. It was the fourth-largest manufacturer but with a much smaller proportion of the market at about 3%t.However, the volume of sales does not necessarily reflect the impact of individual drugs on the epidemic. Many of the more common painkillers were lower-strength opioids which helped create dependency and addiction but did not pose the same risk of overdose as stronger but less widely prescribed narcotics.Purdue sold $3bn of its high-strength branded drug, OxyContin, in 2010, about one-third of the opioid market by value at its peak.The pill consists of oxycodone, a powerful opioid derived from the opium poppy and which is stronger than morphine. The drug has been widely blamed for a surge in overdose deaths through the 2000s.All of the companies are targets of multiple lawsuits accusing them of driving up opioid sales with false claims about the safety and effectiveness of their drugs as are the members of the Sackler family who own Purdue Pharma.The newly released DEA data will bolster the plaintiffs’ claim that responsibility for the epidemic runs wide across the drug industry with manufacturers intent on grabbing as large a part of the opioid market as possible with little regard for the unfolding human tragedy.The opioid makers have denied wrongdoing and, among other things, sought to place blame for the epidemic on doctors overprescribing drugs. But Purdue has previously been hit with a $600m fine for a criminal conviction over its marketing of opioids, and in March the company agreed to pay $270m to settle a civil suit by the state of Oklahoma. Two years ago, Mallinckrodt paid a $35m settlement with the justice department over its opioid deliveries.County-by-county data shows that sales of opioids were often focused on areas most blighted by the epidemic, including some of the poorest parts of Appalachia. At one point, the highest per capita deliveries were to rural Mingo county, West Virginia, where “pill mills” and pharmacies were raking in money by churning out prescriptions without question to anyone who paid cash. The practice drew caravans of drug users from hundreds of miles away.Large numbers of the opioids delivered to Mingo county were by the country’s biggest drug distributor, McKesson Corporation. The Washington Post said the DEA data showed that McKesson and five other companies, including the pharmaceutical chains Walgreens, CVS and Walmart, were responsible for the bulk of painkiller deliveries across the US.McKesson, which is listed seventh in the Fortune 500 paid a record $150m fine two years ago to settle federal accusations that it was making suspiciously large deliveries of opioids to places where there could not be a legitimate demand for so many pills.It was also among companies that paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits by West Virginia’s attorney general that they flooded his state with opioids.A former head of the DEA division responsible for monitoring prescription drug distribution, Joe Rannazzisi, has previously told the Guardian that he attempted to launch criminal prosecutions against McKesson and other distributors but he ran into the power of the industry’s political lobbying and was blocked by justice department officials.


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