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  • Ex-wife, children of Atlanta surgeon Christopher Edwards found dead in apparent murder-suicide

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    Authorities say they believe Marsha Edwards shot Christopher Edwards Jr. and Erin Edwards before turning the gun on herself.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:43:01 -0400
  • Death row inmate who always maintained his innocence executed by lethal injection

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    A death row inmate who always maintained his innocence has been executed for the abduction, rape and murder of a student more than 20 years ago.Larry Swearingen received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in the Texan city of Huntsville for the 1998 killing of 19-year-old Melissa Trotter.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:12:00 -0400
  • Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warnings

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    Russia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region. Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia. Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 03:01:09 -0400
  • Trump fumes over emissions deal between automakers and California

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    The president decried a deal between the most populous U.S. state and four major automakers.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 13:22:13 -0400
  • Hong Kong protesters form human chains to call for democracy

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    Supporters of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement lined city streets and part of the city's harbor front Friday, inspired by a human chain in a historic Baltic states protest against Soviet control 30 years ago. It was the latest protest in a nearly 11-week-old movement that began with calls to scrap a now-suspended extradition bill and has widened to include demands for full democracy and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality at protests.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:13:46 -0400
  • Brexit Held at the Border

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    In the last two days Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed that Ireland temporarily leave the European Union to align with the economic rules of a post-Brexit U.K. German chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested, somewhat flippantly, that the U.K. could figure out a special trading arrangement for itself and Ireland in the next 30 days. And French president Emmanuel Macron has said that there’s still room for negotiation between the U.K. and the EU, but he’s willing to be “the hard boy.” Maybe Macron is taking the EU marriage metaphor a little too personally . . .What on earth is going on?It’s been three years since a majority of the U.K.’s electorate voted to leave the European Union. And so far, all that Brexit has generated is a great deal of nearly incomprehensibly vocabulary. First we got Theresa May’s red lines, her attempt to define how it was exactly that Brexit means Brexit, and what the future relationship, if any, the United Kingdom would have with the EU. These red lines, an end to freedom of movement from EU member states into the U.K., and an exit from the EU’s customs union ruled out the Norway option but not Canada Plus Plus. Or Canada Plus Plus Plus. Yes, I’m serious.According to the withdrawal agreement negotiated between Theresa May and the rest of the EU, that future relationship has to be figured out in the transition period. That’s a two-year window after the U.K. leaves the EU in which it would continue to follow EU rules until they came to a trade agreement. That is, unless there is a no-deal Brexit and the U.K. simply exits the European Union on October 31 and conducts business with the world based on World Trade Organization rules. Got it? Well, sort of.The focus is now on the Irish-border backstop. Basically, the backstop is a promise that there will be no hard border — a customs border across the island of Ireland, between the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Northern Ireland. Irish public officials have argued (with the support of the EU) that a frictionless border is necessary for economic and political reasons. The frictionless border is understood there as part of the the peace settlement in Northern Ireland, following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. So too the “all-island economy” that it creates. The backstop is a promise by the U.K. to keep Northern Ireland following a number of regulations and customs rules that match it to the Republic of Ireland.This promise became the focus of Tory and Brexiteer anger at Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. First, because it created what seemed like a negotiating trap for the U.K. during the transition period. Having already agreed to keep Northern Ireland (and the rest of the U.K. with it) aligned with the EU’s rules as part of a backstop, the EU would have less incentive to come to another, different trade relationship to supersede that agreement. The price to be paid for testing and pushing the EU might carve up the United Kingdom itself. If Great Britain diverged from the EU at the end of the transition period, Northern Ireland would be partially politically detached from the Union, and perhaps its citizens would have to go through customs to travel within their own country, from Belfast to Birmingham.Recently Johnson has begun calling the backstop “undemocratic” and hinting that it violates the Good Friday Agreement. He has a point. The backstop would keep Northern Ireland subject to EU rules and regs in which they have no say. It would deprive Northern Ireland’s elected ministers to Parliament of any voice on matters that would be routine for MPs in any other constituent nation of the United Kingdom. That seems quite a lot like a partial form of Irish unification. But the Good Friday Agreement ensures that Irish unity can be achieved only by a majority vote for it in the six counties and another one in the Republic of Ireland.Proponents of the backstop hold that this measure would merely be the decision of a sovereign Parliament over a part of its territory. It is an agreement between Parliament and the EU and doesn’t legally touch Ireland. That’s true. But, the reality is that it would create checks between constituent parts of the U.K. that normally exist between two different countries. It does so in order to prevent those checks on the island of Ireland. And it does so to meet the expectations of the Irish government based in Dublin. To whom would Northern Irish people turn when trade policy affects them? Nobody they directly elect would have a constitutional say.Effectively these economic rules would be imposed on Northern Ireland as if it were a kind of EU colony, and done in the interests of the Republic of Ireland. This may satisfy the historical imagination of Irish nationalists. (Believe me, there is a delicious irony to be savored here.) But it is hard to argue that such a result is consonant with the Good Friday Agreement. Or a wise way to endear Northern Irish unionists to the Irish government.All of this confusion is the result of a kind of gamesmanship. The EU and U.K. each want to use the Irish border as a reason to crack the other’s negotiating position. The EU would like to see the U.K. bounced into a permanent customs union in which it has no say, effectively maintaining the economic size and power of the EU while reducing the political influence of Eurosceptical Britannia. On the other side, the U.K. would like to see the Irish-border issue work in the opposite way, forcing the EU to strike an especially good and liberal trade deal with the U.K. that comes with fewer strings attached than those on Norway or other states that have non-standard arrangements.The lesson is rather obvious. You cannot predetermine what kind of infrastructure will be at a border and what laws will be enforced at it, in the absence of a durable agreement on trade in goods and materials. The EU and the U.K. have been trying to resolve questions in the wrong order. Both have done so out of a reasonable fear of loss.But the hour is late, and the real work must be done.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:22:09 -0400
  • Chinese state media says fentanyl abuse is entirely U.S. responsibility

    Chinese state media on Friday hit back at claims by U.S. officials that China was failing to crack down on the flow of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances into the United States, saying that responsibility for opioid abuse lay with users. The United States was "pushing responsibility" for fentanyl abuse to China and ignoring that Beijing had implemented strict controls on the highly addictive synthetic opioid, reported The People's Daily newspaper, published by the ruling Communist Party.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:57:51 -0400
  • 2020 Toyota GR Supra vs. 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: Which Is the Better Driver's Machine?

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    Vastly different yet similarly capable, one of these rear-drive sports coupes begs to be driven harder than the other.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 08:00:00 -0400
  • Modi Ally Calls for Boycott of China Companies on Kashmir, Trade

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    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Indians should stop buying from Chinese companies and the government should reconsider trade concessions to its biggest neighbor after China allied with Pakistan on Kashmir, according to an economic policy group linked with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.Companies like technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. should be barred from accessing the Indian market in the future and Chinese companies should be banned from state tenders, Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, affiliated to the ruling party’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh said in an interview Thursday.“Not just in Kashmir, we believe that Chinese companies are a security threat to India especially in telecom,” Mahajan said by phone. “Not just in consumer goods, they’re a threat in telecom because their companies have massive support from the state, are allowed to vastly underbid Indian companies and win tenders for critical infrastructure.”The group met Indian telecom companies on Aug. 17 to discuss strategies to be used to curb Chinese industry. The organization had also written a letter to Prime Narendra Modi seeking action against China, Mahajan said. Calls made to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking comment went unanswered.This isn’t the first time that the Swadesh Jagran Manch has called for a ban on Chinese goods and companies. The group, along with the Confederation of All India Traders had called for a similar ban in March this year after China blocked the blacklisting of Pakistan-based Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, at the U.N. Security Council.A ban called by both organizations during the festival of Diwali in 2016 wasn’t successful, although traders anticipated the sale of Chinese products would fall by 30%, the Press Trust of India reported. India has a trade deficit of over $53 billion with China.To contact the reporter on this story: Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at achaudhary2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Abhay SinghFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:00:00 -0400
  • Drivers in Idaho keep harassing busloads of immigrants' children on their way to pre-school

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    One driver reported experiencing threatening incidents with other drivers while she was driving a busload of children under the age of five.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:23:17 -0400
  • Jeffrey Epstein is dead. Prosecutors could still go after his inner circle if they helped him prey on young girls

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    At least six women who accused billionaire Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse have already filed lawsuits against his estate and former associates

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:15:17 -0400
  • Chaotic scene as DNC votes down climate change debate at San Francisco meeting

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    The move sparked loud and angry backlash from climate change activists who believe the Democratic Party should change the rules to allow for a debate focused solely on climate issues.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 21:03:43 -0400
  • L.L. Bean's Huge End-of-Summer Sale Is Taking Up to 70% Off

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    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:17:00 -0400
  • Trump news – live: President explodes in astonishing attack on Federal Reserve and orders US companies to cease trading with China 'immediately'

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    Donald Trump finds himself under siege once more as the Democratic case for his impeachment gathers momentum and his disapproval rating rises to 62 per cent in a new AP opinion poll.Illinois congressman Brad Schneider is the latest to urge the House Judiciary Committee on in its obstruction of justice inquiry, saying: “Regrettably, it is clear that the administration has little regard for the constitution, is unwilling to provide any information to Congress, and is seeking to play out the clock.”

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:16:00 -0400
  • Shooter at large after LA deputy shot at sheriff's station

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    A shooter remained at large after wounding a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in a sheriff's station parking lot in the Mojave Desert city of Lancaster, authorities said. A search of the area concluded early Thursday without finding a suspect, said Deputy Morgan Arteaga, a department spokeswoman. The search had focused on a nearby building complex that provides housing to people with mental health issues.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 18:54:18 -0400
  • Russia, China ask U.N. Security Council to meet Thursday over U.S. missile developments

    Russia and China have asked the United Nations Security Council to meet on Thursday over "statements by U.S. officials on their plans to develop and deploy medium-range missiles," according to the request seen by Reuters. Moscow and Beijing want to convene the 15-member council under the agenda item "threats to international peace and security" and have requested that U.N. disarmament affairs chief Izumi Nakamitsu brief the body. The Pentagon said on Monday it had tested a conventionally-configured cruise missile that hit its target after more than 500 km (310 miles) of flight, the first such test since the United States pulled out Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:20:09 -0400
  • Ex-US marine says injured by Russian prison guards

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    A former US marine who was arrested in Moscow on espionage charges said Friday he had been injured by guards in the prison where he is being held awaiting trial. "I was injured in the prison... the prison doesn't want to tell you," Paul Whelan told journalists from a cage in a Moscow court, which was to decide on whether to extend his provisional detention. Whelan arrived in the court handcuffed and escorted by two security guards wearing black masks and plain clothes.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 12:11:38 -0400
  • 2020 Chevy Bolt EV Gets More Driving Range

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    The Bolt goes from 238 miles to 259 and leapfrogs rival EVs from Tesla, Hyundai, and Kia.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:39:00 -0400
  • In the streets and on the run: Alligators are having a 'hot girl summer' of their own

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    From climbing fences in Florida to swimming in a Chicago lagoon, here are 11 of the best gator stories so far this year.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:27:59 -0400
  • A Michigan Court Case Shows the Right of Armed Self-Defense Is Broader Than You Might Think

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    Yesterday the Michigan Court of Appeals handed down a decision in a highly public and very controversial case that gun owners across the United States should applaud. In short, it demonstrates and validates the value of armed self-defense even when you do not pull the trigger and -- crucially -- have no cause to pull the trigger. It justifies the brandishing of a gun as pre-emptive measure to block the use of unlawful force.What do I mean? Hang with me for a moment, because this case is a bit complicated. At its heart is a dispute between Siwatu-Salama Ra, an African-American concealed-carry permit holder from Detroit, and a woman named Channel Harvey. Ra was put on trial for assault with a dangerous weapon and possessing a firearm while committing a felony after she brandished her unloaded pistol at Harvey during a heated confrontation outside Ra’s mother’s house.The facts are hotly disputed, but Ra claimed that during the course of an argument, Harvey backed her car into Ra’s vehicle -- while Ra’s two-year-old daughter was inside, playing. Ra claims she grabbed her daughter out of the car, then grabbed her unloaded gun, “pointed the gun at Harvey’s car” and then again demanded that Harvey leave. Harvey testified that Ra was the aggressor, and that she hit Ra’s car on accident only after Ra pointed the gun at her. The jury apparently believed Harvey’s version of events, and Ra received a two-year prison sentence.The case was immediately controversial, with critics of the verdict claiming that the case represented “yet another instance of a black gun owner, with the permits to legally carry, defending themselves against violence — and getting punished for it.” The NRA tweeted in support of Ra:> No one should be imprisoned for exercising their right to self-defense. https://t.co/ZWkYJ5dL3K 2A> > -- NRA (@NRA) May 7, 2018Yesterday the Michigan Court of Appeals threw out her conviction. It didn’t hold that the jury got the outcome wrong but rather that it didn’t have a true opportunity to get it right. It was improperly instructed on the law, and the trial court placed too high a burden on Ra to justify her decision to brandish her weapon.The jury was instructed only on the affirmative defense of self-defense through the use of “deadly force.” To prove that deadly force was appropriate, a defendant has to prove that she “reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.” (Emphasis added.)Under this reasoning, a person could brandish a weapon only when she has the legal right to fire the weapon.The court of appeals, however, said that’s not the law. When one brandishes a weapon without firing it, they don’t, in fact, use “deadly force.” They use nondeadly force, and the legal standard for the use of nondeadly force only requires the defendant to prove that she “reasonably believes that the use of that force is necessary to defend himself or herself or another individual from the imminent unlawful use of force by another individual.” (Emphasis added.)Under this reasoning, a person can brandish a weapon to prevent the imminent use of force from escalating to a threat of imminent death.As the court noted, “merely to threaten death or serious bodily harm, without any intention to carry out the threat, is not to use deadly force, so that one may be justified in pointing a gun at his attacker when he would not be justified pulling the trigger.” There’s a commonsense element to this conclusion. Police officers, for example, sometimes point a weapon at an individual as a means of preventing unlawful force even when they don’t have the legal right to fire a shot.Crucially, this legal doctrine does not create a license to kill. Nondeadly force becomes deadly force the very instant a person pulls the trigger, and when a person pulls the trigger they have to prove the threat of imminent death or great bodily harm. The doctrine does -- as a practical matter -- allow citizens to use the threat of decisive force to deter unlawful violence.A contrary rule places civilians in an untenable position. They could not even pull their weapon until the threat of death is actively upon them. They would be forced to maintain maximum vulnerability right up until the point of maximum danger -- a legal position that would be most threatening to people of slight physical stature who lack alternative effective means of self-defense.Now, some important caveats. This is a Michigan case. It is not setting rules for other jurisdictions. Don’t rely on Michigan law to determine your actions in, say, Ohio. Moreover, even under legal standards similar to Michigan’s it’s still a grave decision to pull a weapon from a holster or from the glove compartment of your car. It’s legally consequential and extremely dangerous. But the Michigan case outlines what should be the proper legal standard. The sight of a gun has the power to deter violence, and banning its use outside of the threat of imminent death would -- perversely enough -- allow too many confrontations to escalate.Prosecutors have a right to appeal the decision to their state supreme court. They should not. Ra has suffered immensely. She gave birth while imprisoned, and her child was taken from her two days later. She spent months separated from her newborn – after a conviction under the wrong legal standard. The court of appeals reached the just result. Ra’s legal ordeal needs to end.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 16:18:46 -0400
  • Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosion

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    More than 100 Russian medical workers who helped treat victims of a recent mysterious explosion at a military testing range have undergone checks and one man has been found with a trace of radiation, officials said Friday. It was followed by a brief rise in radiation levels in nearby Severodvinsk, but the authorities insisted it didn't pose any danger. The Arkhangelsk regional administration said Friday that 110 medical workers have undergone checks that one man was found with a low amount of radioactive cesium-137 in his muscle tissue.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:12:24 -0400
  • Hong Kong families form peaceful human chains ahead of airport protest

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    Thousands of chanting Hong Kong protesters joined hands to form human chains on Friday in a peaceful protest, with almost three months of anti-government demonstrations showing no sign of let-up across the Chinese-ruled territory. Demonstrators, families young and old, some people masked, some using hand wipes to stay clean, linked hands across different districts as others held up banners thanking overseas nations for supporting "freedom and democracy" in Hong Kong. "I joined the Hong Kong Way because it’s peaceful," said protester Peter Cheung, 27.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:45:04 -0400
  • Federal appeals court rules Colorado was 'wrong' to force electors to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016

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    Bradley Moss and John Yoo weigh in on a federal court ruling in Colorado on the Electoral College that could make its way to the Supreme Court.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 23:32:18 -0400
  • Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wife

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    Can we stop pretending that Joe Biden is the inevitable 2020 candidate?‘Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0.’ Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/APMuch like Hillary Clinton in 2016, Joe Biden’s Democratic primary campaign has thus far cloaked itself in an aura of inevitability. You might not like Joe Biden. He might say racist or sexist stuff from time to time. His gaffes might be occurring at an alarming rate. He might have uninspiring policy ideas. But he’s going to win the primary anyway, so you better get used to him.That was the subtext, at least, and an explanation for how banal Biden’s campaign has been so far. If victory is certain, why not hold the ball and milk the clock? Jill Biden, the former vice-president’s wife, made the case bizarrely explicit on MSNBC earlier this week. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Biden said, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”To be sure, Joe Biden is leading among Democrats thus far. The RealClearPolitics average has him ahead of Bernie Sanders by around 12 points, and he has the support of major party funders. But less than a third of Democratic voters are planning to vote for Biden, down from more than 40% the week after his 25 April announcement. An Economist/YouGov poll from this week shows the race narrowing to within the margin of error – Biden at 22%, Sanders at 19%, and Elizabeth Warren at 18%.Biden’s fundraising picture also looks less rosy than it did back in May. He’s still the preferred choice of big party donors, but grassroots enthusiasm is receding. After raising an impressive $4.6m online on this first day of his campaign in April, things have slowed to a trickle. As Politico reports, Biden’s median online daily fundraising by the end of June was just $67,000 a day, considerably below Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.> The case for Biden’s invincibility is baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 80sSanders is an especially important benchmark for Biden. They seem to be competing over much the same base – working class, diverse, not college educated – and either would benefit from the other’s downfall. Despite a narrative earlier this summer of campaign dysfunction and imminent collapse, recent polls have showed that the Vermont senator in a steady position within striking distance of Biden. Sanders has a rabid base of volunteers, superior online fundraising infrastructure, and his existing support may even be undercounted by most polls.Yet the media narrative continues to paint Sanders as a fringe pariah and Biden as the inevitable 2020 candidate. It’s reminiscent of the 2016 Republican primaries, in which Donald Trump was considered an unserious candidate whose support was continually underestimated. The serious commentators kept waiting for an establishment wave of moderate Republicans to make first Jed Bush, then Marco Rubio, and then even Ted Cruz happen.The case for Biden’s invincibility is especially baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 1980s. It simply boils down to Obama coalition supporters (particularly black and brown voters) going with the most familiar face to rid of Trump era upheavals.But electability is just one element of what voters are looking for, and Biden is running on nothing else. He has failed to adequately address his past positions in favor of Medicare and Social Security cuts, his engineering of loathed free trade deals, or his opposition to important desegregation measures.While other candidates are galvanizing people around Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and calls to redistribute wealth and power from the 1% to working Americans, Biden is offering nothing. Poke one hole in his electability bubble and his campaign looks ready to implode.This early in the race things are constantly changing – many people are still undecided and won’t start paying attention until much later on – so we would do ourselves a lot of good not to live and die with every poll. However, if there is one lesson from the 2016 general election worth remembering it’s this: most people might have not liked Donald Trump, but he gave those who did a real reason to turn out on Election Day. He was a candidate with very obvious convictions running against someone who seemed to focus group and triangulate her every position.Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0. Perhaps Trump’s time in office has been enough of a disaster that idea-avoidance will work this time. But if voters want to be inspired, they’ll turn elsewhere or just stay at home again. Who knows, Jill Biden might even join them. * Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin magazine and a Guardian US columnist. He is the author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 03:00:06 -0400
  • Gary Ray Bowles: Death row serial killer executed by lethal injection despite last-minute plea

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    A serial killer who admitted killing six gay men in just eight-months in the US east coast has been executed.Gary Ray Bowles was given a lethal injection in Florida late Thursday after more than 20 years on death row.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 03:46:50 -0400
  • More is More

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    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 08:00:00 -0400
  • Beijing hits back after Trudeau vows to stand up to China

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    Beijing on Thursday accused Ottawa of worsening bilateral relations after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to stand up to China amid deepening diplomatic and trade disputes. The two countries have been locked in a feud since last December, when Canada detained top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and -- in apparent retaliation -- China detained two Canadian nationals over espionage-linked accusations. On Wednesday, Trudeau pushed back against Beijing in a speech that promised to "always defend Canadians and Canadian interests" and to not "back down".

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 05:38:34 -0400
  • More NRA drama: Legal team shaken up as group cuts ties with longtime outside attorney

    The ending of the relationship between the NRA and Charles Cooper, its outside counsel for the past 30 years, comes during what can only be described as a turbulent time for the powerful gun rights lobbying group.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 00:06:30 -0400
  • 3 Russian teen sisters on trial for killing their father, citing years of horrific abuse, put a spotlight on domestic violence in the country

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    Krestina, Angelina, and Maria, Khachaturyan stabbed their father 36 times. Their lawyer says they suffered years of abuse, and acted in self-defense.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 06:38:30 -0400
  • Russian opposition leader Navalny released from jail

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    Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was released on Friday after spending a month in jail for calling for an unsanctioned protest. Navalny, along with several opposition activists, has led a protest movement earlier this summer against Russian election authorities' decision to bar nearly two dozen independent candidates from running for the Moscow city legislature in the Sept. 8 election. One of these rallies was the largest anti-government protest that Moscow had seen in eight years.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 05:14:58 -0400
  • Farmer's threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tour

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    CORALVILLE, Iowa/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat of violence was made during a phone call from an angry farmer. U.S. farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. Lance Honig, crops chief at the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, was among the USDA staffers who had to leave the privately-run Pro Farmer tour, three sources with knowledge of the situation said.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 22:09:39 -0400
  • Family of detained UK consulate worker rejects 'made-up' report

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    The family of a staffer at the UK consulate in Hong Kong have rejected a "made-up" report by Chinese state media that he was detained in the mainland for visiting prostitutes. Simon Cheng disappeared after visiting the city of Shenzhen from the semi-autonomous city on August 8, and the Foreign Office in London said both British officials and relatives have been unable to speak to him since. The Global Times, a tabloid state-run newspaper, said he had been detained for "soliciting prostitutes", citing police in Shenzhen, which lies on the China-Hong Kong border.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 23:32:05 -0400
  • Trump Invited Himself to Denmark Before Canceling Trip, Danes Say

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    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettySpeaking to reporters on the White House’s South Lawn in late July, President Donald Trump revealed that he was “looking at” a stop in Denmark after an upcoming trip to Poland to attend a World War II commemorative ceremony.For officials in Copenhagen, the comment came as a surprise. Although it is customary in Denmark for there to be a standing invitation for the U.S. president—and though officials in both countries had been discussing the possibility of an American delegation visiting—no formal invitation had actually been extended to Trump, according to two senior Danish officials and an individual who works closely with the Trump administration in Copenhagen.By the next day, Queen Margrethe II had issued the invite, and the White House had officially announced the president’s plans to visit the country. Over the subsequent days, much planning went into preparing for the president’s visit, which was supposed to include meetings with high-level officials from Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. It was designed to be a decadent affair: the Queen’s staff was in the midst of ordering the crystal for the tables and flowers for the palace for the big state dinner with Trump. Danish business leaders had finalized plans for roundtable discussions with White House officials about increasing investments in the U.S. Officials in the country’s ministry of foreign affairs were preparing talking points to promote increased cooperation between the U.S. and Denmark in the Arctic. But the frenetic planning came to a stop this past week, when Trump abruptly cancelled the trip after being publicly rebuffed for his proposal that the United States buy Greenland from Denmark. The cancellation set off a round of largely critical commentary within the Danish press and among Danish officials, angry that the president canceled a trip he proposed. Some took to social media, saying the president had “invited himself” to the country. Even the former U.S. ambassador to Denmark posted about the invite situation.The White House did not return a request for comment about how the Denmark trip came to be. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment.The fallout from this most bizarre of geopolitical affairs has raised the possibility of tangible diplomatic riffs between two countries that have historically had strong working relations. Before Trump cancelled the trip, there was a growing likelihood that his arrival in Denmark would have been met with protests over his administration’s climate policies. But while those hotspots were anticipated, officials in Copenhagen were caught off guard by Trump’s suggestion the U.S. buy Greenland, following a report last week by the Wall Street Journal that revealed the idea. Greenland was never supposed to be a part of the talks during the president’s visit, Danish officials say, and they weren’t sure how to respond to questions from the country’s press about it, two senior officials told The Daily Beast. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told one reporter, in Danish, that Trump’s proposal “Det er en absurd diskussion,” or, in English, “It is an absurd discussion.”The word “absurd” set off a fire inside the White House, the president getting so frustrated that he took to the South Lawn, telling the press pool that Frederiksen’s words were “nasty.”“All she had to do was say no," Trump said Wednesday, explaining why he was scuttling the trip. Officials in Copenhagen were sent scrambling. As of Thursday afternoon U.S. diplomats said they were fielding calls from Danish officials who—in an attempt to smooth things over—offered up the explanation that “absurd” in Danish doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in English. Individuals who work regularly with the U.S. State Department in Copenhagen said the line from officials in Denmark is that the word “absurd” can have a less severe meaning in Danish, including “it makes no sense” or “it is out of place in the context.” “It looks like we have a lost-in-translation situation on our hands,” one Danish diplomat told The Daily Beast.Back home, Trump’s decision to scrap the visit was met with a mix of confusion, derision, and post-hoc rationalizations. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told a local television station that he had been the one who had originated the idea of purchasing Greenland in conversations with Trump months back. Cotton called it patently obvious that the administration would seek to purchase the country from Denmark’s stewardship. Other lawmakers were less convinced. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), a member of both the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday requesting an accounting of the funds spent by the State Department  in preparation of Trump’s trip. “Knowing the extensive background work that goes into planning any presidential travel, especially overseas, this action by the President raises important fiscal questions for Congress,” the letter reads. “Our country is already suffering a nearly $1 trillion budget deficit as a result of the tax cuts pushed through by Republicans in the last Congress, while many Americans cannot afford their medicine or have access to safe drinking water. The President’s reaction underscores his weakening of American credibility around the world as well as his carelessness with taxpayer dollars and resources.”Though Trump has cancelled his trip to Denmark, there have been no changes to his plan to head to Poland, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told The Daily Beast. Meanwhile, officials and business leaders in Denmark said they were briefing their staff about how to talk about Trump and his Greenland proposal and have asked them to use softer language. “We just need to be extra careful how we frame this story and this issue because we are in such a delicate time period now,” one official said. Two Danish officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said their administration was walking a fine line between apologizing to the U.S.—which would anger some constituents who oppose Trump—and maintaining strong diplomatic ties. The U.S. is Denmark’s largest trade partner outside of Europe and Danish companies have increased their investment in the American technology and health sectors. According to State Department data, Danish investment supports about 75,000 jobs in the U.S. “At the end of the day the U.S. being an ally of Denmark is a big deal. We need to maintain the relationship,” one official said. “We can have a discussion about the Arctic. We were planning on doing that.”Despite the warnings, Danish officials have continued to use “absurd” in press interviews. Denmark’s minister of foreign affairs, who held a call with Pompeo Wednesday, said on Danish television the same day that it was “absurd to discuss something that is not a reality.” The press in Denmark has questioned Danish officials, including Frederiksen, about their use of the word “absurd” and if they would continue to use it in the face of diplomatic tensions between Copenhagen and Washington. “I’m not going to get into a war of words with anyone, including the American president,” Frederiksen said. “Kim Kielsen has made it clear Greenland is not for sale and I support that.” This Isn’t the Madman Theory. This Is a Madman President.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 16:18:48 -0400
  • Brown bear that is killing livestock and startling hikers in Italy's Dolomites is wanted, dead or alive

    Golocal247.com news

    A bear that is raiding beehives, attacking livestock and startling hikers in the Dolomite mountains of Italy is now wanted dead or alive. The brown bear is known to scientists as M49 but was nicknamed Papillon, after the Henri Charrière novel about escaping from Devil’s Island in French Guiana, when it managed to climb over a 16ft-high fence and flee an enclosure last month. It had been captured just a few hours before after being identified as a problem bear which posed a threat to farm animals.   Since escaping the enclosure in a wildlife sanctuary in the province of Trentino on July 15, it has been slowly moving northwards, disemboweling a cow and encountering hikers. The province of South Tyrol has now issued an order which calls for the capture or, if necessary, the killing of the 140kg, three-year-old bear. It is normally illegal to kill or capture Italy’s bears, which were introduced from Slovenia in the 1990s. The order was signed on Wednesday by Arno Kompatscher, the president of the autonomous, German-speaking province, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until the end of the First World War when it passed to Italy. “We want to capture the bear in order to protect other bears, and also wolves, because if it continues to be a nuisance, then bears and wolves will never be accepted by the population,” said Arnold Schuler, the deputy president of the province. The bear is roaming the Dolomites in northern Italy, between the provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol The authorities say the bear poses a risk to humans. In the last few days, it was seen snuffling around a caravan used by shepherds in a remote mountain spot, looking for discarded food. Two national park rangers fired shots into the air to scare it away. The bear was encountered this week by a hiker on a mountain trail near the Bletterbach Canyon in South Tyrol. “My legs were shaking,” the 64-year-old man told a local newspaper. “People joke about meeting a bear in the wild, but when you really do encounter one, you’re no longer laughing.” Carlo Groff, an expert on large carnivores from Italy’s Forestry Corps, says rangers are trying to keep track of the bear’s movements and hope to tranquilise and capture it. “The safety of humans comes before the bear,” he told La Stampa newspaper. Conservation organisations and animal rights groups have threatened to take legal action against the authorities if the bear comes to any harm. “The bear is simply living its normal life. It has never been dangerous to humans. It has caused a few thousand euros’ worth of damage, and it is right that compensation should be paid, but we need to learn to value bears as an asset, not a threat,” said Isabella Pratesi of WWF Italy. While the autonomous provincial government has called for the bear’s capture or, if necessary, killing, Sergio Costa, the environment minister, has called for the bear to be spared.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:13:43 -0400
  • Google the latest company to face worker revolt over immigration policy

    Golocal247.com news

    Employees urged the tech giant not to work with US agencies involved with the separation and detention of immigrantsHundreds of Google employees on 14 August called on the firm to avoid working for US immigration officials until they stop ‘engaging in human rights abuses’. Photograph: Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty ImagesLast week, Google became the latest company to be publicly lobbied by its own employees specifically because of US immigration policy.More than 1,300 Google workers have signed a petition demanding the company publicly commit to not support government agencies involved with the separation and detention of immigrants until those agencies “stop engaging in human rights abuses”.Google employees timed the petition to coincide with US Customs and Border Protection’s bidding period for a cloud computing contract, which Google could provide. The petition was also signed by 79 people outside the company, including several former Google employees and current Amazon employees.While these efforts – taking place at tech giants as well as furniture retailers – have yet to make a significant change, analysts expect employees will continue to speak out at companies that help prop up the US immigration system.“The workplace is radically changing,” said Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist at public relations firm Weber Shandwick, which found that four in 10 employees said they had spoken up to support or criticize their employers’ actions over controversial issues.The Google petition comes after a summer in which the US government was found by its own auditors to have kept child migrants in egregious conditions; a senior immigration official blamed a father for drowning with his daughter; and the Trump administration introduced a rule that medical bodies warned jeopardizes the health and safety of legal migrants.The tech industry, from CEOs to staffers, have led a new wave of workplace activism in areas beyond immigration, but employees in more traditional industries are also starting to speak up. Walk outsIn June, employees at online furnishing retailer Wayfair walked out of its Boston headquarters in protest against the sale of furniture to migrant child detention facilities at the southern border. The company donated $100,000 to the Red Cross after the backlash, though protesters argued it should have been donated to a group providing care to migrants at the border.There is no indication, however, that Wayfair has declined orders from US immigration agencies.Whether or not employee activism moves companies to shift their business practices, it shows no signs of slowing down.Millennials are most likely to raise concerns about their employers, with 82% of them saying they have a right to speak out against their employer, according to the May study by Weber Shandwick. In the survey, 76% of Gen X workers and 65% of Boomers said they felt they had that right.“Society is so polarized that I think it has heightened many employees’ attitudes towards what’s going on and made them question what is right and wrong – and how far they are willing to go in terms of what they are willing to say,” said Gaines-Ross.This increase is led by the tech industry, but Gaines-Ross said the Wayfair protest in July showed employee activism is moving into mainstream industries. “It’s definitely on the move and heading towards other sectors,” she said.As employee activism moves to other industries, it is also revealing how the US detention system – which detains more migrants than any other country – is entrenched with US businesses.After Donald Trump took the unusual step in July of announcing planned immigration raids which would use hotels to house people arrested in the round-up, major hotel chains released statements saying they didn’t want to detain migrants, according to the AP.Hotels faced pressure from the main hotel workers union, Unite Here, as well as customers.Major banks have said they would no longer lend money to private companies which run immigrant detention centers and American Airlines and United Airlines said last year that they didn’t want to fly children separated from their parents.The global public relations firm, Ogilvy, said it would continue to work with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after facing criticism from employees over a multi-million dollar contract with the agency.“Some of you feel strongly that we should stop working for CBP,” Ogilvy chief executive John Seifert said to employees in a July memo, obtained by the Wall Street Journal. “While I do understand and appreciate this point of view, I have concluded that our work for CBP is genuinely intended to improve the quality of this government agency’s public services.”Pressure from workers on political issues comes as the bosses of major US companies have signaled a shift in their guiding principles.Earlier this month, the bosses of 181 US companies changed the definition of the purpose of a corporation to “improving our society” instead of making the most money possible.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 02:30:03 -0400
  • China Buys American Soybeans after Vowing to Boycott U.S. Farm Products

    Golocal247.com news

    China purchased a comparatively small amount of U.S. soybeans several days ago after promising to boycott U.S. farm products amid deteriorating trade negotiations with the Trump administration.Beijing reached agreements last week to buy 9,589 metric tons of American soybeans for the current marketing year and 66,000 metric tons for the following year, which starts September 1, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released Thursday.An August 5 statement from China's Ministry of Commerce said Chinese companies would boycott American farm products in response to the Trump administration's heavy tariffs on Chinese products. In May, the White House upped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, claiming Beijing had reneged on the previously agreed terms of a trade deal. The U.S. also currently has a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese high-tech products.In response, China has slapped 25 percent tariffs on tens of billions in U.S. goods, including cars, planes, propane, soybeans, beef, and whiskey. The duties caused a steep drop in American farm exports, and the Trump administration has since compensated farmers up to $28 billions for their losses.Despite apparently breaking its boycott, China, which is the world's largest soybean importer, is still not purchasing anywhere near as many American soybeans as it has in the past. Last year, American sales of soybeans to China dropped 74 percent as Beijing gave its business to South America.President Trump has long complained about China's trade practices, accusing the country of contributing heavily to the U.S. trade deficit as well as stealing intellectual property from American companies.“Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!” the president wrote in a tweet around the time of China's retaliatory tariffs.The administration had said it planned to impose tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods by September 1, but later said it would delay imposing them until December."Despite the U.S. decision to delay tariffs on some Chinese goods . . . if the United States rides roughshod over China’s opposition and imposes any new tariffs, China will be forced to adopt retaliatory actions," Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 13:05:27 -0400
  • Elevator tragedy

    Golocal247.com news

    A New York City man was crushed to death when he tried to step off an elevator, prompting concerns over elevator safety. ABC News’ Trevor Ault reports.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 06:48:05 -0400
  • Judge grants mistrial in case of Indiana man Joseph Oberhansley, accused of cannibalism

    Golocal247.com news

    The judge in the Indiana trial of a man accused of raping, murdering and eating parts of his ex-girlfriend's body granted a motion for a mistrial.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 23:05:36 -0400
  • Sanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New Hampshire

    Golocal247.com news

    The campaign manager for Bernie Sanders emphasized Thursday that New Hampshire is a critical presidential primary state he expects Sanders to win, but he's leaving room for a scenario in which Sanders falls short. Faiz Shakir said he doesn't "like the language of must-win," though he does believe it is an important early voting state.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:44:00 -0400
  • Russia rocket accident likely had two explosions, Norway monitor says

    Golocal247.com news

    An explosion that killed five Russian scientists during a rocket engine test this month was followed by a second blast two hours later, the likely source of a spike in radiation, Norway's nuclear test-ban monitor said on Friday. The second explosion was likely from an airborne rocket powered by radioactive fuel, the Norsar agency said - though the governor of Russia's Arkhangelsk region, where the blast took place, dismissed reports of another blast. "The aftermath of the incident does not carry any threat," the governor, Igor Orlov, told the Interfax news agency.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 08:51:46 -0400
  • New images from asteroid probe yield clues on planet formation

    Golocal247.com news

    Photographs snapped by a shoebox-sized probe that explored the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu offer new clues about its composition, insights that are expected to help scientists understand the formation of our solar system. The German-French Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) was dropped off by Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft on October 3, 2018, free-falling from a height of 41 meters (135 feet) for six minutes before it hit the surface. Ryugu is just 900 meters wide and so its gravity is 66,500 times weaker than Earth's. Had MASCOT been equipped with wheels, its forward motion would have launched it back into space.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 16:41:10 -0400
  • Trump again says he is 'very seriously' looking to end birthright citizenship

    Golocal247.com news

    Eight months after first raising the idea, the president said his administration is again “very seriously” looking into ending the practice of conferring U.S. citizenship on anyone born in the United States.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:35:25 -0400
  • A Mexican judge says 2 people can legally use cocaine — but they can't buy or sell it

    Golocal247.com news

    A court in Mexico ordered the government to allow plaintiffs to "possess, transport and use cocaine," but not to sell or buy it.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:58:36 -0400
  • We should welcome deep digs into 1619. Slavery and white supremacy shaped today's America.

    You don't have to be black to see the importance of slavery to the American story. It has fundamentally shaped who we are. Erasing that erases history.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 15:12:13 -0400
  • Border Agents Are Searching for Migrant Boy, 3, Swept Away With His Mom in the Rio Grande

    Golocal247.com news

    'This is [a] heartbreaking tragedy that occurs too often'

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 19:23:25 -0400
  • China Slaps Tariffs on $75 Billion in U.S. Goods

    Golocal247.com news

    China announced Friday that it will retaliate against the Trump administration's latest tariffs with duties on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.Tariffs of between 5 and 10 percent will be imposed on September 1 and December 15, the same dates the U.S. plans to impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, the State Council’s Customs Tariff Commission said, according to state media.The tariffs also include a 25 percent duty on American automobiles beginning in December.“In response to the measures by the US, China was forced to take countermeasures,” the Council said. “The Chinese side hopes that the US will continue to follow the consensus of the Osaka meeting, return to the correct track of consultation and resolve differences, and work hard with China to end the goal of ending economic and trade frictions."“We hope the United States will meet China halfway,” a foreign ministry spokesman said Wednesday, saying China hopes for “a resolution that is acceptable to both sides on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment.Earlier this week, President Trump defended his controversial trade policies, which have particularly hurt U.S. farmers, saying the issues with China should have been addressed before his administration.“Somebody said this is Trump’s trade war. It’s not my trade war. This is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago by a lot of other presidents,” Trump said.Washington in May upped tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, claiming Beijing had reneged on the previously agreed terms of a trade deal. The U.S. also has a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese high-tech products. In response, China has imposed 25 percent tariffs on tens of billions in U.S. goods.The world's second largest economy warned earlier this week of retaliatory moves to the hardline U.S. position on trade.“Despite the U.S. decision to delay tariffs on some Chinese goods [until December] … if the United States rides roughshod over China’s opposition and imposes any new tariffs, China will be forced to adopt retaliatory actions,” Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:48:16 -0400
  • Man freed from prison doesn't blame rape victim for incarceration

    Golocal247.com news

    A jury convicted James Clay of rape in 2017, but new information casts doubt he was responsible for what happened in 1997. New trial decision to come.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:43:45 -0400
  • 2 more El Salvador ex-officers to face trial in '81 massacre

    Golocal247.com news

    Two ex-military officers were notified Thursday that they will join more than a dozen others in being prosecuted for the 1981 El Mozote massacre, a particularly infamous moment from El Salvador's nation's civil war. A judge in San Francisco Gotera, about 100 miles (170 kilometers) east of the capital, summoned former Cols. Roberto Antonio Garay and José Antonio Rodríguez to inform them they will be tried on the charges of torture, forced disappearance and forced displacement.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 18:11:37 -0400
  • Russia's Chechnya inaugurates what it says is Europe's largest mosque

    Golocal247.com news

    Authorities in the Russian region of Chechnya on Friday inaugurated what they said was the largest mosque in Europe in a pomp-filled ceremony attended by local and foreign officials. Named after the Prophet Mohammed, the marble-decorated mosque has capacity for more than 30,000 people and has been described by the Chechen authorities as the "largest and most beautiful" mosque in Europe. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, said the mosque -- located in Shali, a town of 54,000 just outside the regional capital Grozny -- was "unique in its design, and majestic in its size and beauty".

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:33:45 -0400
  • The 10 Least Expensive New Compact SUVs to Own

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:52:00 -0400
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