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  • Out of work and with families to feed, some Americans are lining up at food banks for the first time in their lives

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    Food assistance programs across the country are preparing for another spike in need with federal unemployment benefits ending.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 05:00:16 -0400
  • Most of the coronavirus tests the U.S. does are worthless. But there's a solution that could actually work — and stop the spread.

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    Although President Trump is correct that the U.S. has conducted more tests than any other country, it’s not testing enough, given the scale of its outbreak. But there might be a simple solution: new tests that prioritize speed over sensitivity.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:48:15 -0400
  • Virginia mayor urged to resign after saying Biden picked ‘Aunt Jemima’ as his running mate

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    A Virginia mayor has been urged to resign after he allegedly wrote that “Joe Biden has just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick,” on his Facebook page.Barry Presgraves, the mayor of Luray, Virginia, posted the comment on his Facebook page over the weekend, but swiftly deleted it after backlash from residents and local officials.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:36:41 -0400
  • Judge dismisses Republican lawsuit seeking to block proxy voting

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    It was not immediately clear whether House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy planned to appeal the ruling.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 19:00:35 -0400
  • A Sampling of Work From Mexico City’s Top Talents 

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    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:00:00 -0400
  • Hong Kong hits back at 'shameless' U.S. sanctions on leader Carrie Lam

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    The Hong Kong government said it was being used as a "pawn" in the U.S.-China relationship.

    Sat, 08 Aug 2020 07:29:47 -0400
  • The Real Reason New York’s Attorney General Went After the NRA

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    New York Attorney General Letitia James may be able to do what no politician before her has been able to accomplish – take down the National Rifle Association. Her lawsuit alleging self-dealing and misconduct could, if successful, dissolve the entire organization. While the suit is civil in nature, it reads like an old-fashioned corruption indictment. It alleges that the not-for profit organization violated New York state laws governing charities by diverting tens of millions of dollars away from the organization’s mission for the personal benefit of its leaders, with Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s Executive Vice President for the past 29 years, and three other officers named as defendants along with the organization itself. According to the complaint, LaPierre used NRA funds for eight private plane flights to the Bahamas, where they enjoyed life on the 107-foot yacht of an NRA vendor, as well as for safaris in Africa and elsewhere. The complaint also claims that LaPierre allotted millions of dollars for private security for himself without sufficient oversight (and cited “security” concerns to explain why he didn’t disclose those trips to the NRA’s board), that he  spent $1.2 million of the group’s funds on gifts from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman for favored friends and vendors, and that he negotiated a post-employment contract for himself valued at $17 million without board approval. ‘Fraught With Fraud and Abuse’: NY Attorney General Sues to Dissolve the National Rifle AssociationNew York, like most states, requires non-profit organizations to file annual financial reports as a condition of its non-profit status, which confers tax benefits for the organization and its donors. The law requires funds to be used to serve the organization’s members and advance its charitable mission. The complaint alleges that the NRA’s leaders “blatantly ignored” those rules by failing to ensure proper internal controls, ignoring whistleblowers and concealing problems from auditors. Like other cases of corruption, this easily could have been framed as a criminal case. Filing false registration and disclosure documents as part of a scheme to defraud can serve as the basis for federal mail or wire fraud, and often does in public corruption cases. When I served as a federal prosecutor, my former office brought public corruption cases on such theories in similar cases in which officials misused funds for personal benefit. Why then, is it left to James, whose office’s oversight over charities is civil in nature, to bring this action? The silence of the U.S. Department of Justice here is deafening. But the effect of the state attorney general’s civil case might be even more devastating than a criminal case because one of the remedies of her action is dissolution of the NRA itself.  She used the same tactics to dissolve the Trump Foundation in November. There, she reached a settlement with President Donald Trump and family members to pay $2 million to resolve allegations of misuse of charitable funds to influence the 2016 presidential primary election and to further his own personal interests. Among the improper use of funds was doling out $500,000 to potential voters at a 2016 campaign rally in Iowa. As part of that settlement, James required Trump to personally admit to misusing the Foundation’s funds. Sometimes, parties to settlements are permitted to publicly state that a resolution is not an admission of wrongdoing. James would not let them off so easily. Her success in the Trump Foundation case puts teeth into her legal quest to dissolve the NRA as well. Trump to NRA Bigwigs: Get Better LawyersSince 1871, the NRA has been the nation’s largest gun advocacy group. Founded to improve marksmanship following the Civil War, the organization has lately become a powerful lobbying organization and campaign funder that can make or break candidates for political office depending on their stance on firearms regulations. As its website boasts, the NRA is “widely recognized today as a major political force.” Following mass shootings in America, Democratic candidates for office have blamed the NRA for the inability to pass gun reform legislation, and have demanded campaign finance reform to expose and limit the organization’s influence on elections. No doubt, there will be Second Amendment advocates who claim that the New York lawsuit is politically motivated effort to strike a blow against gun ownership. Indeed, if the allegations are true that the NRA engaged in cartoonishly corrupt self-dealing and misconduct, then the dissolution of the NRA would end its 139-year run as the nation’s strongest advocate for gun rights. The law may be the only weapon that can take down the NRA. And if James can prove her case, then the demise of the NRA will be a self-inflicted wound. Lawsuit: The NRA’s ‘School Safety Initiative’ Was a Front to Increase FundraisingRead 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, 06 Aug 2020 18:49:15 -0400
  • Oklahoma won't require masks in schools, so a teacher who's a 72-year-old cancer survivor is offering students extra credit to wear them

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    Oklahoma's board of education voted against requiring masks in schools, putting teachers and students at risk.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:42:14 -0400
  • Iran asks UN to hold US accountable for plane interception

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    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 23:46:19 -0400
  • The Russian owner who abandoned the ship full of ammonium nitrate that caused the Beirut explosion has been questioned by police in Cyprus, reports say

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    Igor Grechushkin was questioned by Cyprus police on Thursday over the MV Rhosus, the ship that carried ammonium nitrate to Beirut, local reports say.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:47:13 -0400
  • No masks required as 250,000 expected at 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Here's what to know.

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    Festivalgoers will be largely free of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions common elsewhere in the country during this year's 10-day event.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 21:47:14 -0400
  • 'Most sophisticated tunnel in history' found on Mexican border

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    A tunnel that stretched more than 1,300 feet across the Mexican border has been discovered by federal agents who labelled it the “most sophisticated tunnel in US history”.The unfinished tunnel was exposed by special agents in Arizona on Tuesday and was equipped with a ventilation system, water lines, electrical wiring, a rail system and extensive reinforcement.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 17:38:04 -0400
  • The Postal Service’s Routine Reforms Are Recast as the Latest Plot to Help Trump’s Reelection

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    Prominent Democrats have pushed a conspiracy theory that the Postal Service is implementing cost-cutting changes to its service in order to bolster President Trump's reelection prospects, despite the agency's insistence that a recommitment to “existing operating plans” will not affect its ability to meet the 2020 election demand.Last week, Barack Obama claimed during a eulogy for the late congressman John Lewis that “those in power” are “undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election that’s going to be dependent on mail-in ballots.”This week, Hillary Clinton tweeted that reports of slower Postal Service delivery times amounted to a “Republican sabotage of the USPS” and “a Trump strategy to make voting by mail more difficult this fall.” And on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it was a “sine qua non” for the USPS to reverse a slowdown in delivery times amid negotiations over a new coronavirus relief package.Senator Gary Peters (D., Mich.) also told the Washington Post that he would open a probe into the matter.But when asked about the allegations, USPS spokesman David Partenheimer categorically denied the nefarious characterizations of the agency's longstanding service problems. “We are not slowing down Election Mail or any other mail,” David Partenheimer told National Review in an email. “Instead, we continue to employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all Election Mail consistent with our standards.”Partenheimer explained that the agency has “taken immediate steps to better adhere to our existing operating plans,” and acknowledged that “temporary service impacts can occur.”“But any such impacts will be monitored and temporary as the root causes of any issues will be addressed as necessary and corrected as appropriate,” he explained. On Monday, USPS said in a statement that it “has ample capacity to adjust our nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected Election and Political Mail volume, including any additional volume that may result as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic."The majority of the attacks on the USPS have ignored a damning audit conducted by the Government Accountability Office, which was released in May and detailed the numerous inefficiencies within the agency that have led to its insolvency and poor service.“Absent congressional action on critical foundational elements of the USPS business model, USPS’s mission and financial solvency are increasingly in peril,” the report states. “USPS’s growing difficulties to provide universal postal service in a financially self-sustaining matter provide Congress with the need to consider fundamental reform of the entire framework of postal services in the United States.Experts have warned that the Postal Service will be out of funds within the next year without action, and Partenheimer told National Review that “it is imperative for the Postal Service to operate efficiently and effectively.”While Democrats have called for additional funding of the Postal Service, the resistance to any attempt to implement cost-saving efforts runs against the sustainability goals of the agency.“High quality service and efficient service are not mutually exclusive, but in fact necessarily go hand-in hand if we are to be self-sustaining as required by law,” Partenheimer explained. “Indeed achieving both is the only way that the Postal Service can continue to survive as a self-funded entity and to provide prompt, reliable, and reasonably-priced universal postal services for all Americans over the long-term.”Ultimately, much of the conspiratorial noise appears to stem from two alleged USPS memos that were leaked last month, which were widely taken as fact, even by some Republicans. The first, titled “New PMGs expectations and plan,” detailed policy changes for the agency, including cutting employee overtime, with the goal of “making the USPS financially solvent.” The second, called “Pivoting For Our Future,” warns that new policy directives could result in temporary situations where “mail is left behind…on the workroom floor or docks (in P&DCs), which is not typical.” Followup coverage by mainstream outlets detailed anecdotal reports of delays, without confirming whether the USPS had actually implemented agency-wide changes.The Post, which first reported the memos, said they were “verified” by the American Postal Workers Union, even as the USPS told the paper its plan was not finalized, while the New York Times emphasized the political leanings of USPS’s new postmaster general Louis DeJoy, a longtime Republican donor, implying that he was acting at the behest of President Trump.Partenheimer pushed back on allegations of political interference, saying that “the notion that the Postmaster General makes decisions concerning the Postal Service at the direction of the President is wholly misplaced and off-base.” Regardless of his proximity to Trump, DeJoy is not an appointee of the president, as that authority does not fall under presidential purview.According to Ronnie Stutts, president of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, DeJoy vehemently denied that his role was being influenced by Trump, saying “my relationship with the president is not going to have anything to do with me doing my job.”Following news of the memos, House Oversight Committee chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) sent a letter to DeJoy, demanding answers over the alleged changes. According to a USPS response, however, the memos that were leaked to the press should not be described as “official Postal Service memoranda” and did not come from DeJoy.“The document entitled ‘PMG’s Expectations and Plan’ was prepared by a mid-level manager in one district, and the ‘stand-up talk’ was prepared by Southern Area leadership and was distributed in the Southern Area,” the USPS explained. “Therefore, the documents should not be treated as official statements of Postal Service policy.”So far, the USPS’s clarification to Maloney has received very little attention from the press and politicians.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 10:51:21 -0400
  • Data shows Kansas counties with mask mandates have seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases

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    Counties in Kansas that adopted a mask mandate have seen a drop in COVID-19 cases, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman said.In late June, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) issued a statewide mask guidance, but because the Kansas legislature limited her emergency powers, each county was able to decide whether or not to enforce the order, KSHB reports. During a press conference on Wednesday, Norman said 15 counties went along with the order, while 90 decided to make wearing a mask a recommendation only."What we've seen through this is that in the counties with no mask mandate, there's no decrease in the number of cases per capita," Norman said. "All the improvement in the case development comes from those counties wearing masks."The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has been interviewing people who have recovered from the virus, and Norman finds it worrisome how some can't seem to shake the symptoms, saying, "This serves to me as humbling, in many regards, and a reminder that we still know very little about this disease and its impact on the body."More stories from theweek.com Trump's latest fundraising attempt is reportedly a Facebook scam against his own supporters Biden campaign reportedly making 'ruthless cuts' to convention speaking list Gates Foundation donates $150 million to push coronavirus vaccine doses below $3

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 22:47:56 -0400
  • Former US soldiers sentenced to 20 years for bungled Venezuelan coup plot

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    A Venezuelan court sentenced two former US special forces soldiers to 20 years in prison for their part in a failed beach attack aimed at overthrowing President Nicolas Maduro, prosecutors announced late on Friday. Former Green Berets Luke Denman and Airan Berry admitted to taking part in the May 4 operation orchestrated by a third ex-US soldier who remains in the United States, Venezuelan's chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab announced on Twitter. "THEY ADMITTED THEIR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FACTS," Saab wrote, adding that the case will continue for dozens of other defendants. He did not offer details. "Operation Gideon" was launched from makeshift training camps in neighbouring Colombia and left at least eight rebel soldiers dead while a total of 66 were jailed. Former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, who operated a private, Florida-based security firm called Silvercorp USA, claimed responsibility for the failed attack. Venezuelan prosecutors announced that Denman and Berry, both decorated former US service members, were found guilty of conspiracy, trafficking in illegal arms and terrorism.

    Sat, 08 Aug 2020 01:35:20 -0400
  • How Is New York Having Crazy Parties With No COVID Surge?

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    Bikini-packed pool parties. Insane backyard blowouts. Unhinged prom bashes.Spectacular scenes of COVID-19 recklessness have emerged from New Jersey in recent weeks, alarming state leaders into implementing new restrictions to curb the tide of rising coronavirus cases and prompting plenty of snickering about the Jersey Shore. But a looming question has plagued experts as similar signs of non-compliance have been witnessed across the Hudson River in New York—without the same upticks.New Jersey and New York have had similar regulations, travel restrictions, and contact tracing efforts. Giant, raucous boat parties in New York are making headlines, too. So why aren’t infection rates following suit the same way? Why are two states that were both early coronavirus hot spots on seemingly divergent courses all these months later?As of Thursday, New Jersey’s case rate per 100,000 people was 30 over the past seven days, according to The New York Times. The state had a positivity rate of 1.77 percent on its tests over the past week, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. For the past month, that number was 1.52 percent. The state was testing 2.3 people per 1,000, a rate that was trending downward according to Johns Hopkins.Those figures might seem perfectly fine in the abstract, but they amounted to an ominous trend.“The numbers are setting off alarms,” New Jersey Gov. Philip Murphy said last Friday. “We are standing in a very dangerous place.”Meanwhile, New York’s case rate per 100,000 was 24 over the past seven days, according to the Times. This week, the state had a positivity rate of 0.97 percent on its tests, according to Johns Hopkins. For the past month, that number was 1.06 percent. The state was testing 3.5 people per 1,000, a rate that was trending upward according to Johns Hopkins.Conversations with a wide array of public health experts, local health officials, and disease modelers suggested the reasons for the split were still very much out of focus. But hypotheses ranged from subtle differences in pandemic restrictions to the perception of New York as being more inclined toward aggressive enforcement, deterring non-compliance and would-be spreaders from traveling there.‘Worse Than New York’: How Coronavirus Exploded in South Carolina“Up until this week the restrictions on indoor gatherings were way too high” in New Jersey, said Dr. David Rubin, the director of PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which has modeled the pandemic in collaboration with the White House Coronavirus Task Force. “That was really problematic, particularly with people gathering on the Jersey Shore, which also has a long coastline and is a big vacation destination.”Of course, New Jersey’s cases and test positivity rates were nowhere near as concerning as those in hot zones like Texas or Florida. And New York is still finding more COVID-19-positive people on any given day than its neighbor, thanks to its much larger population. But the trendlines in Jersey have concerned state authorities, and last Friday, Murphy squarely placed the blame for new cases on residents not following the rules.“Everyone who walks around refusing to wear a mask, or who hosts an indoor house party, or who overstuffs a boat, is directly contributing to these increases,” Murphy told reporters. “This has to stop.”It didn’t.Just one day later, about 300 bikini-clad and maskless guests spilled out of a massive pool party in Alpine, New Jersey, when police showed up to break up the crowd, NBC New York reported. The party was advertised on social media and by DJs as “The Lavish Experience Pool Party,” and the unidentified host told local reporters that “it got out of control.”Promoters had posted about the party, and party buses pulled up outside. “It’s been happening all summer,” one neighbor told The New York Post. “The owner of the house doesn’t care, the mayor doesn’t care. There’s cursing, loud music, drugs.”Alpine Mayor Paul Tomasko, for what it’s worth, told the local NBC station that such parties were under investigation by local police, state officials, and the county prosecutor’s office.A few weeks earlier, a “BikiniPalooza” event was held at the same mansion, with some neighbors calling it “a night club.” It received the same promotional treatment, according to posts on Instagram.Murphy has said the event involved “close congregation and not a lot of face covering, if any.”In the aftermath, the governor announced on Monday that he would reduce the limit on indoor gatherings to 25 percent capacity, capped at 25 people total. Until this week, it had been capped at 100. By contrast, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order on COVID-19 has for some time prohibited crowds of non-essential workers over 50 people indoors. The rate of transmission in New Jersey jumped from 0.87 a month ago to 1.48 on Monday, Murphy said, meaning that people were spreading the virus more readily.“This is no time for complacency, for selfishness, or for thinking that someone else can wear a mask but not you,” Murphy tweeted on Wednesday. “Do your part.”Carrie Nawrocki, executive director at the Hudson Regional Health Commission, which oversees a population of about 675,000 and includes Jersey City, said her area has seen “extensive delays with testing turnaround time,” making it “difficult to get an accurate picture of the daily cases we have.”Nawrocki said that there has not been a significant increase in case numbers among the 18-29 age group, but that she doesn’t “think that’s necessarily the age group that’s going to get tested as often, especially if they are not adhering to social distancing.”“We have enough contact tracers and disease investigators for every new case that comes in, so we are reaching out to everyone and we haven’t identified one specific reason why people are getting COVID,” said Nawrocki. “My guess would be that they have to do with travel.”That being said, NJ.com reported that state officials warned in recent weeks that the 18-29 age group was the fastest-growing in the state to test positive for COVID-19, and Murphy has certainly pointed the finger at large indoor parties hosted by younger people. Dozens of new cases have been traced to house parties in towns like Westfield and Middletown.Still, the same recklessness—yelling, cheering, drinking and singing without masks—has been reported in New York City. On bistro patios, on crowded boats, and in the middle of crowded streets.“We’re drinking to everyone’s health,” a 31-year-old consultant who was drinking a beer with running buddies at a sports bar told Bloomberg News last month. “We could’ve stopped the virus a long time ago if they gave us clear directions. Now, they want to blame it on us.”Last weekend, officials in New York City broke up an alleged sex party of about 30 people in Midtown on Friday and then, a day later, busted a party boat filled with 170 revelers. Authorities arrested the owners of the ship, the Liberty Belle, for allegedly violating the state's ban on large crowds and for running a bar without a license.On Sunday, the New York State Liquor Authority issued violations for 24 city establishments that violated social distancing guidelines, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. The state has also reportedly opened an investigation into a July 25 outdoor charity concert in the Hamptons that was attended by more than 2,000 people. As of this weekend, the total number of pandemic-related charges in the state had hit 503, according to ABC News.“It’s disrespectful,” Cuomo said Monday. “It’s illegal. It violates public health. It violates public decency. What if one of the people on that cruise gets sick and dies?”Rubin posited that the main difference between both states could be a matter of enforcement. Or, just as important when it comes to deterrence in the context of disease containment, the perception of enforcement.“My impression of Gov. Cuomo is that kind of tough stance with anyone who might try to defy the rules,” said Rubin. At the very least, the two states’ travel advisory websites show a tonal difference on that score. That matters because, according to Dr. Brittany Kmush, an assistant professor at Syracuse University and expert on epidemiology and infectious diseases, “the biggest risk in both states is importation from higher risk areas.”“The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected,” according to the New Jersey public health department website’s travel advisory page. The New York health department meanwhile, “expects all travelers to comply and protect public health by adhering to the quarantine.’ But, significantly, it also stipulates that it reserves “the right to issue a mandatory quarantine order” on any given individual, for which a violation is subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 or imprisonment up to 15 days, according to the state’s website. New York City also made a show of announcing checkpoints to enforce a quarantine on out-of-state travelers this week.“If people don’t believe there’s any penalty, they’re just going to defy orders,” said Rubin. “These are very important differences.”“Even though both states have the same travel restrictions, the perception of the consequences differ by the states,” Kmush added.New Jersey has made its own show of enforcement, too—or, at least, it did in the past.N.J. Gym Owners Drop F-Bombs in Off the Rails CNN InterviewFrom April through June, State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan released regular round-ups of enforcement actions against violators of Murphy's executive orders. Just in the first weekend, they reported that officers had issued more than 200 summonses in Newark alone, each carrying a sentence of up to six months and a fine as large as $1,000. Local police also famously busted a party of 30 people at a house in the town of Rumson and arrested the homeowner and an allegedly unruly guest. Cops cuffed a Toms River man after crashing another party of 20 at his abode. Authorities in West Windsor took a 16-year-old year into custody who they accused of hacking on a 52-year-old in a Wegmans supermarket. And 13 people were charged with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency in as many incidents in just the first half the month, after they reportedly coughed or spit on police and claimed to be carrying the virus. The round-ups went from daily to weekly in May, to ending entirely after June 5 as the state moved forward with reopening.Asked for comment, Murphy’s office deferred to Grewal’s team, who did not provide a response by press time. The New Jersey Department of Health did not respond to a request for comment for this story.“I got the sense that New Jersey was not enforcing things as strongly as New York is, where Cuomo has cracked down on bars and is wielding more penalties than other governors are, and that’s keeping people in line,” said Rubin. For guidelines and restrictions in other states, what will matter in case counts, he said, is: “Are these just empty threats? Or is there just more teeth to them?”In any case, Rubin said, “Our models are seeing sea levels rise everywhere around New York, but we don’t know exactly why New York has been insulated from the resurgences we’re seeing in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.” Or, as Kmush put it: “I really don’t think we’ll know the answer to this for years.”—With additional reporting by William BreddermanRead 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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 04:36:14 -0400
  • Robber snatches California man's life savings in front of bank

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    Francisco Cornejo walking to his car after making a hefty withdrawal from his account. He was carrying 200-thousand dollars when a robber attacked him and ripped away Conejo's bag of money. The thief escaped with the money and has yet to be arrested.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 14:23:43 -0400
  • Fort Hood commander's transfer on hold amid investigations

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    Army leaders have delayed the planned transfer of the Fort Hood commander, as a team of independent investigators heads to the base to determine whether leadership failures contributed to the murder of a soldier earlier this year, and several other deaths. Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, commander of Fort Hood, Texas, was slated to go to Fort Bliss, which is near El Paso, and take over leadership of the 1st Armored Division. Command of a division is a key step in an Army officer's career.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 17:37:49 -0400
  • Truck drivers have seen their pay slashed during the pandemic — and they're pushing Congress to halt 2 taxes for relief

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    Truck drivers are calling on Congress to suspend two popular taxes in the industry following months of uncertain work conditions.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 16:48:13 -0400
  • Christiane Lemieux and Anthropologie Team Up for the Launch of Her Newest Collection

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    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 14:06:15 -0400
  • Woman confronting vandals covered in paint during renewed Portland protests

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    Protesters in Portland allegedly threw white paint over a woman, as demonstrators clashed with police for a third consecutive day.On Friday, following two days of protests marred by vandalism, more than 200 people clashed with police, as two other Black Lives Matter protests marched peacefully through the city.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 17:21:23 -0400
  • Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf: Federal officers in Portland 'are not the Gestapo, storm troopers or thugs'

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    Oregon officials say the federal government's presence in the city fueled violence, and civil liberties experts raised concerns.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 15:08:58 -0400
  • Trump Makes Same Gaffe as Biden in Least Self-Aware Twitter Attack

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    President Donald Trump really thought he had Joe Biden with this one.“After yesterday’s statement, Sleepy Joe Biden is no longer worthy of the Black Vote!” the president tweeted on Friday morning. He left out any context, assuming that his biggest fans would be fully aware of the most recent Biden gaffe that has already become the top story on Fox News. During a livestreamed interview with both the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists, former Vice President Biden had the following to say in response to a question about U.S. relations with Cuba.“Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things,” he said. “You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration than you do in Arizona. So it’s a very diverse community.”“How dare you lump a race of people together in the same category and tell them what they think or what they should think!” Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade declared—unironically—of Biden’s comments on Friday morning before Trump’s tweet. “To me, there’s very few things more insulting.”Biden was broadly criticized for making such a sweeping generalization about the “African-American community,” but unlike Trump, he soon issued a sincere apology.“I made some comments about diversity in the African-American and Latino communities that I want to clarify,” Biden said. “In no way did I mean to suggest the African-American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.”And yet Trump is so unaware of his own racist tendencies that—after retweeting a couple of Black conservatives who were embracing NotableException as the new Deplorable—he made the exact same gaffe in his tweet.Evidently Trump thinks he can win “the Black Vote” as a monolith because Biden is treating them like a monolith. But at least his habit of randomly capitalizing words on Twitter finally paid off. Fox’s Chris Wallace: Trump Only Wants More Debates Because He’s LosingRead 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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:14:26 -0400
  • After the FBI raided Jake Paul's mansion, speculation was rampant about his associate 'Armani' Izadi, who is an accused pimp and was also searched by the feds

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    In addition to Jake Paul's Calabasas home, FBI agents also searched the Las Vegas mansion of his associate, 'Armani' Izadi, an accused pimp.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:12:52 -0400
  • As legal battle over school reopening proceeds, DeSantis stresses importance of sports

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    Flanked by coaches, athletes and politicians, Gov. Ron DeSantis Thursday used sports to emphasize his support of school reopenings.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 13:33:12 -0400
  • Beirut bride filmed during blast says one thing entered her mind: 'Now you are going to die'

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    In the aftermath of Tuesday's massive explosion in Beirut, which left at least 145 people dead, dozens missing, and an estimated 300,000 homeless, video showing a woman posing in her wedding gown and then falling to the ground because of the blast went viral.Her name is Dr. Israa Seblani, and she was taking photos in the Saifi neighborhood, less than a mile from the explosion site. Seblani was joined by the groom, Ahmad Sbeih, who was thrown into the air and landed about six feet away. "One thing came into my mind: Now you are going to die." Seblani told The New York Times on Thursday.Seblani said there was shattered glass everywhere, as people stumbled around, covered in blood. "It just took a second from hearing the explosion to being hit by it," Seblani said. "The beautiful place that I was in, it turned into a ghost town."Seblani and Sbeih made their way home, and had to quickly decide whether to go through with their wedding ceremony. They chose to do so, in front of relatives who gathered at their house. "There are families who lost their children, children who lost their parents, so how can we be happy?" Seblani said. "All we can say is thank God for everything."She is finishing her residency at a Detroit hospital, and has been waiting for years to get Seblani a visa so he can join her in the United States. Lebanon is going through an economic crisis on top of the coronavirus pandemic, and Seblani told the Times she wants to go back to the U.S., but worries about leaving Sbeih in Beirut. "Life in Lebanon is getting complicated, more and more," she said. "But we need to be together. We've been apart for three years, and that's enough." More stories from theweek.com Trump's latest fundraising attempt is reportedly a Facebook scam against his own supporters Biden campaign reportedly making 'ruthless cuts' to convention speaking list Gates Foundation donates $150 million to push coronavirus vaccine doses below $3

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 20:03:00 -0400
  • Democrats are playing 'political chicken' during coronavirus pandemic: Charlie Hurt

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    Fox News contributor Charlie Hurt reacts to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, lashing out at PBS' Judy Woodruff during an interview where she suggested the anchor was a GOP advocate. He later talks about the New York Attorney General suing to dissolve the NRA and how the negotiations are going in Congress over additional stimulus for unemployed Americans.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 17:47:19 -0400
  • Georgia DA who charged officers faces tough primary runoff

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    Against the backdrop of protests over racial injustice and police brutality and with allegations of misconduct emboldening challengers, the top prosecutor in Georgia’s most populous county is fighting to keep his job. After two decades of running unopposed, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard placed second in the June Democratic primary and faces a tough runoff election Tuesday. The extended primary contest has unfolded as Atlanta rocked with protests sparked by the killing of an African American, George Floyd, by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:30:56 -0400
  • Germany floats a new NATO spending yardstick: 10 percent

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    Officials are pushing for a new yardstick to measure Berlin's contributions to NATO, suggesting the country could shoulder 10 percent of alliance requirements.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 13:39:49 -0400
  • New York is moving homeless people into luxury hotels to protect them against coronavirus and wealthy neighbourhoods aren't happy

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    New York was in the midst of a record homelessness crisis even before the coronavirus hit. Some 60,000 people were filling municipal shelters across the city every night. Nearly a third of that number was living in dorm-style facilities for single adults, sharing bathrooms, dining areas and sleeping facilities.“When Covid struck, we recognised very quickly this was a recipe for disaster,” said Jacqueline Simone, of Coalition for the Homeless, a New York charity. The problem was only going to get worse, they warned, as the economic crisis caused by the pandemic deepened.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 16:29:00 -0400
  • Decades after they last saw each other, homecoming king and queen reunited by chance on a dating app

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    They were married on the 50-yard-line at Montclair State University's football stadium — where they were crowned homecoming royalty in 1992.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:00:33 -0400
  • CIA analysts reportedly told the White House there's 'no evidence' the Chinese government has accessed TikTok data

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    Despite the report, President Trump still issued an executive order prohibiting US firms from doing business with TikTok's parent company ByteDance.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 18:27:27 -0400
  • Putin’s Got Big Problems in Russia’s Provinces

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    MOSCOW—The city of Khabarovsk, a sprawling, industrial metropolis about 5,000 miles east of the capital—the Bolsheviks turned it into a hub for serving Siberian prison camps, in the middle of nowhere by design—is about as far from the seat of Russian power as geographically possible. But it’s suddenly at the center of Russian politics these days. For the past three weeks, thousands of people have come out daily in Khabarovsk to protest the country’s top-down rule, what President Vladimir Putin once called his “vertical of power. “Wake up, cities, our Motherland is in trouble,” protesters chanted in the rain one Friday evening. Banners that read, “Putin, you lost my trust!” and “Down with the Tsar!” floated above people’s heads.Despite the Kremlin’s best efforts to hide them, problems have been bubbling up in Russia’s provinces, transforming local issues into the most dynamic arena for dissent, protest, and opposition in the country’s political system and fueling Russia’s version of post-lockdown unrest.   The arrest of Khabarovsk’s popular regional governor sparked the anti-Putin uprising that has drawn up to 60,000 people into the streets in this usually sleepy backwater. The arrested governor was a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, which had for years been loyal to Putin. Yet even the party’s leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, told The Daily Beast that the provincial protests could spread, as people are fed up with the lies and media manipulation in the Putin system. “This is a genuine, wonderful, peaceful protest, but federal television channels do not cover them, and that offends people,” he said.Millions of Russians are still watching the Far East rallies online. People are outraged by unemployment, corruption, pollution, and failing government. “For as long as we have a one-party system, you will have the Khabarovsk protests,” Zhirinovsky recently declared from the tribune of the State Duma. “I have suggested to them a long time ago to have at least two parties, but they want to have the majority,” Zhirinovsky told The Daily Beast about Putin’s United Russia party. Putin continues the tradition of single-party system that began under Lenin, Zhirinovsky said.Two thousand miles away from Khabarovsk sits another provincial city, Norilsk, with its giant factory that is the source of a fifth of the world’s nickel and half of the precious metal palladium. Norilsk is the world’s northernmost city and also Russia’s most polluted; visitors stepping off a plane are greeted by air that leaves an unforgettable metallic taste in the mouth. But even by Norilsk’s own abysmal standards, this summer was a horrific one for the environment: Its factory, Norilsk Nickel, spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of red-hued diesel fuel into what locals now call “rivers of blood.” The rain smells of chemicals. The diesel fuel spill was caused by the collapse of a rust-covered storage tank at a heat and power plant on May 29. Local bureaucrats and the factory kept quiet about the disaster for two days as the red, oily rivers spread pollutants through the fragile tundra environment in what Greenpeace would later call the “biggest environmental catastrophe in the history of Russia’s Arctic.” Authorities initially tried to hide the disaster, in the same way state television channels have attempted to ignore the protests in Khabarovsk. Russians only learned of the spill from social media. Six weeks later, with still no word of any official reprimand for the spill, the factory dumped another round of toxic waste—this time, intentionally—right onto the tundra.Two reporters from the independent paper Novaya Gazeta, Yelena Kostyuchenko and Yuri Kozyrev, had traveled to Norilsk after the spill to see the pollution with their own eyes. The reporters discovered a stream with orange bubbles and a lake covered in white foam, surrounded by dead trees. But it had nothing to do with the diesel spill. “Two large pipes were pumping and dumping white toxic waste with a sharp chemical smell onto the tundra when we arrived,” Kostyuchenko told The Daily Beast. Novaya Gazeta’s report raised the alarm with local prosecutors and police, so the factory sent a bulldozer to quickly dismantle the pipes. Then, the bulldozer accidentally crushed a police car while backing up. Environmentalists witnessed a wild scene: A huge number of Norilsk Nickel’s security services were demolishing their factory’s pipes in front of police and officials from the emergency ministry and Russia’s natural resources regulatory agency, Rospotrebnadzor.Meanwhile, some Russian politicians started to call for the Kremlin to take control of the factory—owned by the country’s richest oligarch, Vladimir Potanin—and nationalize it. Potanin, a former member of the Communist Party, obtained the Norilsk factory on the cheap during the privatization of the 1990s. Since then, he’s seemed untouchable. After all, according to Kremlin-watcher Mikhail Zygar, the billionaire has always paid up for problems at the factory in the only currency that counts: loyalty to the Russian president. “People like Potanin are happy to pay for all [Putin’s] projects, for anything he ever wants,” said Zygar, author of All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin. Soviet and post-Soviet bureaucrats have a long history of attempting to hide the truth about disasters from the public, no matter how deadly—most famously after the 1986 nuclear accident in Chernobyl. Last year, an experimental missile exploded in the Arctic, releasing radioactivity into the air, and the official reaction was silence. So, too, in the first days after the fuel spill. Officials were even reluctant to break the bad news to Putin himself. “One has to earn the right to report bad news to Vladimir Vladimirovich,” said Sergei Markov, a political analyst close to the Kremlin. “It must have taken a few days before the decision-makers on various steps of power figured out who would be the one to break the news.”On the fifth day after the fuel spill, four people lined up shoulder to shoulder to report the truth about the accident to Putin in an online meeting: the oligarch Potanin; Svetlana Radionova, the head of Rospotrebnadzor; Yevgeny Zinichev, the minister of emergency situations; and Viktor Uss, the Krasnoyarsk regional governor.Zinichev told the president that “the event itself, the emergency situation, was localized on June 1. We have installed booms, so there is no development.” Radionova, in contrast, talked about “unprecedented” pollution. “We registered an increase by dozens of thousands of times,” after the diesel fuel spilled into the rivers, she told Putin.Potanin was the last to speak. He promised to dip into his wealth and pay for the damage. The accident would cost “not a ruble from the state budget.” Putin wanted to know how much, exactly, the company was going to pay. The billionaire paused.Putin pressed Potanin on how much money he was willing to pay to compensate for the damage. “Billions and billions” of rubles, or tens of millions of dollars, the oligarch finally told the president. “And how much does one reserve tank cost that you are going to replace now? If you replaced it on time, there would not have been such damage and such cost to the environment,” the president replied.According to Forbes Real Time, which gauges wealth, in the weeks after the accident Potanin’s net worth dropped by more than $3.6 billion, but he is currently worth $23 billion, which still allows him the title of Russia’s richest man. The World Wide Fund for Nature has addressed an open letter to Potanin, calling him personally to “take the full responsibility” for polluting the Arctic.  But money for the clean-up aside, Potanin is unlikely to face real repercussions for the spill. Earlier this summer Putin’s inspector,  Radionova, flew to Norilsk to calculate fines for the factory—but, according to Transparency International, she flew there on Potanin’s own Bombardier Challenger private jet, instead of taking a regular flight. Radionova has also been accused of corruption by the foundation of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which revealed documents for luxurious real estate in Moscow and Nice that suggest Radionova is the owner. “Such wealth cannot be explained. It is so outrageous,” Navalny said in his report on YouTube, viewed by more than 3 million people. Meanwhile, experts warn that Russia is ill-equipped to prevent another environmental disaster. After the diesel spill, a member of the board of directors at Norilsk Nickel, Yevgeny Shvarts, admitted on a television talk show that the storage tank that had collapsed was the newest piece of equipment at his company. “This is terrifying: One of Russia’s richest companies considers a tank made in 1985 their newest piece of equipment. That means things are much worse than we thought,” the show’s host, Vladimir Slivyak, told to The Daily Beast. He expressed concern that many other Russian factories are also storing diesel fuel in even older tanks: “Such accidents might take place any time.” 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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 04:37:22 -0400
  • Should Judge Sullivan Be Disqualified from Flynn Case? An Appeals Court Is Asking

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    Maybe Judge Luttig was right all along.I had the misgivings you’d expect back in late May, when I disagreed with J. Michael Luttig, the stellar scholar and former federal appeals court judge, regarding how the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals should handle the Flynn case.At the time, that court’s three-judge panel had not yet heard oral argument on Michael Flynn’s mandamus petition — i.e., Flynn’s request that the panel find that federal district judge Emmet Sullivan was acting lawlessly. Sullivan had not only failed to grant the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn; he had appointed a former federal judge (the overtly anti-Trump John Gleeson) to posit the argument abandoned by DOJ — to wit, that Flynn should proceed to sentencing because he had pled guilty to a false-statements charge, waiving his right to contest the case any further in exchange for the government’s agreement not to file any other charges. Basically, Flynn was asking the appellate court to order Judge Sullivan to dismiss the case.In a Washington Post op-ed, Luttig contended that “there are ample grounds in the actions the district court has already taken for the appeals court to order that the government’s motion to dismiss be heard by a different judge, and it should so order.”It is interesting to revisit this assessment in light of an order issued by the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday. The Circuit directed that the participants in the dispute over Judge Sullivan’s actions, including Judge Sullivan himself, must address the question of whether Sullivan should either recuse himself or be disqualified by the Circuit. Arguments in the case this will be heard this coming Tuesday, August 11, in a rare en banc review by the full Circuit (i.e., all active judges who have not taken senior status, minus one who has recused himself, so it will be a ten-judge panel).Let’s back up for a moment.Back in May, I disagreed with Luttig because I thought the more important issue was prejudice to Flynn, not the harm Sullivan’s apparent bias was causing to the court’s integrity. At the time, the D.C. Circuit had given Sullivan ten days to respond to Flynn’s mandamus petition. I argued that, rather than reassigning the case to another judge, the Circuit should give Sullivan a chance to explain himself. If he was unable to do that to the Circuit’s satisfaction, I posited that the Circuit should then order him to dismiss the case.After Luttig and I, among other commentators, weighed in on what the appellate court should do, a three-judge panel heard argument. The panel granted Flynn’s mandamus petition and ordered Sullivan to dismiss the case. The 2–1 majority reasoned that, with possible exceptions that do not apply in Flynn’s case, the Justice Department’s discretion to end a prosecution is unreviewable. A dissenting opinion countered that mandamus, which is an extraordinary remedy disfavored by courts absent truly egregious judicial lawlessness, was premature — i.e., that Sullivan should be permitted to conduct a hearing and, if he decided not to grant dismissal, Flynn could then appeal. That would be the normal route to appellate review in a criminal case.After the panel ruled for Flynn, Judge Sullivan asked the Circuit to rehear the case en banc. Sullivan’s petition was remarkable because he is not a party in the case. The only parties in a criminal prosecution are the government and the accused. The judge is the arbiter, not a litigant. The court is not supposed to have a stake in the outcome. It is unseemly for a judge to act as if he has become invested in the outcome of a case the way a party is. It strongly suggests a loss of judicial perspective.Nevertheless, the D.C. Circuit granted Judge Sullivan’s petition. It vacated the panel’s ruling and agreed to full-court review.At first blush, this seemed like doom for Flynn. After all, the full court skews heavily Democratic: seven of the ten judges who will hear the case were appointed by Democratic presidents. There are only four Republican appointees, and as noted above, one (appointed by President Trump) has recused himself. In modern times, there are enough blatantly politicized judicial decisions that people can be forgiven for assuming that partisanship always trumps law. Indeed, in the three-judge panel decision, the two majority judges who ruled in Flynn’s favor were Republican appointees, while the dissenter was a Democratic appointee.Nevertheless, the mandamus litigation in Flynn’s case is not a brute political matter. Anyone who listened to the oral argument could tell how reluctant the judges seemed about issuing a mandamus writ against Judge Sullivan, even if they were convinced that he was wrong on the law. Furthermore, the main Circuit precedent, United States v. Fokker Services B.V. (2016), which clearly indicates that the Justice Department’s dismissal motion should be granted, was written by Chief Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan. He is often touted as a potential Supreme Court nominee in a future Democratic administration. For him, then, the case is a Catch-22: Walking away from his own reasoning in Fokker would be a bad look, while ruling in Flynn’s favor would be very unpopular among Democrats. In addition, we should note that any of the Circuit’s judges could have asked for en banc review by the full court. None did. The case is being heard because Sullivan himself pressed the issue.The complications presented by the mandamus dispute were evident in the Circuit’s initial order scheduling the rehearing en banc, which added an intriguing directive: “The parties should be prepared to address whether there are ‘no other adequate means to attain the relief’ desired” (quoting from the Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in Cheney v. U.S. District Court). I interpret this somewhat cryptic assertion to indicate that, while the Circuit judges have agreed to reconsider the panel’s ruling because courts are generally hostile to mandamus, that hardly means the judges approve of the circus that Sullivan has made of the Flynn proceedings.The judges seemed to be signaling that they know the case should be dismissed, but they’d prefer not to slam a longtime district judge if there is some way to avoid doing so. Perhaps they could deny the writ, but couch the denial in a way that reminded Judge Sullivan that a court must neither take over the prosecutor’s role nor probe the executive’s decision-making in a matter that the Constitution commits to executive discretion.That is what makes Wednesday’s subsequent order regarding the en banc proceeding so interesting. The Circuit instructs counsel for Flynn, the Justice Department, and Judge Sullivan to consider the effect of Congress’s disqualification statute (Section 455 of Title 28, U.S. Code). Specifically, the participants in the mandamus dispute are told to address the law’s mandate that a judge be disqualified “in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” particularly if the judge “is a party to the proceeding.”Manifestly, at least some of the Circuit’s judges (I’d wager most of them) are disturbed by the degree to which Judge Sullivan has exhibited bias and become invested in Flynn’s case. This is exactly the problem on which Judge Luttig focused back in May.It could thus turn out that Luttig presciently homed in no the dispositive issue. I believe, though, that it’s more a matter of new developments breaking, perhaps inevitably, in favor of disqualification. At the time Luttig wrote his op-ed, I still think it would have been premature for an appeals court to jump in and disqualify Judge Sullivan. The parties were not pushing for Sullivan to be removed, just that he be directed to grant the dismissal motion. And even in making his disqualification argument, Luttig conveyed some hesitation. He said the Circuit panel should grant the mandamus but in a more limited way than Flynn was suggesting: Have Judge Sullivan pick a different adviser (someone other than the explicitly biased Gleeson), then promptly rule on the motion to dismiss, explaining his reasoning in full so the appellate court could review it.That is not consistent with Luttig’s other suggestion of having the case reassigned to another judge. But it was right: As things stood back in May, Sullivan should have been given an opportunity to do the right thing. Most of us were hoping he’d correct himself, rather than need to be corrected by a higher court.Plus, let’s put personalities aside, as well as the understandable distaste judges have for mandamus (which essentially asks them to dress down a colleague). A federal appeals court also has very practical reasons for discouraging mandamus. The regular appellate process calls for a criminal case to be appealed only at the end of the lower court proceeding. At that point, the trial or plea is over, sentence has been imposed, the judgment has been entered, and the appeals court can deal with all the claims of error at once, with finality. Courts do not want to encourage litigants to start viewing mandamus as a way to appeal to the higher court in the middle of the lower court proceedings, any time a party claims a judge has made an error. Chaos would reign and cases would never end.That said, things have significantly changed in the nearly three months since we analysts first opined on the mandamus dispute.For one thing, Judge Sullivan retained his own counsel to argue the case on his behalf before the panel, as if he were a party. Then, when the panel’s decision did not go the way he wanted it to go, he took the highly unusual step of seeking en banc review. As the Justice Department pointed out, Sullivan did not have standing to seek reconsideration; he is not a party and did not comply with the rules government officials are supposed to follow before seeking a rehearing.More to the point, by seeking full-court reconsideration of the mandamus matter when both the Justice Department and Flynn are seeking dismissal of the case, Sullivan is both causing prejudice to the defendant and stoking suspicion about the executive branch’s motives. How, then, could Sullivan continue to be considered a fair and impartial judge, fit to rule on the Justice Department’s dismissal motion?That question may signal something about the wisdom of the D.C. Circuit judges that I previously failed to appreciate. The Justice Department’s contention that Sullivan lacks standing seemed compelling to me. I was surprised when the Circuit appeared to ignore it in granting Sullivan’s request for full-court review; I thought they’d deny it and let the panel’s ruling stand. But it is possible that the Circuit saw this as a graceful off-ramp? When none of the Circuit’s judges asked for full-court reconsideration, that signaled to Sullivan that if he wanted it, he would have to ask for it himself. The Circuit judges probably calculated that if the irascible Sullivan made a formal application for rehearing en banc, it would be manifest that he had transformed himself into a party in the Flynn case. Then the Circuit could use the disqualification rule to nudge him aside for the sake of maintaining the judiciary’s reputation for objectivity. That would avoid all the downsides of issuing a mandamus writ while gently reminding lower court judges that they are supposed to remain umpires in these contests, not become one of the players.To sum up, whatever one may have thought about the gravity of Sullivan’s irregular behavior back in May, he has now clearly crossed the Rubicon. It is incumbent on him to recuse himself. If he can’t bring himself to do that — a failure that would further demonstrate a lack of judicial detachment — the D.C. Circuit should disqualify him. Either way, the case should be reassigned to a new judge, who should promptly grant the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss.I’ll conclude with a verity that seems sadly lost on Judge Sullivan: Granting the Justice Department’s dismissal motion would not be a judicial endorsement of the motion, much less a court ruling that Flynn is not guilty. Judge Sullivan is absolutely entitled to believe the Justice Department is wrong to dismiss the case, and that Flynn is as guilty as the day is long. What a judge is not entitled to do, however, is substitute his view for the prosecutor’s on the question of whether a prosecution should continue. In our system, separation of powers principles make that the Justice Department’s call.

    Sat, 08 Aug 2020 06:30:59 -0400
  • How Nicola Sturgeon has secretly massaged Scotland’s coronavirus record

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    Nicola Sturgeon spent much of July telling anyone who would listen that the prevalence of coronavirus in England was “five times” higher than in Scotland. The figure was deployed to justify her refusal to rule out effectively closing the border by imposing quarantine on travellers from England, and her highly controversial move to set her a Scotland-only policy on air bridges, which airports warned put livelihoods at risk. The day after she first made the claim, masked nationalists in hazmat suits descended on the border near Berwick-upon-Tweed, shouting abuse at English “plague carriers”.

    Sat, 08 Aug 2020 06:48:11 -0400
  • Facebook bars pro-Trump PAC from advertising, citing repeated false posts

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    Facebook Inc is temporarily banning a Republican political action committee, the Committee to Defend the President, from advertising after it repeatedly shared content that was deemed false by external fact-checkers, the social media company said on Thursday. "As a result of the Committee to Defend the President's repeated sharing of content determined by third-party fact-checkers to be false, they will not be permitted to advertise for a period of time on our platform," Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said in a statement. Politicians' ads and posts are not subject to Facebook fact-checking, a policy that has drawn heat from lawmakers, but content from political groups like PACs can be fact-checked.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 17:10:28 -0400
  • George Floyd: US protesters charged as 'gang' face life sentence

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    Black Lives Matter protesters in Utah were accused of acting as a gang to vandalise a building.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 10:57:27 -0400
  • AP Exclusive: Woman is 1st in US to get 2nd face transplant

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    Carmen Blandin Tarleton, whose face was disfigured in an attack by her ex-husband, became the first American and only the second person globally to undergo the procedure after her first transplant began to fail six years after the operation. The transplant from an anonymous donor took place at Boston's Brigham and Women’s Hospital in July. The 52-year-old former nurse is expected to resume her normal routine, which all but ended when the first transplant failed a year ago.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 09:33:10 -0400
  • Mississippi: More than 100 children and teachers in quarantine due to coronavirus outbreak two weeks after schools reopened

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    More than 100 people in a Mississippi school district have been instructed to self-isolate, due to an outbreak of coronavirus less than two weeks after they reopened.At least 116 people in Corinth, a city in Mississippi, have been told to quarantine for two weeks, after six students and one staff member tested positive for Covid-19 over the past week.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:46:22 -0400
  • Partisan divide among Americans who believe 'it is safe now' to reopen persists as COVID-19 cases rise, survey finds

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    Republicans and Democrats remain divided on when business and activities should reopen.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 14:54:21 -0400
  • US slaps sanctions on Hong Kong leader in new offensive on China

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    The United States slapped sanctions Friday on Hong Kong's leader after effectively forcing Chinese internet giants TikTok and WeChat to end all US operations, in a twin diplomatic-commercial offensive set to grow ahead of US elections. In the toughest US action on Hong Kong since Beijing imposed a security clampdown on the territory, the Treasury Department said it was freezing US assets of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other senior officials.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:17:17 -0400
  • CNN’s Poppy Harlow Confronts Larry Kudlow With All the Times He’s Been Wrong About the Coronavirus

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    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to predictions. And CNN anchor Poppy Harlow was more than ready with the receipts when he came on her show to talk about the coronavirus fallout Friday morning. Harlow began her interview by asking Kudlow if he and President Donald Trump are “worried” about the slowdown in the recovery. “I don’t know that there’s a slowdown. These job numbers will go up and down,” Kudlow replied. When Harlow noted that only 1.8 million jobs were added in July compared to 4.8 million in June, he said, “That is true, and it's going to be uneven as it always is.” Kudlow continued to push the administration’s argument that a $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit has been a “disincentive” for Americans to go back to work. And when Harlow asked for evidence, he pointed to a University of Chicago study that supposedly supports that claim. “But, Larry, the University of Chicago survey, it doesn’t conclude what you’re arguing,” Harlow said. “I know you don’t want to incentivize people to go to work when it’s a dangerous situation for them to go because the virus is not under control,” she added, noting that she talked to the author of that study who said “it’s a mistake to draw the conclusion as you have been and the White House has been that right now it’s a disincentive to go back to work.” All Kudlow could say in response was, “We can argue one academic versus another, I think history shows this is probably not sustainable in the long term.” > Asked to explain why he's been wrong about the coronavirus at every turn -- he said the virus was "contained" in February, for instance -- Kudlow takes umbrage with Poppy Harlow for "nitpicking" pic.twitter.com/bNvNP8Qj4r> > -- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 7, 2020But the most contentious moment of the interview came later when Harlow confronted Kudlow for his rhetoric over the past several months about the pandemic itself. “I’m wondering why you have consistently downplayed the severity of the pandemic,” she said. “Back on February 25th you said ‘it’s pretty close to airtight.’ February 28th, ‘It’s not going to sink the American economy,’ March 6th, ‘Let’s not overreact, America should stay at work.’ And just on June 12th, ‘There is no emergency, there is no second wave,’ but since June 12th, 45,978 Americans have died from COVID.”Kudlow attempted to defend his consistent downplaying of the virus’ severity but after a few moments he just resorted to attacking his interviewer. “I kind of resent your little nitpicking here because I don’t know what that has to do with today’s job numbers,” he said.“I’m not nitpicking, Larry,” Harlow replied. “I think people listen to you and the president when you say things about the pandemic.” Ultimately, he may have been chastened enough to acknowledge his own fallibility when it comes to predicting the future. “I think, again, the health guidelines that we have put out are in fact working, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed, maybe prayerfully, that we’ve seen the worst of this extension so we’ll see what happens.” “We all are, Larry,” Harlow said. CNN’s Brianna Keilar Comes at Trump Campaign’s Mercedes Schlapp for Falsely Smearing Her Military HusbandRead 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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:49:40 -0400
  • There are more problems with onions. Another brand pulls products at Walmart and Kroger

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    A nationwide onion recall has grown to include products from Taylor Farms Texas, a Dallas company that is voluntarily recalling products containing onions from its supplier. An onion recall was initiated by Thomson International last week.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:41:56 -0400
  • Former Saudi official accuses Mohammad bin Salman of 'sending hit squad' to kill him

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    A former senior Saudi intelligence official has claimed that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman sent a hit squad to Canada in an attempt to kill him. In a 107-page complaint, filed in a Washington DC court, Saad Aljabri claimed the assassins were intercepted by Canadian authorities. The incident was alleged to have happened less than two weeks after Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, was killed in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Mr Aljabri, who was living in self-imposed exile in Toronto, was said to have clashed with the crown prince over issues including the decision to go to war in Yemen, and was dismissed from his cabinet role in 2015. He is suing the crown prince and 24 others for an unset amount of damages In his complaint Mr Aljabri claimed the crown prince "dispatched a hit squad" to Canada in October 2018. The complaint said: "(A) team of Saudi nationals travelled across the Atlantic Ocean from Saudi Arabia ... with the intention of killing Dr Saad."

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 17:24:32 -0400
  • Italian valley evacuated as cathedral-sized glacier slips

    Golocal247.com news

    A melting glacier as large as a cathedral is at risk of breaking apart due to a heatwave, forcing the evacuation of part of an Italian alpine valley. A heatwave has created a layer of water under the glacier, which is made up of about 500 cubic metres of ice - roughly the size of the Milan cathedral - making it more prone to a break. "There is an enormous block of ice resting on the rock and the danger is that it could detach in an instant," glacier expert Fabrizio Troilo told the Corriere della Sera newspaper's website.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 07:25:59 -0400
  • Exclusive: Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott Calls for Release of Black Death Row Inmate Julius Jones

    Golocal247.com news

    'Current events are shining a much-needed light on deep-seated prejudices and systemic mistreatment of black people,' Prescott writes

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:55:03 -0400
  • Kasich and Sanders to join forces for a night of unity at Democratic convention

    Golocal247.com news

    The roster for the event is taking shape, with a few notable additions — and omissions.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 04:30:17 -0400
  • Chris Wallace: Biden, Trump both made ‘troubling’ comments towards Black community

    Golocal247.com news

    ‘Fox News Sunday’ anchor Chris Wallace weighs in on Biden facing backlash over diversity comment on ‘America’s Newsroom.'

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 10:43:45 -0400
  • Mexico Cabinet member on thin ice after leaked comments

    Golocal247.com news

    A leaked recording apparently showing Mexico's environment minister criticizing the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has again revealed internal turmoil as the president tries to confront dual health and economic crises. López Obrador said Thursday that he had not spoken with Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Victor Manuel Toledo since the recording emerged a day earlier. Speaking from the northwestern city of Ciudad Obregon, he said Toledo had not presented his resignation, but said high Cabinet turnover isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:35:31 -0400
  • Pompeo Warned Russia About Bounties to Taliban for Killing U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

    Golocal247.com news

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly warned Russia's foreign minister last month about alleged bounty payments that Russia offered Taliban militants to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan.Pompeo warned Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov against placing bounties on the heads of American soldiers during a July 13 phone call, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified U.S. officials. The phone call was officially about a separate topic, the possibility of meeting between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, two of which are the U.S. and Russia along with China, France, and Britain.The secretary of state expressed Washington's intense opposition to the bounty program but spoke in terms of payouts and red lines and did not speak about the specific intelligence indicating that Russia paid Taliban fighters and other Afghanistan militants to kill U.S. service members.Reports broke in June that U.S. intelligence found that at least one American soldier, as well as a number of Afghan civilians, died as a result of the secret bounty payments.Intelligence about the alleged bounty offerings by Russia was reportedly included in the president’s daily written intelligence briefing in February, but the White House claims Trump was not verbally briefed on the matter until the New York Times’s June 26 report on the issue. The Times reported that some bounties as high as $100,000 were paid for each U.S. or allied troop killed. The Washington Post said in a similar report that several American service-members died as a result of monetary rewards that a Russian military intelligence unit offered to terrorist militants to target U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.Last month, President Trump said he has never discussed the intelligence with Russian President Vladimir Putin despite several phone calls between the two heads of state since the intelligence was made known.“That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly that’s an issue that many people said was fake news,” Trump said during an interview with “Axios on HBO.”

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:28:50 -0400
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