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  • Most of the coronavirus tests the U.S. does are worthless. But there's a solution that could actually work — and stop the spread.

    Golocal247.com news

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

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Biden risks alienating young Black voters after race remarks

    Golocal247.com news

    Joe Biden's controversial remarks about race this week risk alienating young Black voters who despise President Donald Trump but are not inspired by his Democratic rival. In a later interview with National Public Radio's Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Biden seemed to draw distinctions between Black and Hispanic populations in the U.S. “Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” he told the Latina reporter. Black voters as a whole delivered the Democratic nomination to Biden, powering his commanding win in the South Carolina primary, which rescued his floundering campaign.

    Sat, 08 Aug 2020 01:20:03 -0400
  • Robber snatches California man's life savings in front of bank

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Woman confronting vandals covered in paint during renewed Portland protests

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Former US soldiers sentenced to 20 years for bungled Venezuelan coup plot

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • A Sampling of Work From Mexico City’s Top Talents 

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

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:00:00 -0400
  • Bodies of 8 U.S. service members recovered after assault vehicle sank off California

    Golocal247.com news

    A total of eight Marines and a Navy sailor died after the amphibious assault vehicle they were in sank off San Clemente Island in California last week.

    Sat, 08 Aug 2020 09:53:13 -0400
  • Fact check: Sex crimes by public officials not connected to Ghislaine Maxwell

    Golocal247.com news

    Posts say sex crimes by dozens of public officials are connected to Ghislaine Maxwell, an associate of Jeffrey Epstein. But they're not.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:23:47 -0400
  • No pajamas allowed during remote classes at Illinois school district, officials say

    Golocal247.com news

    The school district says its dress code will be “flexible” during online learning.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 14:09:33 -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
  • Fort Hood commander's transfer on hold amid investigations

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • CNN’s Poppy Harlow Confronts Larry Kudlow With All the Times He’s Been Wrong About the Coronavirus

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 'Most sophisticated tunnel in history' found on Mexican border

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Kerala plane crash: 18 dead after Air India plane breaks in two at Calicut

    Golocal247.com news

    The plane had 190 people on board and was repatriating Indians stranded by the coronavirus crisis.

    Sat, 08 Aug 2020 01:18:21 -0400
  • Judge dismisses Republican lawsuit seeking to block proxy voting

    Golocal247.com news

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

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 19:00:35 -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

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • No masks required as 250,000 expected at 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Here's what to know.

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • There are more problems with onions. Another brand pulls products at Walmart and Kroger

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • The Beirut explosion was six years in the making and hit a country on its knees

    Golocal247.com news

    The disaster appears to have been caused by the very forces of negligence and perhaps corruption that had already brought the country to its knees.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:41:00 -0400
  • Should Judge Sullivan Be Disqualified from Flynn Case? An Appeals Court Is Asking

    Golocal247.com news

    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 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 on 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 is it 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
  • CIA analysts reportedly told the White House there's 'no evidence' the Chinese government has accessed TikTok data

    Golocal247.com news

    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

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Tom Steyer shares predictions for Biden's VP pick

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    Biden closes in on pick for running mate; former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer weighs in.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 23:32:58 -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
  • Linda Collins: Ex-aide confesses to murder of Arkansas state senator

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    A woman in Arkansas has been sentenced to 50 years in prison after accepting a plea deal connected to the murder of former state lawmaker.Court records show that Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, 49, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder as well as the abuse of the corpse of Arkansas state Senator Linda Collins.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:42:39 -0400
  • Mogadishu: Several killed in attack at Somali military base

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    The militant group Al-Shabab has said it was behind the explosion that rocked the capital Mogadishu.

    Sat, 08 Aug 2020 08:51:40 -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
  • Captain astonished that his ship delivered Beirut explosive

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    When Boris Prokoshev, a former sea captain spending his retirement years in a Russian village, woke up and found an email saying a ship he once commanded had carried the ammonium nitrate that blew up swathes of Beirut, he was astonished. “I didn't understand anything,” he told The Associated Press on Thursday from Verkhnee Buu, 1300 kilometers (800 miles) south of Moscow. The email was from a journalist, he said, and titled with the name of the MV Rhosus, which he had captained on a voyage that he was never paid for.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 16:38:16 -0400
  • UN set for showdown over US Iran arms embargo push

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    The UN Security Council is set next week to roundly reject a US resolution to extend an Iranian arms embargo, diplomats say, setting up a lengthy showdown with repercussions for the Iran nuclear deal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday that the United States would put forward its long-awaited resolution despite ardent opposition from Russia and China. "The resolution takes a maximalist position on Iran," one diplomat told AFP.

    Sat, 08 Aug 2020 02:22:59 -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
  • An Air India plane carrying 190 people crashed in Calicut after overshooting the runway

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    An Air India Express plane carrying 190 people crashed on Friday in Calicut, India. Sixteen people were killed, India's civil-aviation minister said.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:56:29 -0400
  • The National Rifle Association faces its worst nightmare: accountability

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    The NRA is facing lawsuits and investigations for possible financial misconduct while losing the influence it once had on American leadership.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 09:20:20 -0400
  • Trump ‘is so much anti-life,’ Kentucky Catholic bishop says in abortion discussion

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    “He is only concerned about himself,” the church leader said.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:53:38 -0400
  • Exclusive: Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott Calls for Release of Black Death Row Inmate Julius Jones

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    '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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Unknown gunman kills 2 Lebanese in Iranian capital

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    Sat, 08 Aug 2020 06:49:14 -0400
  • Gingrich: Biden embraces Chinese dictatorship

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    Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich predicts how a Biden presidency would deal with China.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:20:02 -0400
  • Mauritius facing catastrophe as oil starts leaking from a shipwreck near pristine coral reefs

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    The island nation of Mauritius is facing an environmental crisis after a huge container ship ran aground and started to leak oil into an area home to some of the finest coral reefs in the world. Efforts to pump oil out of the ship have failed, and now there are fears that the carrier could start to break up, leading to an even greater leak and causing catastrophic damage on the island’s pristine coastline. “We are in an environmental crisis situation,” said the environment minister, Kavy Ramano, The carrier MV Wakashio, which belongs to a Japanese company and flew a Panamanian-flagged, was en route from China to Brazil when it ran aground near Pointe d’Esny on the island’s southeastern coast on 25 July. The vessel’s crew have been evacuated safely and the container was not carrying a cargo load when wrecked. However, the 1,000ft vessel was carrying 90 tonnes of lubricant oil, 200 tonnes of diesel and 3,800 tonnes of bunker fuel, according to local media outlets. Now the oil is spreading out of the ship rapidly, according to Sunil Dowarkasing, Greengate Consulting, a Mauritian environmental consultancy, who was on the beach in sight of wreck. “It’s really very bad because now despite all the measures, the oil has already reached the shores of Mauritius and polluted the shorelines. You can see fish dying. The situation is out of control,” Mr Dowarkasing told The Telegraph. Mr Dowarkasing said that the wreck was near four major wildlife and maritime sanctuaries, which contained flora and fauna unique to the island. He added that there was a 100-year-old ‘brain’ coral nearby in the Blue Bay Marine Park. “Thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’ economy, food security and health,” Happy Khambule from Greenpeace Africa told The Telegraph in a statement. Mauritius, which lies some 600 miles east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, is a major tourist hotspot and tax haven for international corporations and African oligarchs. The country of 1.2m depends on its seas for food and for tourism, boasting some of the finest coral reefs in the world. The Mauritian government has asked the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion for assistance. “This is the first time that we are faced with a catastrophe of this kind and we are insufficiently equipped to handle this problem,” said fishing minister, Sudheer Maudhoo.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:56:25 -0400
  • After Elon Musk criticized Bernie Sanders' brand of socialism, Sanders took him to task for taking billions of dollars in government support

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    Elon Musk tweeted out a meme critical of Bernie Sanders in response to a bill Sanders introduced that would tax billionaires to pay for health care.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 20:56:28 -0400
  • Fox News Host Sandra Smith Grills Kellyanne Conway on Trump’s COVID ‘Misinformation’

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    On Wednesday, Facebook finally took the long overdue step of removing a piece of Trump campaign content from its platform that pushed misinformation about COVID-19. That didn’t stop Kellyanne Conway from trying to defend it Thursday morning on Fox News. The claim in question came during the president’s appearance on Fox & Friends that morning, where he falsely stated, “If you look at children, children are almost—and I would almost say definitely—but almost immune from this disease.” “Of course there is a debate happening about whether Facebook and Twitter should be arbiters of truth and decide what is fact and fiction,” Fox host Sandra Smith began, before sharing the actual facts about confirmed coronavirus cases in children. According to the CDC, she told Conway, children under the age of 18 now make up 7.4% of total cases in the United States. “So kids are getting this disease, Kellyanne,” she said. “Yes, they are and thankfully most never make it to a hospital and very few have died,” Conway replied, hastening to add, “and every death is a tragedy.” As she tried to pivot to glimmers of good news about the spread of the virus overall, Smith brought her back to the issue at hand.“I want to stick to children though,” the host said. “Because the debate right now is over the spread of misinformation by the president about children being ‘nearly immune.’” Smith cited remarks from the Republican governor of Mississippi, who has just instituted a state-wide mask mandate, as further evidence that kids are transmitting the virus in large numbers before asking, “Is it helpful for the president to tell parents that children are ‘nearly immune’ from this and then have it factually spreading from child to child in places like Mississippi where they’ve opened the doors to their schools?” Seth Meyers Brutally Mocks Trump’s Kindergarten Coronavirus Death ChartInstead of defending Trump’s claim, all Conway could do in response was try to highlight other instances when the president didn’t spread misinformation about children’s susceptibility. “So I think the president is making clear that overall the average age of those who pass away from coronavirus is still about 78,” she said, a separate fact that does not mean children are “nearly immune.” After Conway attempted yet another pivot to attack Joe Biden, Smith again brought her back to Trump and his lies about the virus. “I get that Kellyanne and that’s another conversation,” the host said. “But the point is that the president said in that interview on Fox & Friends yesterday morning said it’s going to ‘go away, like things go away’ and that is something many people are taking issue with.” She quoted the White House’s own health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said, “I do not believe that it will disappear because it’s such a highly transmissible virus.” “So is the president listening to the advice of the health experts that he has at his side?” Smith asked.“Yes he is, and they should be listening to him as well,” Conway replied ominously before accusing those experts of saying things on TV that they didn’t express in classified task force meetings.Conway had plenty to say after that about Twitter and Facebook, but she could not defend Trump’s claim that COVID-19 will magically disappear. Kellyanne Conway Loses It Over Mary Trump Book on Fox NewsRead 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 11:33:14 -0400
  • Miami men with Ukrainian political ties laundered money, DOJ says

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    The Department of Justice filed civil forfeiture complaints this week in Miami federal court accusing two Ukrainian oligarchs and their Miami-based associates of stealing money abroad and laundering it in the United States by moving it through a Ukrainian-owned bank and into Miami companies operating as “slush funds” for real estate investment.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 15:52:22 -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
  • Migrants adrift after camp at France-Italy border shut

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    Sudanese migrant Soulaimen has been sleeping on the beach in the Italian border town of Ventimiglia for 10 days now. With his only shelter a sleeping bag and pasta meals donated by a charity, the 20-year-old is getting by as best he can after a transit camp run by the Italian Red Cross was ordered to stop welcoming new arrivals and cease operations. Now, the migrants who continue to flock to this town hoping to cross into France are on their own, faced with strengthened border police and an uncertain future.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:45:16 -0400
  • How ‘success’ of a tough US policy on Iran has benefited China

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    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 16:24:46 -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
  • American Airlines employee at Phoenix airport dies from COVID-19

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    A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family of Winsome Chua, an American Airlines employee in Phoenix who died of COVID-19.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 10:10:36 -0400
  • California's Apple Fire has burned more than 28,000 acres. A 'vehicle malfunction' caused the blaze.

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    The Apple Fire is burning in California's San Bernardino National Forest. Evacuation orders for Riverside County have been lifted.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:57:00 -0400
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