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  • Sanders and Bloomberg exchange blows as Democratic race heats up news

    The gloves continue to come off in the race for the Democratic nomination, with Bernie Sanders attacking the billionaire former New York City mayor’s record on race, and Bloomberg taking a swipe at the Vermont senator and his fervent supporters.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 10:35:10 -0500
  • Tennessee flooding: 'Unprecedented' floods make homes slide into river news

    Authorities managing dams in Tennessee and Mississippi must make difficult decisions as floodwaters swell along the states’ rivers; the surging water pressing against the dams has to be released at some point, and when it does, it often spells disaster for individuals living downstream from the dams.Case in point: two large homes slid into the flood-swelled waters of the Tennessee River over the weekend.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:18:08 -0500
  • Airlines, officials trace path of couple diagnosed with coronavirus that flew from Hawaii news

    Delta and Hawaiian AIrlines are working with the CDC to trace the path of a couple who were diagnosed with coronavirus after returning from Hawaii.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 13:50:53 -0500
  • Cuba burning tires to power factory as US oil sanctions bite news

    The Cuban government has ordered a cement factory to burn old tires to power its operations and save on oil, amid a worsening fuel shortage brought on by US sanctions on the Communist island. On orders of President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the firm Cementos Cienfuegos, located in the center of the country, will receive an increasing supply of used tires to burn, the official daily Granma said Monday. Cuba has been suffering oil shortages since last September, when the administration of President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on ships carrying petroleum to the island from its main fuel supplier Venezuela.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:10:14 -0500
  • U.S. flies 338 Americans home from cruise ship, including 14 with coronavirus news

    The Diamond Princess cruise ship held by far the largest cluster of cases outside China, with more than 400 people infected out of some 3,700 on board. The coronavirus outbreak has killed 1,770 people in China and five elsewhere, with Chinese officials reporting another 2,048 cases on Monday, raising the total to 70,548. Washington previously flew hundreds of Americans from China to military bases in the United States, and then arranged to bring back the 338 cruise ship passengers once their 14-day quarantines on board had expired.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 04:31:16 -0500
  • Eccentric millionaire Durst faces trial in friend's killing news

    There is almost no physical evidence connecting New York real estate heir Robert Durst to the slaying of his best friend in Los Angeles 20 years ago. The slip of paper intended to lead authorities to her lifeless body in December 2000 was penned by Durst. Durst himself has said more than once that only the killer or someone involved in the shooting could have written it.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:00:17 -0500
  • Hitler's Submarines Almost Launched A Missile Attack On America news

    In March, the Allies intercepted a message from German Admiral Godt dispatching seven Type IX long-range submarines to “attack targets in American coastal zone” as part of an attack group awesomely codenamed Seewolf.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0500
  • New Mexico woman who was pregnant with third child still missing three years later news

    Elizabeth Brooks Hernandez, 29, was last seen by her boyfriend, Miguel Martinez, who told police he dropped her off at a welfare office in Albuquerque, New Mexico on November 16, 2017. Police suspect foul play, but no arrests have been made. The Albuquerque Police Department is investigating.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:20:00 -0500
  • Boy Scouts of America files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, proposes abuse victim fund news

    The Boy Scouts of America announced early Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying its goals are twofold: "Equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come." BSA noted that local scouting councils are legally separate, distinct, and financially independent from the national organization," and will not be directly affected by the bankruptcy reorganization.As part of the bankruptcy process, BSA said, it proposes to "create a Victims Compensation Trust that would provide equitable compensation to victims" of sexual and other abuse by scout leaders and volunteers. "The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in scouting," BSA President and CEO Roger Mosby said in a statement. "We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children." BSA created a new site, BSA Restructuring, to answer questions and link to resources for abuse victims."The BSA firmly believes that a proposed Victims Compensation Trust structure is the best means of compensating victims in a way that is equitable and protects their identities," the organization said, adding that it "encourages victims to come forward to file a claim as the bankruptcy process moves forward and will provide clear and comprehensive notices about how to do so."More stories from Cab driver intervenes and saves passenger from falling for a $25,000 scam The real potential of the electric vehicle revolution Why Bloomberg would be the cynical choice for Democrats

    Tue, 18 Feb 2020 01:26:00 -0500
  • Inside the Family's Manhattan Apartment

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    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 08:00:00 -0500
  • Buttigieg: I won't 'take lectures on family values' from Rush Limbaugh news

    Pete Buttigieg had a simple response on Sunday when asked about talk show host Rush Limbaugh's questioning whether Americans are ready to back a gay candidate for president.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 10:59:56 -0500
  • Gunmen kill 24 and injure 18 in attack on Burkina Faso church news

    Gunmen killed 24 people, including a pastor, in an attack on a church during Sunday Mass in northwestern Burkina Faso, four security sources told Reuters on Monday.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 17:42:57 -0500
  • Former mayoral candidate drugged woman with cupcake to steal newborn, officials say news

    Juliette Parker, 38, was arrested Friday on suspicion of attempted kidnapping and assault, per the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:50:28 -0500
  • China legal activist who called on Xi to 'give way' arrested- activists

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    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 06:20:17 -0500
  • German far right arrests reveal 'shocking' mosque attack plot news

    Members of a German extreme right group arrested last week were believed to have been plotting "shocking" large-scale attacks on mosques similar to the ones carried out in New Zealand last year, a government spokesman said Monday. Officials said that investigations into 12 men detained in police raids across Germany Friday had indicated they planned major attacks, following media reports over the weekend the group aimed to launch several simultaneous mass-casualty assaults on Muslims during prayers. "It's shocking what has been revealed here, that there are cells here that appear to have become radicalised in such a short space of time," interior ministry spokesman Bjoern Gruenewaelder told reporters at a Berlin press conference.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 06:57:56 -0500
  • US embassy in Baghdad attacked with rockets news

    Rockets have dropped near the US embassy in Iraq and a military base hosting American troops, according to officials.There have been no causalities reported following the strikes, which fell amid heightened tensions in the Middle East.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 13:29:13 -0500
  • Warren: Sanders 'has a lot of questions to answer' about supporters' attacks news

    "That is not how we build an inclusive Democratic Party. ... We do not build on a foundation of hate," Warren says after threats were made to a union that criticized Sanders' health care plan.

    Tue, 18 Feb 2020 01:26:00 -0500
  • North Korea vs. South Korea: Who Wins a War Straight-Up? news

    Quality vs. quantity?

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 15:00:00 -0500
  • Russian intelligence agents reportedly went to Ireland to inspect undersea cables, and it's reigniting fears they could cut them and take entire countries offline news

    The agents could be gathering intelligence on deep-sea cables and spying on tech companies based in Dublin, security sources told The Sunday Times.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 07:49:27 -0500
  • Federal judges association holding emergency meeting over DOJ interference in Stone case news

    The Federal Judges Association will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss concerns members have over President Trump and top Justice Department officials intervening in the case of longtime Trump friend and adviser Roger Stone.The association has more than 1,000 members, and says it supports a "fair, impartial, and independent judiciary." The group's president, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, told USA Today that members decided they "could not wait" until the organization's spring conference to address the matter. "There are plenty of issues that we are concerned about," added Rufe, a George W. Bush appointee. "We'll talk all of this through."Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering, and last week, Trump complained about federal prosecutors recommending Stone receive a sentence of seven to nine years. Attorney General William Barr and other DOJ leaders quickly reversed course on the recommendation, which resulted in the four Stone prosecutors quitting the case. On Friday, it was reported that Barr has also appointed an outside prosecutor to review the criminal case of Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, but has since backtracked, claiming he was coerced.Since an open letter was released on Sunday night, more than 2,000 former Justice Department officials have signed on, calling on Barr to resign. The letter says it is "unheard of for the department's top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the president, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case."More stories from Cab driver intervenes and saves passenger from falling for a $25,000 scam The real potential of the electric vehicle revolution Why Bloomberg would be the cynical choice for Democrats

    Tue, 18 Feb 2020 00:47:00 -0500
  • Venezuela suspends airline after Guaidó's flight home news

    Venezuelan authorities suspended a Portuguese airline on Monday days after it carried opposition leader Juan Guaidó and his uncle home from an international tour aimed at ousting President Nicolás Maduro. Guaidó's flight to Caracas on TAP Air Portugal ended his three-week tour through Europe and into the Trump White House. Venezuelan authorities arrested Guaidó's uncle upon landing, accusing him of trying to bring a small amount of explosives into the nation.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 13:43:55 -0500
  • American woman, 83, tests positive for coronavirus after disembarking Holland America ship news

    An 83-year-old American who disembarked from Holland America's MS Westerdam in Cambodia has tested positive for coronavirus in Malaysia.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 11:35:32 -0500
  • Mississippi floods appear to hit peak with parts of Jackson under water news

    The Pearl River rose to its third-highest point in recorded history after heavy rains last week filled the Ross Barnett Reservoir to capacity, forcing managers on Saturday to begin releasing water into the river just upstream from Jackson. The floods submerged streets in low-lying areas, prompting 16 search-and-rescue operations to pluck stranded people from their homes, Governor Tate Reeves said. Reeves declared a state of emergency on Saturday, one day after the city of Jackson issued a seven-day mandatory evacuation order for low-lying areas.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:32:51 -0500
  • Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban news

    Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons failed on Monday after some of his fellow Democrats balked at the proposal.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 11:51:36 -0500
  • Rwandan dissident singer found dead in custody: police news

    Kizito Mihigo, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide whose songs angered the government of strongman President Paul Kagame, was found dead in a police cell in the capital Kigali around 5am (0200 GMT). Mihigo, who was sentenced to 10 years' jail in 2015 for conspiracy against the government but later released on pardon, was captured trying to cross the border in Rwanda's south. Police spokesperson John Bosco Kabera said he was visited by family members and his lawyer during his detention.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 06:43:28 -0500
  • Man who left puppy to drown in cage sentenced to 1 year for animal cruelty news

    The 36-year-old New Jersey man left the puppy in a cage along the rising tide of Sandy Hook Bay after a fight with his ex-girlfriend.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 10:57:00 -0500
  • Coronavirus Proves One Thing: China's Rise Is Built on Quicksand news

    We may not build hospitals in 10 days with forced labor, but we are better able to create conditions where we don’t have to.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 12:34:25 -0500
  • Ocasio-Cortez faces 13 challengers – but can anyone unseat her? news

    Eight Republicans and five Democrats are vying to take on AOC – but many voters in the district are voicing support for the congresswomanDemocratic leftist superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has risen to national – and even global – fame from an unlikely position as a young first-time congresswoman from New York.But now she faces 13 different challengers, including from within her own party as well as Republicans, as she prepares for her first congressional re-election campaign. News of the multiple bids to unseat AOC, however, came as a surprise to many voters on the streets of her district in the Bronx last week.Some voters still had not heard of the progressive superstar. Others said they would weigh the merits of her rivals as the contests heat up over the summer. But most voiced support, arguing that almost two years since Ocasio-Cortez threw a grenade at the Democratic establishment by ousting incumbent Joe Crowley, her progressive agenda – touting universal healthcare and a Green New Deal – was only now taking hold in the nation’s political capital.“Give her a chance! We knew who she was when we sent her, that she’d make a noise, and making a noise was why we sent her,” said local businessman Abdul Abbas.“She’s done good things for the Bronx,” concurred Carol Heraldo. “I like how she presents herself as woman, that she’s firm, that she took what she believed and made it real. We don’t see a lot of young people accomplish a lot because they’re afraid – and she’s not afraid.”> We knew who she was when we sent her, that she’d make a noise, and making a noise was why we sent her> > Abdul AbbasThat’s not how all see it. The first-term congresswoman is facing eight Republican and five Democratic candidates aiming to unseat her. Some appear symbolic, with little fundraising potential or appetite for collecting the necessary 4,000 signatures to get on the ballot.At her first campaign rally on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez said she hoped to multiply turnout by four, reaching 60,000 votes in the primary election. She declined to be drawn on the challengers that have lined up to contest her seat.“I think everyone has a right [to run]. I of course won my seat with a primary,” she told the New York Post. “I would never begrudge anyone trying to run in a primary.”Ocasio-Cortez’s Republican challengers certainly seem to have their work cut out for them. In 2018 she steamedrolled the Republican candidate by a margin of 78%.With about $3.4m in her campaigns re-election coffers in a solidly Democratic district, Ocasio-Cortez’s Republican challengers probably plan on merely damaging her or securing a bigger national media profile by taking on such a famed opponent.John Cummings, a former police officer, raised $425,000 in 10 weeks after announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination on Fox & Friends. Jamaican immigrant Scherie Murray gave her first interview to Fox News’s Sean Hannity and raised a similar amount.But having led a campaign to prevent Amazon from establishing a headquarters in neighboring Long Island City, and established herself as a leading member of “the Squad”, the self-described group of progressive congresswomen that includes Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ocasio-Cortez is a political target.In a district that hasn’t voted Republican in half a century, the Republican candidates are tackling a candidate who has become a lightning rod for rightwing anger nationally.“Anything that indicates AOC is vulnerable would be godsend to people who don’t like her or are upset about the Amazon loss of 27,000 jobs in New York,” said veteran Democratic party strategist Hank Sheinkopf, warning: “Politics are unstable across the nation. Things are happening that we haven’t seen or thought about before.”Strategically speaking, a challenge to one of the most influential voices on the American left also could affect candidates in other, more marginal races. Within New York City, more than three dozen candidates promoting progressive, generational change are taking on congressional incumbents.In her own district, enthusiasm among supporters for Ocasio-Cortez is unwavering. The Working Families party “knows Ocasio-Cortez will beat any challengers who might arise because she’s fighting tirelessly for her district and her agenda speaks to the people of Queens and the Bronx”, the group said in a statement to the Guardian.But the Ocasio-Cortez campaign also knows that opposition to her remains deep within the Democratic party establishment. Open warfare broke out in July when the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, took aim at her and her close colleagues in the Squad. “All these people have is their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi said. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”In a tweeted response, Ocasio-Cortez said: “That public ‘whatever’ is called public sentiment. And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country.”The progressive-moderate split could be clearly discerned, too, in the battle last year over the election of a new Queens district attorney when Tiffany Cabán, an Ocasio-Cortez-backed candidate running on a platform to reduce record levels of incarceration, initially declared victory with a margin of 1,100 votes.But establishment-backed candidate Melinda Katz demanded a recount and ultimately pulled ahead by 55 votes after a series of court challenges over voter eligibility.Ocasio-Cortez’s most coherent Democratic challenger to date is former longtime CNBC correspondent and anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera. Caruso-Cabrera, who published a book in 2011 called You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government, is a skeptic of big government and a proponent of free markets.Caruso-Cabrera is a relatively recent Democratic party member who registered her candidacy last week, appear to be preparing a more serious challenge as she seeks to take on Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic primary.“Caruso-Cabrero is as wild a card as AOC was two years ago,” said Sheinkopf. “Caruso-Cabrero is likely to lead a spirited challenge and could be very competitive.”She certainly fancies her chances.“I am the daughter and granddaughter of working-class Italian and Cuban immigrants,” Caruso-Cabrera said in a statement. “I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful career and I want everybody to have the opportunity that I’ve had. That’s why I’m running.”Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign declined to comment on the challenge. But people close to the campaign said Caruso-Cabrera could be AOC’s most potent opponent at least from the Democratic side, even though she represents a radically different vision of the party.“It’ll be interesting if she decides to hide her libertarian-conservative ideology,” one source said. “Certain conservatives are upset that AOC beat Crowley and over Amazon so there maybe certain Koch-type figures who have had some role in recruiting her. I don’t think [Caruso-Cabrera] is going to get young Democrats from around the country to work for her, but you could see young conservative activists in the district because they all spend so much time condemning her politics or lusting after her.”However, candidates on both sides will be looking to raise money from outside the relatively poor, racially diverse district. Ocasio-Cortez’s fame has long transcended the borders of her hardscrabble patch of the Bronx.“AOC can raise an awful lot of money throughout the country from all sorts of people, but within the district there’s not an awful lot of money to raise,” said Sheinkopf.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 04:00:01 -0500
  • Tesla was ordered to stop work on its $4 billion Berlin Gigafactory over environmental concerns news

    In November 2019 Tesla announced plans for a new Gigafactory near Berlin, but has been met with fierce opposition from local environmentalists.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 06:35:09 -0500
  • William Barr: More than 1,000 former justice officials demand attorney general step down over Roger Stone controversy news

    Contending his "unheard of" move regarding Roger Stone, Donald Trump's convicted friend, over 1,000 former Justice Department employees called for Attorney General William Barr to resign because his actions resemble those of "autocracies."The group of former Justice officials were referring to Mr Barr stepping in to overrule prosecutors who decided to suggest a federal judge hand Mr Stone a nine-year sentence for lying to Congress and obstructing a federal investigation. That came after Mr Trump tweeted that such a sentence would represent a "miscarriage of justice," a rare move by a sitting president to even appear to weigh in on an internal DOJ sentencing debate.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 09:49:41 -0500
  • Police allegedly held a black student at gunpoint. Now the governor wants an investigation news

    The governor of Illinois on Thursday urged police to investigate the alleged wrongful arrest of Jaylan Butler, a black college student swimmer.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 19:13:13 -0500
  • Pakistan to consider importing insecticides from India to fight locusts news

    Pakistan is likely to import insecticides from arch-rival India to brace itself for any locust attacks this summer, bypassing a ban on trade between the neighbouring nations. A copy of Cabinet agenda for a Tuesday meeting seen by Reuters has the import option on it. Pakistan severed all diplomatic and trade ties with New Delhi in August after India revoked the special status of Kashmir, a disputed territory between the two rivals, who have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan region.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 07:57:53 -0500
  • Software glitches force Dominican Republic to suspend vote

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    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 13:50:25 -0500
  • Cameroon army blames accident for village 'massacre' news

    Yaoundé (AFP) - Cameroon's army on Monday denied opposition charges that it had massacred villagers in a troubled English-speaking region, blaming instead an "unfortunate accident" caused by an explosion of fuel during a firefight. Up to 22 civilians, 14 of them children, died in the incident on Friday, according to the United Nations -- deaths which opposition parties blamed on members of the armed forces. Five civilians -- a woman and four children -- died, and "seven terrorists" were "neutralised", Atonfack told AFP in Libreville by phone.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 16:04:03 -0500
  • Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy news

    The venerable non-profit is following the lead of the scandal-wracked Roman Catholic Church.

    Tue, 18 Feb 2020 01:04:04 -0500
  • Watch Russia Test A New Weapon That Can Kill Missiles news

    We've got the video.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 05:00:00 -0500
  • Virginia lawmakers say no to assault weapons ban news

    Virginia lawmakers handed a victory to gun-rights activists Monday, killing a key part of Gov. Ralph Northam's (D) gun-control agenda. The State Senate Judiciary Committee rejected the bill, which would have banned the sale of assault-style weapons and possession of high-capacity magazines, and handed the legislation over to the Virginia Crime Commission to be studied, saying "there were too many questions about the definition of assault weapon," The Washington Post reports.Surprisingly, four of Northam's fellow Democrats sided with Republicans on the decision. As The Associated Press reports, "Virginia is the current epicenter of the country's heated debate over guns," especially as Democrats last year flipped the General Assembly blue for the first time in more than 20 years. Northam campaigned hard for increased gun control, and this bill was one of eight in a package he rolled out after a shooter killed 12 people in Virginia Beach last year.Still, opposition to the proposed assault weapon ban has been fierce, with gun-rights activists numbering in the tens of thousands protesting at the state Capitol last month and "Second Amendment sanctuaries" popping up all over the state."Moderate Democrats in the state Senate have said for weeks they are uncomfortable passing legislation that would affect so many current gun owners," AP reports. Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D) called the Democrats who sided with Republicans on the bill a "bunch of wimps." Northam's spokeswoman, Alena Yarmosky, said "We will be back next year."More stories from Cab driver intervenes and saves passenger from falling for a $25,000 scam The real potential of the electric vehicle revolution Why Bloomberg would be the cynical choice for Democrats

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 11:49:00 -0500
  • Milepost: The Paul Manafort sentence – justice served? news

    On Thursday the former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced to 47 months in prison on charges of bank fraud, tax fraud, and failure to report foreign assets

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 21:57:04 -0500
  • As Trump Gives Up on ‘Endless Wars,' Russia, China, and Iran Move In news

    JERUSALEM–Two decades of expanding operations against what United States Special Operations Command called a “global insurgency of state and non-state actors” has led to fatigue at home and questions abroad about U.S. strategy. Trump, Afghanistan, and ‘The Tweet of Damocles’The latest Trump administration deal with the Taliban, challenges to the U.S. role in Syria and Iraq, and a potential reduction of forces in Africa point to a global trend in how the U.S. will deal with counter-insurgency in the future. What we’re looking at is a global drawdown in U.S. forces committed to counter-terrorist operations at the same time President Donald Trump is demanding other countries, including NATO allies, do more. The idea is for the U.S. to focus on using technology, such as drones, while local forces do the fighting on the ground.This long-term shift has long-term consequences that mean countries such as Iran, China and Russia, which the U.S. sees as adversaries, will have a larger footprint in places where the U.S. is reducing its role. Outsourcing counter-terrorism to these countries may not have been the plan, but it is likely one outcome.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a tour of Africa on Feb. 16 in Senegal where the Flintlock 2020 exercise is underway with neighboring Mauritania. Some 1,600 soldiers from 30 African states and western allies are participating in the annual drill from February 17-28. The U.S. says it is the year’s “premier special operations” exercise that strengthens security across a swath of countries through what’s called the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership. The concept, pushed in 2018 via an act of Congress, was to improve the capabilities of countries to fight terror.But the picture is bleaker than past U.S. statements have indicated. Funding to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars to fight terror spread across Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Nigeria and a dozen states from Senegal to Somalia hasn’t reduced terror and has resulted in Washington’s decision to reconsider what comes next. The U.S. pulled forces out of Libya in 2019 and three Americans were killed in an attack on a base in Kenya by Somalia’s Al-Shabab in January.The Other Attack on Americans That Has U.S. Forces Unnerved: KenyaAlthough Pompeo says that “we’ll get it right” in terms of U.S. commitment to a swath of African states, reports indicate the U.S. is reducing the footprint on the ground. Washington has “downgraded” efforts against extremists, the New York Times reported in mid-February. France, which sent hundreds more troops to the Sahel region recently, has warned this is a bad idea. The overall numbers could mean cutting in half the U.S. presence of 5,000 troops in a dozen locations.Changes in Africa strategy are only the tip of the iceberg of a much larger policy shift. On the one hand the U.S. National Defense Strategy wants to move away from counter-insurgency to competing against large states like Iran, China and Russia. The Pentagon believes that “inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security.” Since U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) expanded from 47,000 in 2007 to 80,000 today, it might be argued that the U.S. has reached peak strength in fighting terror and now can move on successfully. The problem is that from Afghanistan to the Philippines to Niger there has not been a major success.In Afghanistan, where the U.S. has been fighting the Taliban for almost 20 years, some sort of peace deal is in the works. President Donald Trump has sought to end such “endless wars,” and Democrats running to replace him also want to end this one. In Iraq and Syria the U.S. appears to be reducing its role as well. Trump twice announced a withdrawal from Syria only to relent and keep troops to protect “oil” while slowly walking away from America’s anti-ISIS partners in the Syrian Democratic Forces.Plans to use bases in neighboring Iraq to “watch Iran” have not panned out and the U.S. finds itself pressured to leave most of Iraq after tensions with Iran boiled over in January following U.S. decision to blow away near Baghdad airport Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.Meanwhile, rocket fire has targeted U.S. bases and forces near the U.S. embassy almost every week since October 2019.The long-term result in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and across Africa can be seen symbolically in what is already happening in the Philippines. For two decades Washington and Manila worked closely against extremist groups. Now Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wants to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement amid increasingly friendly relations with China.For a more isolationist-inclined American public that may not matter, but it does mean China and other countries will aid the Philippines in the fight against Islamist insurgents. That has implications across Asia and the Pacific. In Africa, Russian President Vladimir Putin has set his eyes on a larger role that includes priority access to vital mineral resources. He held a summit in October with African diplomats. Russia’s Wagner group and other contractors play an increasing role in Sudan, the Central African Republic, Libya and Mozambique.In each place where the U.S. seeks a smaller footprint there will be a competition to fill the vacuum.France will try to fill it in Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso, the G5 countries it works with in the Sahel. But in many cases there won’t be NATO powers that share U.S. values doing the heavy lifting. Instead it will be Russia, Iran, China, Turkey, and even Saudi Arabia or India playing a bigger role. That means counter-insurgency that looks more like Riyadh’s campaign in Yemen, Russia’s in Syria and Chechnya, China’s in Xinjiang, Turkey’s in Afrin, or India’s in Kashmir. While that may fit the bill of a Trump administration that wants to spend less American treasure abroad and wants others to do more of the work, in the long term it means a fundamental change in the international role of the United States. It also means that in an attempt to shift resources to confronting major states, the U.S. will provide a vacuum for some of those states—China, Russia and Iran—to play a greater role in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.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.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 13:08:06 -0500
  • Mississippi and Tennessee Have Been Deluged With Near-Record Levels of Flooding. Here's What to Know news

    During a Monday press conference, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said that the Pearl River crested at 36.7 feet just above the major flood level which is 36 feet.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 16:59:16 -0500
  • U.N. says Libya arms embargo a 'joke', demands accountability news

    An arms embargo aimed at curbing fighting in Libya has become meaningless because of violations and it is imperative that those who breach it are held to account, a senior U.N. official said on Sunday. "The arms embargo has become a joke, we all really need to step up here," U.N. Deputy Special Representative to Libya Stephanie Williams said after a meeting of foreign ministers to follow up on a Berlin summit last month that agreed to uphold the embargo. "It's complicated because there are violations by land, sea and air, but it needs to be monitored and there needs to be accountability," Williams told a news conference, adding that Libya was now awash with advanced weapons.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 06:15:29 -0500
  • Mom plays hero as otter attacks dog, bites girl in Florida home: 'Anything to save my kid' news

    An otter intrusion led to a dramatic scene at a Florida home. “There was blood on the floor, the otter was hissing, and my daughter was screaming."

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 11:17:19 -0500
  • India women facing sedition charges over school play get bail news

    Two women held for two weeks by Indian police on sedition charges over a school play which allegedly criticised a contentious citizenship law have been granted bail, officials said Sunday. Teacher Fareeda Begum, 50, and parent Nazbunnisa, 36, were arrested on January 30 for helping the children stage the play at Shaheen Public School in Karnataka state. The play depicted a worried family talking about how they feared the government would ask millions of Muslims to prove their nationality or be expelled from India.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 06:22:26 -0500
  • Indiana professor is suspended for calling police on student who wouldn't switch seats news

    "This decision is in the best interest of Dr. Borna and the University," Ball State University said in a statement.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 16:46:00 -0500
  • Trump's Nightmare Is Here: Is ISIS Making a Comeback? news

    Don't believe the hype just yet, says this one expert.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 07:57:00 -0500
  • Stacey Abrams Says She’s Open to Joining Dem Ticket as Veep after Dismissing Idea of Running for ‘Second Place’ news

    Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia who called out alleged voter suppression during her election, said Monday that she "would be honored" to be the vice presidential candidate on the 2020 Democratic ticket."It would be doing a disservice to every woman of color, every woman of ambition, every child who wants to think beyond their known space for me to say no or to pretend, 'Oh, no, I don't want it,'" Abrams said on ABC's "The View." "Of course I want it. Of course I want to serve America. Of course I want to be a patriot and do this work."Abrams shot to notoriety in 2018 when she ran in Georgia to become the country’s first black female governor. She lost the election by 1.4 percentage points to her Republican opponent, Georgia’s secretary of state at the time, Brian Kemp, who enforced one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country while he was running against Abrams. Abrams has refused to concede the election ever since, alleging that Kemp engaged in voter suppression.Abrams's openness to accepting a vice presidential nomination comes after she signaled last year she would only run as a presidential candidate.“You don’t run for second place,” she said in a previous appearance on “The View” in March.No 2020 Democratic candidate has asked the former Georgia House of Representatives minority leader to join them on the presidential ticket yet, Abrams revealed before saying she would be honored to serve as vice president.“However, because that conversation started, I’m now getting the question a lot from folks, and the answer is of course I would be honored to run for vice president with the nominee and — It’s a bit disconcerting because it seems really obnoxious for me to say that out loud since no one’s asked me.”Abrams refused to endorse a particular candidate, saying her "job right now is to fix our democracy" by continuing her fight against voter suppression."My best service is to be in that neutral space where it's not about who the nominee is - it's about making sure no matter who the nominee is, any person who wants to go and vote, can vote," she said, citing Fair Fight Action, her national campaign against voter suppression, which worked to expand voting access.Abrams has floated running for president at some point herself in recent months, and last month predicted the country will elect her head of the executive branch in the next 20 years.“That’s my plan, and I’m very pragmatic,” Abrams said."I want to do good, and there is no stronger platform than president of the United States. And that's a position I want to one day hold," Abrams said.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:13:27 -0500
  • 'Parasite' shines light on South Korean basement dwellers news

    Kim Da-hye, a 29-year-old South Korean, said that moving into a semi-basement apartment was her least-preferred option when she was looking for a new place to live. South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning film "Parasite" has brought banjiha dwellers like Kim to worldwide attention, thanks to its depiction of two families — one living in a semi-basement apartment and the other in an airy mansion — and the differences in their social status.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 20:22:11 -0500
  • Cruise passengers took Cambodia bus tours despite virus fears news

    A scramble intensified on Monday to trace passengers from a cruise liner —with more than 600 Americans aboard — allowed to disembark in Cambodia Thursday despite at least one traveler later being diagnosed with the coronavirus.

    Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:45:51 -0500
  • South Korean President Calls for ‘Extraordinary Steps’ to Combat Virus news

    (Bloomberg) -- President Moon Jae-in called for “extraordinary” steps to minimize the impact of the coronavirus on South Korea’s economy, hinting at the possibility of extra spending to support growth by a government looking to protect a fragile recovery.“An emergency situation warrants an emergency prescription,” Moon told his Cabinet on Tuesday, warning that the virus’s impact could be bigger and longer-lasting than a 2015 epidemic that killed 38 people in South Korea and hit growth. Back then, the government put together a 11.6 trillion won ($9.8 billion) extra budget and the central bank cut interest rates.Moon’s remarks ramp up the likelihood that the government may soon reveal extra spending measures, though it remains unclear if the government would match or go beyond the action it took during the crisis over the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in 2015.Still, the fact that Moon is calling so publicly for action indicates there may be something substantial in the pipeline, according to Moon Hong-cheol, an analyst at DB Financial Investment.“It does feel a bit early and elections are near, but it’s also true that the president and the ruling party can’t afford to let the economic recovery slip after last year’s slump,” the analyst said.So far, there have been no deaths in South Korea from the virus, while infections have been limited to 31 people. Still, there is increasing concern that the economic recovery will be derailed for some time if a prolonged outbreak slams supply chains and cuts shipments to China, the country’s biggest export market.Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki already said last week that the government was considering a package of measures to boost exports and domestic consumption after a meeting with BOK Governor Lee Ju-yeol. For his part, Lee tried to tamp down speculation over a possible rate cut at the BOK’s meeting next week, saying it was too early to decide whether further action was necessary.President Moon offered no specifics on measures he’s considering to protect the economy in his remarks Tuesday, but he said that “every kind of step that can be taken by the government” should be carried out.Should South Korea decide to draw up an extra budget, it could set aside as much as 15 trillion won, roughly 0.7% of its gross domestic output, DB Financial Investment’s Moon said separately in a report earlier in the day. In 2015, during the MERS crisis, extra money was used to build infrastructure and support small businesses.Any attempt to pass a sizable spending package would likely face fierce criticism from opposition parties before April’s parliamentary elections, according to economist Oh Suk-tae at SG Securities.“It’s too early to shift the entire macro policy over the virus outbreak, but we may see some micro steps to tide the economy over,” he said.(Adds economist’s comment.)To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Kim in Seoul at skim609@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott at, Jason Clenfield, Paul JacksonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 18 Feb 2020 03:10:37 -0500
  • Southeast Asia's tourist hubs court local market as coronavirus shuts Chinese out news

    Southeast Asia's holiday hotspots, hit by billions in lost business from Chinese tourists, are turning to markets closer to home to soften the blow from travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus epidemic. To make up for foregone revenues, firms in the region are dangling discounted airfares, hotel accommodation and tour add-ons in a bid to boost domestic travelers. Home to rich culture, white sand beaches, diverse marine life, lively nightlife and affordable tours, Southeast Asia is the favorite for Chinese tourists, the region's top foreign visitors.

    Tue, 18 Feb 2020 02:03:22 -0500
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