|U.S. seeks U.N. action on Saudi attacks despite likely Russian opposition|
WASHINGTON/UNITED NATIONS, Sept 17 (Reuters) - A senior U.S. official on Tuesday called for a U.N. Security Council response to the attacks on Saudi oil facilities that the United States blames on Iran, but it was unclear what action he sought or whether Washington might secure Russian cooperation. "We do see a role for the U.N. Security Council to play. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not explain what he meant by "releasable information." The United States has, at times, released previously classified information to buttress its case at the Security Council.
|California Bans State-Sponsored Travel to Iowa over Refusal to Provide Medicaid Coverage for Gender-Reassignment Surgeries|
California added an eleventh state to its travel blacklist on Friday, banning state-sponsored travel to Iowa over that state's refusal to cover gender-transition surgeries under its Medicaid program.California attorney general Xavier Becerra announced the decision to add Iowa to the travel-ban list, which takes effect October 4 and means public employees and college students will not be able to travel to Iowa on the taxpayer's dime.In May, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds signed a law blocking Medicaid from paying for gender-reassignment surgeries despite the state Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in favor of charging taxpayers for the procedures. Gender identity is a protected characteristic under Iowa's Civil Rights Act."The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming healthcare," Becerra said in a statement. "California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it."California's travel blacklist stems from a 2016 law allowing the Golden State to ban state travel to other U.S. states that roll back protections for LGBT citizens. Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Kentucky are also on the list.
|US Fed signals rate cut as market odds fluctuate|
Expectations are high for the US Federal Reserve to deliver the year's second interest rate cut on Wednesday as members conclude a hotly-anticipated policy meeting in Washington. With the meeting underway, central bank officials on Tuesday also moved for the first time in a decade to prevent market fluctuations from pushing short-term interest rates beyond the Fed's control. US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has sent strong signals in recent weeks that a rate cut is coming, vowing that policymakers stand ready to "act as appropriate" amid "significant risks" to the economy -- notably President Donald Trump's trade wars.
|20 dead as truck falls off cliff in southern Philippines|
Twenty villagers were killed and 14 others were injured when the truck they were riding in lost control and fell off a cliff Tuesday in a remote mountain village in the southern Philippines, police and the Red Cross said. Provincial police chief Joel Limson said the truck was negotiating a downhill road in Tboli town in South Cotabato province when its brakes apparently failed and plummeted down a ravine, pinning 15 people to death. Police, Red Cross volunteers and villagers retrieved the 15 bodies from the wreckage at the bottom of the ravine.
|Best Bar Tools for Your Home Bar|
|The U.S. Army's Next Generation of Super Weapons Are Coming|
And Iran, North Korea, Russia and China should be very afraid.
|Saudi officials knew they were 'exposed' to drone attacks months ago but they weren't able to do anything to stop it|
Drones have been used in attacks on Saudi airports, water facilities, and oil pipelines this year. Leaders knew their country was vulnerable.
|Benjamin Netanyahu's fate uncertain after exit polls show no clear winner in Israel vote|
Exit polls in Israel's do-over election indicate no clear winner. The fate of Israel's longest-serving leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, looks uncertain.
|Couple reveal they are raising child 'gender neutral' and haven't even told close family their baby's sex|
A couple have decided to keep their baby’s sex a secret from close relatives in a bid to avoid gender bias. Hobbit Humphrey, 38, and Jake England-Johns, 35, refer to their 17-month-old child, Anoush, with the pronoun, "they", and dress them in both girls' and boys' clothing. The married couple, who are members of the climate action group, Extinction Rebellion, have been accused of “virtue signalling”. However, they are keen to let their child, Anoush, choose their own gender identity when they are old enough, because they wish for them to “grow into their own person”. Close family members have not been told the child’s sex and grandmother, Camille, only found out when she changed a nappy. The couple, who live on a houseboat in Keynsham, Somerset, discussed the ways in which they could challenge gender bias after discovering Ms Humphrey was pregnant. Mr England-Johns told the BBC’s Inside Out: “The neutral in gender neutral refers to us trying to behave neutrally towards our child rather than trying to make them neutral.” “Eventually, we decided that we wouldn’t tell people whether they were a boy or a girl … in order to create this little bubble for our baby to be who they are,” Ms Humphrey said. However their decision has sparked some controversy. Rosa Freedman, Professor of law conflict and global development at the University of Reading, said: “While this is an individual case the worry would be that in the unlikely event many parents took up this way of parenting, that the NHS, government, and service providers would not know what to plan for in the future as they would not know how many boys or girls exist.” “Parents concerned about gendered social construct would do better to fight patriarchy, homophobia and transphobia rather and try to virtue signal to their friends and communities so they can get praise.” The couple have said that the reaction to their decision has been mixed. However Mr England-Johns said: “But over a year in, it’s clear that we are serious and gradually people have got used to it. “Although, that still doesn’t stop some pretty confused looks from old ladies in the park when they come up to us and ask if they’re a boy or a girl. It can take a bit of explaining. “We are quite good now at holding space for people’s discomfort in us going, ‘Oh well, actually we don’t tell anyone, we’re not telling anyone for now.”
|UPDATE 1-Russia detains two N.Korean vessels after one opens fire - reports|
Russian border guards have detained two North Korean boats in Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan after one of them attacked a Russian patrol, local media cited the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying on Tuesday. A Russian border patrol discovered two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats fishing illegally off its far eastern coast and detained the first vessel, prompting the second one to open fire, the FSB was quoted as saying. Three Russian border guards were wounded in the incident.
|Hong Kong Protesters Battle Police, Set Fire to Key Subway Station|
(Bloomberg) -- It was just a typical weekend in Hong Kong: tear gas, water cannons, petrol bombs and few signs that protests now in their fourth month would fizzle out anytime soon.Both demonstrators and police on Sunday appeared to get more aggressive earlier on than during the previous 14 weekends of protests. Demonstrators set fire to entrances to Wan Chai subway station, while others threw petrol bombs at the central government headquarters in Admiralty. Stations including Tin Hau and Causeway Bay were also damaged.Riot police used tear gas, water cannons, blue dye and pepper spray to clear the crowds. The violent scenes disrupted traffic and prompted major shops to close, including the Sogo department store in the Causeway Bay shopping district. Separately, police broke up fights between demonstrators and white-shirted residents who used chairs and umbrellas as weapons. An opposition lawmaker was arrested. The city had largely returned to normal by Monday’s morning commute, with Wan Chai and Admiralty stations reopened.The tens of thousands of people on the streets chanting “Five Demands, Not One Less” showed that leader Carrie Lam’s move to withdraw a bill allowing extraditions to China hasn’t been enough to end the now-ubiquitous scenes of violence in Hong Kong. And they may only get more intense in the run-up to Oct. 1, when China celebrates 70 years of Communist Party rule.Police said in an early Monday statement that at about 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, some 20 “radical” protesters attacked two officers and threw various petrol bombs at them near the junction of Gloucester Road and Marsh Road in Wan Chai, seriously threatening the safety of the police officers. It said the police officers “withdrew pistols as a warning to disperse them.” Police officials said at a daily afternoon briefing Monday that the officers had shown restraint by drawing their weapons and not firing. They said they made 89 arrests between Friday and Sunday, bringing the total number of protesters arrested to 1,453 since the movement began on June 9. “The momentum for this protest activity is still going,” said Peter, a 30-year-old who joined the protests and declined to give his surname. “We are asking for five demands, not one less.”How Hong Kong’s Sky-High Home Prices Feed the Unrest: QuickTakeMore DemandsRemaining demands include an independent investigation into police’s use of force; an end to using the term “riot” to describe the protesters; an amnesty for those charged during previous demonstrations; and the ability to pick and vote on their leaders. Ted Hui, an opposition lawmaker, was arrested, NOW TV reported.The protracted political chaos is taking a toll on Hong Kong’s economy. The international airport handled 6 million passengers in August, down 12.4% from a year earlier, according to figures published by the Airport Authority on Sunday. It noted the decline was mainly due to lower visitor numbers, particularly a “significant” fall in passenger traffic to and from mainland China, Southeast Asia and Taiwan.Authorities plan to boost annual spending on public construction to more than HK$100 billion ($12.8 billion) over the next few years, up from HK$80 billion, the city’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan wrote in a blog post Sunday. Projects will include developing public housing, hospitals and new towns, he said.The Civil Human Rights Front, which organized some of the city’s biggest mass rallies earlier this summer, had canceled a plan to march through the city center after authorities upheld their ban on the gathering. Police cited violence around previous protests, saying the route was too close to “high-risk buildings,” including government offices and subway stations.Hong Kong Leaders Grow More Frustrated by Leaderless ProtestersTens of thousands of protesters came out anyway, including hundreds who gathered outside the British Consulate earlier in the day chanting “God Save the Queen” and urging the U.K. government to ensure China honors its commitments to its former colony.Police on Sunday warned those who came out in spite of the ban to stop immediately, with a series of tweets saying the gathering was illegal and saying “radical protesters” were committing “destructive acts.” The government said law enforcement officers took steps to disperse the crowds and made arrests “in a resolute manner.”It was difficult to compare total crowd sizes with previous protests, as the police don’t issue estimates for unauthorized gatherings. In one piece of good news for the government, a planned “stress test” of the airport transport network on Saturday struggled to gain traction.“It’s quite risky for us to go to the airport because it’s a separate island and the police could stop us at the bridge and not allow us to go through, or they can arrest all of us,” said Aidon, 18, who declined to give his last name. “It’s not because we lose momentum -- it’s more about tactics.”(Updates with police briefing in sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Alfred Liu, Linus Chua, Deena Shanker, Adrian Kennedy and Natalie Lung.To contact the reporters on this story: Aaron Mc Nicholas in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.org;Chloe Whiteaker in Hong Kong at email@example.com;Justin Chin in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at email@example.com, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
|French boy, 10, dies 8 years after supermarket burger poisoning|
A French boy aged 10, who fell gravely ill in 2011 after consuming a beef burger from supermarket discounter Lidl that was infected with E.coli bacteria, has died of complications stemming from his poisoning, the family's lawyer said. The boy, Nolan, died on Saturday "as a consequence of his poisoning", the family's lawyer Florence Rault told AFP on Sunday. Rault said that Nolan had not "ceased to suffer" after consuming the burger in June 2011.
|Wisconsin man accused of making THC cartridges charged|
A Wisconsin man suspected of running an illegal operation to manufacture vaping cartridges flew to California last month to get THC oil in bulk to fill thousands of cartridges to sell, prosecutors said Monday in charging documents. Authorities in Kenosha, Wisconsin, arrested 20-year-old Tyler Huffhines on Sept. 5 after parents tipped off police when they saw their teenage son with one of the cartridges. Prosecutors say Huffhines employed 10 people to fill the cartridges with THC oil at a condo he rented with a stolen identity.
|Video shows burglars kick in California family's front door, before being scared away|
Two masked-man kicked in the front door of a Pleasanton home in an attempted home-invasion -- and it was all caught on surveillance video.
|What Were the Mach 10 UFOs That Iran's Jets Encountered?|
Does the U.S. have a super-secret spy plane?
|A flight in India was delayed when a swarm of angry bees covered the cockpit window and attacked staff who tried to remove them|
Firefighters were eventually brought in to get the plane, with 135 passengers and Bangladesh's information minister on board, to take off.
|'A war zone': Propane explosion kills firefighter, injures 8 others, levels building in Maine|
A firefighter was killed and eight others were injured when a powerful propane explosion destroyed a new building Monday in Farmington, Maine.
|NYC to Allow 1.1 Million Students to Skip Class for Climate Protests|
New York City public schools will allow 1.1 million students to skip classes Friday in order to attend the planned "climate strike" ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit.The protests aim to press the Summit for immediate action to stop climate change, and are geared specifically for the participation of young people.Reactions to the decision have been ecstatic in some cases, as protest organizers contemplate what they hope will be the largest climate change protest in the history of the U.S.“This completely changes things, and it’s our doing,” Xiye Bastida, 17, a senior at Beacon High School in Manhattan, told the New York Times. Some teachers at her school were planning to accompany students to the protests even before the school district granted permission to do so.“We’re not against the school system,” she said. “We need the schools to work with us because our larger goal is to stop the fossil fuel industry.”
|Andrew Yang gets why Donald Trump won. He won't be president but he deserves attention.|
He may have the best explanation for how the Trump presidency happened: We 'automated away' 4 million manufacturing jobs in presidential swing states.
|Afghan president sees his chance after collapse of U.S.-Taliban talks|
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had no more than 20 minutes to study a draft accord between the United States and the Taliban on pulling thousands of U.S. troops out of his country, but upcoming elections could put him back at the heart of talks to end decades of war. What he read in the draft outlining the now collapsed deal left Ghani and his officials - who were shut out of the talks by the Taliban refusal to negotiate with what they considered an illegitimate "puppet" regime - badly shaken and resentful, said a senior Kabul official close to the Afghan leader. "Doesn't this look like surrender to the Taliban?" Ghani asked Zalmay Khalilzad, the veteran Afghan-born diplomat who led negotiations for Washington, at a meeting the two held immediately afterwards, according to the source who was present.
|South Korea drops Japan from 'white list' in trade row|
South Korea Wednesday officially dropped Japan from its "white list" of trusted trade partners, the latest move in a bitter row stemming from Tokyo's use of forced labour during World War II. Seoul had already warned Tokyo it would reciprocate following a similar move by Japan in late August to downgrade South Korea's trade status. Local companies shipping strategic goods to Japan would now have to submit more documents and approval would take around 15 days instead of five, Yonhap news agency reported, quoting the South Korean trade ministry.
|Judge refuses to free extremists who attacked protesters|
A federal judge on Tuesday refused to free members of a white supremacist group on bond while they appeal their convictions for attacking protesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia. U.S. District Judge Norman Moon ruled that Rise Above Movement members Benjamin Daley, Michael Miselis and Thomas Gillen haven't adequately shown that releasing them from custody wouldn't pose a danger to others. All three men pleaded guilty to riot conspiracy charges stemming from violence at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.
|Putin Loses Legendary Approval-Rating Crown to His New Neighbor|
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Vladimir Putin takes great pride in his sky-high approval rating. But with Muscovites rising up and a new government instilling hope in Ukraine, he’s being outshone by the president next door, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.It’s still early days for the administration in Kyiv. While pushing a raft of popular reforms, Zelenskiy, 41, remains in his honeymoon period, while cries he’s too close to a local billionaire grow louder.The 66-year-old Putin, meanwhile, is approaching two decades as Russia’s leader. Economic expansion has fizzled out, and along with it the spending largess that kept the masses happy.The last time his popularity sagged meaningfully, Putin famously got a boost after annexing Crimea from Ukraine and fomenting a war between the two former allies.Zelenskiy has a long way to go to match the 89% rating Putin reached back then.To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Langley in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at email@example.com, Gregory L. WhiteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
|Houthis Have an Arsenal of Ballistic and Cruise Missiles (Some from North Korea)|
Know this: The Houthis inherited from the defunct Yemeni military a large number of Soviet-exported Scuds as well as North Korean-made Scuds called “Hwasong-6s.
|Belgian F-16s scrambled to intercept 2 Russian nuclear-capable supersonic bombers over the Baltic Sea|
The Belgian Air Force intercepted two Russian Tu-160 supersonic, nuclear-capable bombers at close range in Baltic airspace.
|Triple threat: Tropical Storm Imelda swamps Texas, Humberto nears Bermuda and TD 10 forms in Atlantic|
While Hurricane Humberto nears Bermuda, there's flooding in Texas due to Tropical Storm Imelda, and Tropical Depression 10 is spinning up in the Atlantic
|Book Review: Justice Neil Gorsuch’s A Republic, If You Can Keep It|
Just over 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan nominated a former Yale law professor, then serving as a D.C. Circuit judge, to the Supreme Court. His views on the meaning of the Constitution were considered by some of the political class to be iniquitous. The nominee’s constructive criticism of the mainstream of legal analysis was its failure to show allegiance to the actual language of the Constitution. “I don’t think the Constitution is studied almost anywhere, including law schools. In law schools, what they study is what the court said about the Constitution. They study the opinions. They don’t study the Constitution itself.”Of course, the nominee was Robert Bork. His view that the Constitution had an ageless meaning was cruelly savaged by Senator Ted Kennedy. “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids,” and other shameful regressions would exist. Critics condemned Bork’s view that the words in the Constitution mean now what they meant when written in 1787. No living, breathing, mutating Constitution for Bork. At his death in 2012, some labeled him the “original originalist.”The Senate rejected Bork’s nomination, but his approach to constitutional interpretation has thrived — though by no means has it conquered. Justice Neil Gorsuch in his new book explains and vigorously promotes originalism. The significance of that form of analysis is indicated by the title he chose for his book: A Republic, If You Can Keep It. Those were the words of Benjamin Franklin in explaining what the Constitutional Convention had created. The centrality of originalism to the survival of the Republic, Gorsuch writes, arises from separation of powers. If judges abandon their constitutional role of simply interpreting (though often it is not so simple) what the political branches have done, they are assuming the roles that the other branches are to perform.Gorsuch says the book is for the general citizenry, not academics. He wants to revive and encourage “interest in the Constitution of the framers’ design and the judge’s role in it.” Even with that goal, the author gives those who are knowledgeable, imperfectly so like this subordinate federal judge, a lot to ponder. A significant part of Gorsuch’s book reprints speeches, court opinions, and other prior writings. Much new is interspersed, though.This is not a memoir. Readers who want the details of his selection and confirmation for the Supreme Court will not be sated. One’s appetite is whetted at the beginning of the book, when Gorsuch discusses receiving the White House call, being interviewed, and being announced. Then the book’s final chapter, as the author previews it, “collects some of the statements I made during and shortly after the nomination and confirmation process.” That’s it. Justice Gorsuch may have decided that persuasively presenting his principles about the judicial role was both more appropriate and more important than recounting a recent political battle. Clarence Thomas is the one current justice who has written extensively about his confirmation controversies, but he waited 17 years to publish. As a personal aside, I too wrote about the pains and sufferings of a difficult confirmation, mine merely for a circuit court. I waited six years until the wounds had (mainly) healed.There is just a little about his personal background. What is recounted can be charming. Gorsuch quickly describes several ancestors, including a grandfather in Denver who was a trolley-car driver, then a lawyer. This is the ancestor who had an awful voice but enjoyed using it to sing — loudly. A grandmother’s family built a small hotel near a railroad depot in Wyoming, which still stands and is used by the current generation during visits to the area.Mom and Dad were both lawyers, though the father little enjoyed being one. What he passed on to his son was a love of the outdoors, of camping, hunting, and skiing, but of fishing most of all. Gorsuch’s mother graduated from college at age 19 and from law school at 22. She became the first female assistant district attorney in Denver, and later was a state legislator. Gorsuch’s wife is a native of England. He gives a brief description of her background and their meeting while he was studying for a doctorate in England. She agreed to marry him and move to Colorado, then fell in love with the West.Introduced to fishing by his father, Gorsuch has considerable knowledge of its mysteries. He recounts an amusing episode with a possibly novice fly-fisherman, Justice Antonin Scalia. There was no calm casting of lures for Scalia during a visit to Colorado — “he would storm over in his waders” to a spot Gorsuch thought was promising, surely scaring any fish. An affecting photo of the two, a Supreme Court justice and his not-yet-successor, is included, neither man in waders but a lake and a boat behind them.In Justice Scalia’s defense, he was an able hunter. The head of an elk he named Leroy which once adorned his chambers is now on the wall in Justice Gorsuch’s.The book is divided into only seven chapters. Within most of them are previous writings by the author, including lengthy excerpts from judicial opinions. He analyzes the importance of separation of powers in one chapter and of originalism and textualism in another. A chapter on the “Art of Judging” focuses on the need for courage to strive for the correct result and not the comfortable, easy one. He argues that good intentions have led to the worst Supreme Court decisions, such as Dred Scott, which found constitutional protection for slavery in 1857, and Korematsu, which in 1944 found no constitutional barrier to imprisoning American citizens during wartime if their country of origin, Japan, had started a war with the United States. He argues convincingly that the two decisions resulted from the Supreme Court’s seeking what appeared to be the best policy results at the time, as opposed to applying the plain language of the Constitution.It is an optimistic book, urging the avoidance of cynicism and promoting reasonable discourse on the issues that divide us. One way he has literally taught such perspectives is in a class on ethics at the University of Colorado. He asks, over at least the silent groans of many students, that they write their own obituary. Their written responses often show they are receiving what he is trying to give them, which is an understanding that what most of us, on reflection, will want to be remembered for are such things as kindness, love of family, a contribution to the world around us.Gorsuch’s writing style is conversational, as are many of his court opinions. He leavens his descriptions of legal debates with asides such as, after admitting that letting courts update the Constitution to reach the best results was not “completely insane,” saying that many things might not be insane but are still ill-advised — a point he often makes to his teenage daughters.In addition to using originalism to interpret the Constitution, Gorsuch promotes adoption of its close relative, textualism, to interpret statutes. Both approaches rely on the words of the relevant text as they would have been understood at the time of their creation. He acknowledges that these tools do not always provide a clear answer. Revising a Churchill quote about democracy as a form of government, he says that at the very least, originalism “is the worst form of constitutional interpretation, except for all the others.” It provides considerable determinacy; as much as humanly possible, it leaves out of judicial analysis the policy desires of judges; it allows the compromises inherent in our form of government to be upheld — Congress decides what statutes are to do, and the difficult method to amend the Constitution remains the only way revisions are made. The fact that judges are largely expected to wander free of such texts was recently, and startlingly, made apparent to me when an attorney in his oral argument stated dismissively that the only thing the other side had to support its position was the statute, while his side had the case law.Those whom the justice most admires are identified along the way. Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, for whom Gorsuch clerked, are among them. A long-ago Tenth Circuit judge, Alfred Murrah, is another, highlighted for his tireless work ethic and as a representative of the people who toil quietly in the service of country. Also receiving considerable praise are such historic figures as George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, and Theodore Roosevelt. Gorsuch quotes the segment of TR’s speech about credit belonging not to the critic but to the person in the arena, with “face marred by dust and sweat and blood,” who, through defeat or victory, is not to be found among the “cold and timid souls.” By praising both the tireless Judge Murrah and this part of TR’s legacy, Gorsuch is urging his citizen audience to strive mightily, and as he emphasizes, also calmly and respectfully, to preserve this Republic.Three years after his confirmation defeat, Robert Bork wrote a book detailing his disagreements with the direction of the Supreme Court and explaining the benefits of originalism, closing with a lengthy narrative of his blocked path to the Court. Fortunately for Gorsuch and for the nomination process more generally, his selection was not met with the hyperbolic condemnation that Bork’s invoked. His book about originalism comes two years after his confirmation victory. Justice Gorsuch has written a temperate book, with civility shown to all. Such fairness, though, does not reduce the fervor with which he urges that we keep this country a republic.
|Exclusive: Russia carried out a 'stunning' breach of FBI communications system, escalating the spy game on U.S. soil|
Russian compounds and diplomats in the U.S. played key roles in a counterintelligence operation that stretched from the Bay Area to the nation’s capital, according to former U.S. officials.
|Afghan president narrowly avoids Taliban bomb in worst violence since collapse of US negotiations|
Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded dozens more in two blasts Tuesday - one at a campaign rally for the president and the other in Kabul - with the insurgents warning of more violence ahead of elections. The first attack saw a motorcyclist detonate a suicide bomb at a checkpoint leading to a rally where Ashraf Ghani, the president, was addressing supporters in central Parwan province, just north of the capital, killing 26 and wounding 42. Just over an hour later another blast also claimed by the Taliban rocked central Kabul near the US embassy. Authorities initially did not give casualty figures, but later said 22 people had been killed and a further 38 wounded. The explosions came after Donald Trump, the US president, abruptly ended talks with the Taliban earlier this month over a deal that would have allowed the US to begin withdrawing troops from its longest war. One of the bombs was detonated near the US Embassy in Kabul Credit: AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi In a statement sent to media claiming responsibility for both blasts, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the attack near Mr Ghani's rally was deliberately aimed at disrupting the September 28 elections. "We already warned people not to attend election rallies, if they suffer any losses that is their own responsibility," the statement said. An image from the scene near Mr Ghani's rally, roughly an hour's drive north of Kabul, showed the remains of a burnt motorcycle, with a body on top, covered by a blanket and next to a badly damaged police car. Taliban control in Afghanistan Women and children were among the causalities, Parwan hospital director Abdul Qasim Sangin said. The president, who was speaking to his supporters at the time of the blast, was unhurt but later condemned the attack, saying the incident proved the Taliban had no real interest in reconciliation. "As the Taliban continue their crimes, they once again prove that they are not interested in peace and stability in Afghanistan," said Mr Ghani in a statement.
|Mugabe gets low-key farewell in Zimbabwe home village|
The remains of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, who died on September 6, arrived in his home village on Monday for a subdued farewell at a dusty sports field after a weekend state funeral with African leaders in the capital.
|GM stops paying for health insurance for striking union workers; talks continue|
General Motors Co shifted health insurance costs for its striking workers to the United Auto Workers union as its members walked the picket line for the second day on Tuesday. The UAW on Monday launched the first company-wide strike at GM in 12 years, saying negotiations toward a new national agreement covering about 48,000 hourly workers had hit an impasse. This year's talks between the union and GM, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) were expected to be tough, with thorny issues such as healthcare costs, profit-sharing and the use of temporary workers on the table.
|House of Ukraine's former top central banker set on fire|
The home of Ukraine's former central bank chief has been burned to the ground, the third chilling incident involving the banker over the past few weeks. Police said in a statement Tuesday that they are investigating a suspected arson attack late Monday on the house of Valeria Gontareva outside the capital, Kyiv. Gontareva has said she has received threats from Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who lost his PrivatBank to a government nationalization that was carried out while Gontareva was at the helm of the central bank in 2016.
|See This A-10 Warthog? It Could Wipe Out Iran's Swarm Boats in a War|
At least that is the plan.
|Investigation into alleged surveillance abuse and targeting of the Trump campaign is in its final stages|
Inspector general Michael E. Horowitz outlined a multi-step review process with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General William Barr; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports from Washington.
|Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Rhinos|
|A flight from Vietnam to South Korea was delayed for 11 hours after the pilot arrived at the airport and realized he had lost his passport|
T'Way Air said it was investigating the incident and how the pilot lost his passport, and that it put passengers in a hotel and fed them breakfast.
|NC high school cheerleaders on probation after posing with Trump 2020 sign|
A North Carolina high school cheerleading team is on probation after taking a picture in front of a Trump 2020 re-election banner.
|The High-Risk Strategy That Could Hand Democrats the White House|
Democratic voters live in clusters — but there's a way to take advantage of that
|Earth warming more quickly than thought, new climate models show|
Greenhouse gases thrust into the atmosphere mainly by burning fossil fuels are warming Earth's surface more quickly than previously understood, according to new climate models set to replace those used in current UN projections, scientists said Tuesday. The new calculations also suggest that the Paris Agreement goals of capping global warming at "well below" two degrees, and 1.5C if possible, will be challenging at best, the scientists said. "With our two models, we see that the scenario known as SSP1 2.6 -- which normally allows us to stay under 2C -- doesn't quite get us there," Olivier Boucher, head of the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace Climate Modelling Centre in Paris, told AFP.
|Sheriff indicted for plotting to kill deputy who had tape of his 'racially offensive' remarks|
A North Carolina sheriff was indicted for obstruction of justice for allegedly plotting to kill one of his deputies.
|Dem presidential candidates call for Kavanaugh's impeachment|
Several Democratic presidential candidates have lined up to call for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the face of a new, uninvestigated allegation of sexual impropriety when he was in college. Kavanaugh was confirmed last October after emotional hearings in the Senate over a sexual assault allegation from his high school years. The New York Times now reports that Kavanaugh faced a separate allegation from his time at Yale University and that the FBI did not investigate the claim.
|Is Russia's Crazy Status-6 Nuclear Weapon a Great Idea or a Really Bad One?|
Let's take a look.
|India Is Dangerously Close to Becoming an Also-Ran|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- India’s government will shortly find itself at a fork in the road. Will it choose globalization and export-oriented growth? Or will the isolationists in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party win, and keep India out of a giant Indo-Pacific trading bloc?This weekend, New Delhi hosted negotiators for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – from the 10 members of ASEAN as well as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and China – in the hope that it could swing last-minute safeguards for some of its producers. Indian officials have stalled RCEP’s progress as much as they could, and the others are now losing patience. One way or another, the deal will have to be concluded by November, when the leaders of the 16 RCEP countries will meet in Bangkok. Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohammed, not a man known for patience, said in June that the other countries could go on without India, if necessary.Many in New Delhi, even within the commerce ministry, would be relieved to see that happen. The belief that India has “lost” in most of its trade agreements is pervasive here. Influential lobbies tied to the country’s laggard producers are happy to remind officials how trade deficits soared with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations after a free-trade agreement was signed some years ago, for example. And there has always been a strong isolationist wing within the Hindu nationalist BJP – right-wing ideologues don’t just want India out of RCEP; they would prefer existing agreements with Japan, Korea and ASEAN be renegotiated, if not abandoned.Of course, India can only be said to have “lost” if you ignore the considerable gains to consumers from cheaper imports. Once upon a time, Indian households had to worry constantly about high and variable prices of cooking oil. That’s no longer a concern, thanks to imports of palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, in spite of the steep duties permitted by the Indo-ASEAN free-trade agreement. And when producers’ lobbies complain about losing market share to Southeast Asia, they merely underline how uncompetitive Indian industry has become.There is, in fact, a far better reason than any of these for India to feel doubtful about RCEP, and it’s geopolitical more than economic. For Beijing, the trading bloc is just another method to ensure that the People’s Republic embeds itself as the hub of Asia’s economic geography. That’s not something anyone in India is comfortable with. India runs a massive trade deficit with China, of course; but, even more than that, officials here are conscious that concluding RCEP in the middle of the Sino-U.S. trade war would be a boost to Beijing. The problem is that all options for New Delhi are unappetizing. If only there was a large and comprehensive alternative to the RCEP that excluded China — but, of course, President Donald Trump has killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, leaving Beijing in control of the future of Asian trade.In the end, though, it’s hard to see how India would be best served by turning its back on RCEP. In spite of his pro-trade rhetoric at places like Davos, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has started putting up tariff walls in recent years, as early attempts to boost Indian competitiveness failed to show quick enough results. This turn to protectionism needs to be reversed, if India has any hope of employing the millions of young people graduating its schools every year.It’s true that signing a sweeping free-trade agreement would be a significant change in direction for a government that is most comfortable speaking a 1970s-vintage language of import substitution, industrial policy and protective tariffs. But Indian negotiators have already moderated their demands considerably. New Delhi has made it clear that it would be satisfied with a two-track agreement that keeps some walls up against Chinese imports while opening up to the other RCEP countries.I’m still hopeful that, come November, Modi’s signature will be on this agreement. If nothing else, it would be a massive humiliation on the international stage for him to stand aside as all the other leaders of the Indo-Pacific come together to declare a new era is dawning. So much of Modi’s domestic popularity is wrapped around the carefully constructed myth of his international importance, that this might be seen as an unacceptable political hit. At least that’s what we should hope the calculations within New Delhi’s corridors of power are – because, if not, then India is condemned to long decades of being an also-ran on trade and growth.To contact the author of this story: Mihir Sharma at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mihir Sharma is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was a columnist for the Indian Express and the Business Standard, and he is the author of “Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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