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2020 Vision Monday: Polls show a 17-point swing toward impeaching Trump, which could drag down his reelection bid

2020 Vision Monday: Polls show a 17-point swing toward impeaching Trump, which could drag down his reelection bidA rapid 17-point shift means a majority of Americans may soon support impeachment, or, taking margin of error into account, might already. And that’s terrible news for Trump.


What's causing record rates of STDs?

What's causing record rates of STDs?After decades of decline, rates of certain STDs have spiked to record levels, according to the CDC. What's causing the increase?


Hong Kong protesters and police clash, metro and shops targeted

Hong Kong protesters and police clash, metro and shops targetedRallies in shopping malls on Hong Kong island and across the harbor in the Kowloon district began peacefully around midday with a few hundred people at each chanting "Free Hong Kong" and other slogans. Police said protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs at police, with one setting a police van alight in Kowloon's Sha Tin district. Police made several arrests and used tear gas to disperse protesters, saying they used "minimum force".


Typhoon leaves as many as 33 dead as Japan continues rescue

Typhoon leaves as many as 33 dead as Japan continues rescueHelicopters, boats and thousands of troops were deployed across Japan to rescue people stranded in flooded homes Sunday, as the death toll from a ferocious typhoon climbed to as high as 33. One woman fell to her death as she was being placed inside a rescue helicopter. Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo on Saturday evening and battered central and northern Japan with torrents of rain and powerful gusts of wind.


'It's got to stop': Superintendent condemns teacher's racist rant in school parking lot

'It's got to stop': Superintendent condemns teacher's racist rant in school parking lotA teacher at Drexel Hill Middle School in Pennsylvania has been placed on administrative leave after she used racial slurs in a viral Facebook video.


Russia denies US news report it bombed 4 Syria hospitals in 12 hours

Russia denies US news report it bombed 4 Syria hospitals in 12 hoursRussia on Monday denied a US newspaper report that its warplanes bombed four hospitals in rebel-held territory in Syria over a period of 12 hours this year. The Russian defence ministry rubbished the claim in a report by The New York Times, saying "the alleged 'evidence' provided by the NYT is not worth even the paper it was printed on". The May strikes -- which the newspaper tied to Moscow through Russian radio recordings, plane spotter logs and accounts by witnesses -- are part of a larger pattern of medical facilities targeted by forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's devastating civil war.


Billionaires Could Face Tax Rates Up to 97.5% Under Sanders

Billionaires Could Face Tax Rates Up to 97.5% Under Sanders(Bloomberg) -- Billionaires may have much more to fear from a Bernie Sanders presidency than they do from an Elizabeth Warren administration, according to two economists advising both candidates.That’s one of the conclusions of a new interactive website developed by University of California, Berkeley professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.If Sanders had his way, they calculate that the 400 richest Americans, on average, would have an effective tax rate of 97.5%. That includes not only their income, but also a wealth tax that whittles away at the family fortune.The 97.5% average effective tax rate under his plans compares with 23% now and 62% under Warren’s proposals, according to the two economists. Sanders and Warren have both pitched wealth taxes, which is a key reason that their plans tax billionaires so much more. Warren’s wealth tax places a 2% levy on fortunes above $50 million and a 3% levy on assets more than $1 billion. Sanders’ plan goes further, and starts taxing wealth of $32 million at 1%, increasing to an 8% tax on fortunes above $10 billion.“With the wealth tax, you get directly at the stock instead of hitting the flow of income, making it a much more powerful de-concentration tool than income taxes,” Saez said in an email about Sanders’ tax, which Sanders has said would cut the number of billionaires in the country in half in 15 years.The calculations by Saez and Zucman cover state, local and federal taxes and also treat health insurance premiums that individuals pay as a tax, arguing that they are one of main drivers of inequality in the U.S.If a Democrat wins in 2020, wealthy Americans would fare best if it were Joe Biden, even though the former vice president would hit the rich with a markedly bigger tax burden -- an effective average rate of 30.6%, or more than 7 percentage points higher than they face now under President Donald Trump.Read More: Why Taxing the Rich Is Popular But Isn’t Always Easy: QuickTakeLarge tax increases on the rich have been a key topic in the 2020 Democratic primary as candidates have looked for proposals that would lessen inequality and raise lots of revenue to pay for expensive social programs, such as expanded health care and free college tuition.The economists released an interactive website Sunday that lets users select different tax rates to see how levies on various income groups are increasing. Saez and Zucman are also releasing a book on Tuesday, “The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay,” making the case for large tax increases on top earners.All major Democratic candidates have called for higher taxes on the wealthy, including raising the income tax rates or increasing levies on capital gain income. Sanders, Warren and Senator Kamala Harris have also floated levies on stock and bond trades.Taxes on the wealthy have historically been popular with voters. For decades a majority of polls have shown that people think the wealthy pay too little in taxes. Gallup found in April that 62% of people say that “upper-income” individuals pay too little in taxes.To contact the reporters on this story: Rich Miller in Washington at rmiller28@bloomberg.net;Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling 'Ashamed,' and Kurdish Allies Describing 'Betrayal'

Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling 'Ashamed,' and Kurdish Allies Describing 'Betrayal'WASHINGTON -- U.S. commandos were working alongside Kurdish forces at an outpost in eastern Syria last year when they were attacked by columns of Syrian government tanks and hundreds of troops, including Russian mercenaries. In the next hours, the Americans threw the Pentagon's arsenal at them, including B-52 strategic bombers. The attack was stopped.That operation, in the middle of the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria, showed the extent to which the U.S. military was willing to protect the Syrian Kurds, its main ally on the ground.But now, with the White House revoking protection for these Kurdish fighters, some of the Special Forces officers who battled alongside the Kurds say they feel deep remorse at orders to abandon their allies."They trusted us and we broke that trust," one Army officer who has worked alongside the Kurds in northern Syria said last week in a telephone interview. "It's a stain on the American conscience.""I'm ashamed," said another officer who had also served in northern Syria. Both officers spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals from their chains of command.And the response from the Kurds themselves was just as stark. "The worst thing in military logic and comrades in the trench is betrayal," said Shervan Darwish, an official allied with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.The next flurry of orders from Washington, as some troops had feared, will pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria altogether. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Sunday that President Donald Trump had ordered the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops in the country's northeast to conduct a "deliberate withdrawal" out of the country in the coming days and weeks.The defense secretary's statement came after comments Friday pushing back on complaints that the United States was betraying allies in Syria -- "We have not abandoned the Kurds" -- even as he acknowledged that his Turkish counterpart had ignored his plea to stop the offensive.Army Special Forces soldiers -- mostly members of the 3rd Special Forces Group -- moved last week to consolidate their positions in the confines of their outposts miles away from the Syrian border, a quiet withdrawal that all but confirmed the United States' capitulation to the Turkish military's offensive to clear Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.But as the Americans pulled back, the Kurds moved north to try to reinforce their comrades fighting the offensive. The U.S. soldiers could only watch from their sandbag-lined walls. Orders from Washington were simple: Hands off. Let the Kurds fight for themselves.The orders contradicted the U.S. military's strategy in Syria over the last four years, especially when it came to the Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG, who were integral to routing the Islamic State group from northeastern Syria. The Kurds had fought in Manbij, Raqqa and deep into the Euphrates River Valley, hunting the last Islamic State fighters in the group's now defunct physical caliphate. But the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, as the Kurdish and their allied Arab fighters on the ground are called, are being left behind.U.S. Special Forces and other troops had built close ties with their Kurdish allies, living on the same dusty compounds, sharing meals and common dangers. They fought side by side, and helped evacuate Kurdish dead and wounded from the battlefield."When they mourn, we mourn with them," Gen. Joseph L. Votel, a former head of the military's Central Command, said Thursday at the Middle East Institute.The Kurdish forces and U.S. military have survived previous strains, including Trump's sudden decision in December to withdraw all U.S. troops from northern Syria, a decision that was later walked back somewhat.This time may be different, and irreversible. "It would seem at this particular point, we've made it very, very hard for them to have a partnership relationship with us because of this recent policy decision," Votel said.As part of security measures the United States brokered to tamp down tensions with Turkish troops, Kurdish forces agreed to pull back from the border, destroy fortifications and return some heavy weapons -- steps meant to show that they posed no threat to Turkish territory, but that later made them more vulnerable when Turkey launched its offensive.Special Forces officers described another recent operation with Kurds that underscored the tenacity of the group. The Americans and the Kurdish troops were searching for a low-level Islamic State leader in northern Syria. It was a difficult mission and unlikely they would find the commander.From his operations center, one U.S. officer watched the Kurds work alongside the Americans on the ground in an almost indistinguishable symmetry. They captured the Islamic State fighter."The SDF's elite counterterrorism units are hardened veterans of the war against ISIS whom the U.S. has seen in action and trust completely," said Nicholas A. Heras, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, who visited the SDF in July to advise them on the Islamic State group, or ISIS.During the battle against ISIS, coordination between the U.S. military and the Syrian Democratic Forces has extended from the highest levels to rank-and-file fighters, according to multiple interviews with SDF fighters and commanders in Syria over the course of the campaign.SDF commanders worked side by side with U.S. military officers in a joint command center in a defunct cement factory near the northern Syrian town of Kobani, where they discussed strategy and planned future operations.The battle of Kobani that began in 2014 gave birth to the United States' ties to the Kurds in northeastern Syria. ISIS fighters, armed with heavy American-made artillery captured from retreating Iraqi army units, surrounded Kobani, a Kurdish city, and entered parts of it.Despite the Obama administration's initial reluctance to offer help, the United States carried out airstrikes against advancing ISIS militants, and its military aircraft dropped ammunition, small arms and medical supplies to replenish the Kurdish combatants.That aid helped turn the tide, the Kurds defeated ISIS, and U.S. commanders realized they had discovered a valuable ally in the fight against the terrorist group.Thousands of SDF fighters received training from the United States in battlefield tactics, reconnaissance and first aid. Reconnaissance teams learned to identify Islamic State locations and transmit them to the command center for the U.S.-led military coalition to plan airstrikes.Visitors to front-line SDF positions often saw Syrian officers with iPads and laptops they used to communicate information to their U.S. colleagues."For the last two years, the coordination was pretty deep," said Mutlu Civiroglu, a Washington-based Kurdish affairs analyst who has spent time in northeastern Syria. "The mutual trust was very high, the mutual confidence, because this collaboration brought enormous results.""They completed each other," he said of the SDF and U.S.-led coalition. "The coalition didn't have boots on the ground, and fighters didn't have air support, so they needed each other."That coordination was critical in many of the big battles against the Islamic State group.To open the battle in one town, SDF fighters were deposited by coalition aircraft behind the Islamic State group's lines. At the start of another battle, U.S. Special Operations forces helped the SDF plot and execute an attack across the Euphrates River.Even after the Islamic State group had lost most of its territory, the United States trained counterterrorism units to do tactical raids on ISIS hideouts and provided them with intelligence needed to plan them.Even in territory far from the front lines with the Islamic State, SDF vehicles often drove before and after U.S. convoys through Syrian towns and SDF fighters provided perimeter security at facilities where U.S. personnel were based.The torturous part of America's on-again, off-again alliance with the Kurds -- one in which the United States has routinely armed the Kurds to fight various regimes it viewed as adversaries -- emerged in 1974, as the Kurds were rebelling against Iraq. Iran and the United States were allies, and the Shah of Iran and Henry Kissinger encouraged the Kurdish rebellion against the Iraqi government. CIA agents were sent to the Iraq-Iran border to help the Kurds.The Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani did not trust the Shah of Iran, but believed Kissinger when he said that the Kurds would receive help from the Americans.But a year later, the Shah of Iran made a deal with Saddam Hussein on the sidelines of an OPEC meeting: In return for some territorial adjustments along the Iran-Iraq border, the shah agreed to stop support for the Kurds.Kissinger signed off on the plan, the Iraqi military slaughtered thousands of Kurds and the United States stood by. When questioned, Kissinger delivered his now famous explanation: "Covert action," he said, "should not be confused with missionary work."In the fight against ISIS in Syria, Kurdish fighters followed their hard-fought triumph in Kobani by liberating other Kurdish towns. Then the Americans asked their newfound Kurdish allies to go into Arab areas, team up with local militias and reclaim those areas from the Islamic State group.The U.S. military implored the SDF to fight in the Arab areas, and so they advanced, seizing Raqqa and Deir el-Zour, winning but suffering large numbers of casualties.The American-Kurdish military alliance against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq "began with us helping them," said Peter W. Galbraith, the former U.S. diplomat who has for years also been a senior adviser to the Kurds in both Syria and Iraq. "But by the end, it was them helping us. They are the ones who recovered the territory that ISIS had taken."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


This New Submarine Could Be a Real Killer (And No, Its Not American)

This New Submarine Could Be a Real Killer (And No, Its Not American)Their first new submarine in a decade from France.


Anthony Scaramucci is desperately trying to recruit Mitt Romney for a 2020 run

Anthony Scaramucci is desperately trying to recruit Mitt Romney for a 2020 runSen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is running for president again -- at least in Anthony Scaramucci's dreams.The famously short-lived White House communications director has since turned on the president who appointed him, and has publicly said he's trying to knock President Trump off the 2020 ticket. Now, it seems Scaramucci has decided on his dream candidate, and has launched a website and line of T-shirts to persuade him to run.Scaramucci started making his support for Romney known earlier this month, tweeting a poll that showed the 2012 GOP nominee beating the presumptive 2020 nominee in a hypothetical primary. He then revealed last week he'd launched Mitt2020.org, and on Sunday night, showed off that the site was offering "commit to Mitt" campaign T-shirts. They are being sold at $20.20 each to "test demand," and so far Scaramucci has seen an "overwhelming" response, he told ABC News.> You may be proud of your "Where's Hunter?" T-shirt...but we're really proud of ours...You see, we know where Mitt is...he's listening, he's hearing, he's seeing, he's reading and he's coming.... https://t.co/sCUTWW6IHA committomitt mitt2020 @MittRomney MittRomney pic.twitter.com/gpgTdL33UY> > -- Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) October 12, 2019While Romney hasn't even hinted at granting Scaramucci's wishes, the "Mitt Happens" shirt is sure to be a collector's item in a few years.


Pope Francis's main bodyguard resigns over a leak

Pope Francis's main bodyguard resigns over a leakDomenico Giani, the Vatican's longtime security chief and Pope Francis's main bodyguard, resigned on Monday over a leak of information from an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing in the Vatican.


More than a dozen police killed in ambush in violent Mexican state

More than a dozen police killed in ambush in violent Mexican stateMore than a dozen police have been shot dead in an ambush in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, authorities said on Monday, in one of the bloodiest attacks on security forces since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December. The ministry for public security said on Twitter it would use all means at its disposal to catch those responsible for the attack in the municipality of Aguililla in Michoacan, a state that has long been convulsed by turf wars between drug cartels. The federal public security ministry said 14 police were killed, though its state counterpart in Michoacan said 13 officers were confirmed dead, and three injured.


Police: No evidence of shooting after Florida mall lockdown

Police: No evidence of shooting after Florida mall lockdownReports of possible shots at an upscale Florida mall sent panicked people running and triggered a lockdown for several hours Sunday, but a SWAT team's search found no evidence of any shooting and police issued an all-clear after nightfall. One person was injured, apparently leaving the mall in Boca Raton, police said. Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander said Sunday evening that authorities conducted a sweeping search but found no evidence to confirm the initial reports.


A Florida dog went missing. 12 years later, she reunited with her owner in Pittsburgh

A Florida dog went missing. 12 years later, she reunited with her owner in PittsburghIt took 12 years for Katheryn Strang to be reunited with Dutchess, her fox terrier. But the moment arrived over 1,100 miles from Strang's home.


View Photos of Our Sports Sedan Battle Between the Dodge Charger and Kia Stinger GT

View Photos of Our Sports Sedan Battle Between the Dodge Charger and Kia Stinger GT


Syria regime steps in to halt Turkish assault on Kurds

Syria regime steps in to halt Turkish assault on KurdsThe Syrian regime sent troops towards the Turkish border Monday to contain Ankara's deadly offensive against the Kurds, stepping in for US forces due to begin a controversial withdrawal. The Syrian army has maintained a presence in the Kurdish-controlled cities of Qamishli and Hasakeh in Syria's northeast since the start of the war, and deployed a limited number of troops around the key city of Manbij in 2018 at the request of Kurdish forces to shield the area from a feared Turkish assault.


US officials are considering pulling nuclear weapons from Turkey, effectively severing the US-Turkey alliance

US officials are considering pulling nuclear weapons from Turkey, effectively severing the US-Turkey allianceThe US-Turkey relationship has soured over the past several years, but the US still stores as many as 50 B61 gravity bombs at Inçirlik Air Base.


Meet the Massive Ordnance Penetrator: The Air Force's Newest Bunker Buster Bomb

Meet the Massive Ordnance Penetrator: The Air Force's Newest Bunker Buster BombHuge and very powerful.


Subway System to Shut Down at 10 p.m. Monday: Hong Kong Update

Subway System to Shut Down at 10 p.m. Monday: Hong Kong Update(Bloomberg) -- A Hong Kong police officer was hospitalized after being attacked as protests spread to 18 districts in the latest weekend of unrest.Sunday’s clashes follow a night of sporadic violence and come as some demonstrators debate online on whether to soften their tactics to avoid alienating more moderate supporters. Saturday’s march was called in protest against the government invoking emergency laws, including banning masks at public gatherings. The unrest erupted on June 9 in opposition to Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s now-withdrawn legislation that would’ve allowed extraditions to mainland China have since expanded into a push for greater democracy. Last week, tens of thousands of people flooded Hong Kong’s streets after Lam banned protesters from wearing masks in her latest effort to rein in the unrest.Here’s the latest (all times local):Subway to close at 10 p.m. on Monday (5:00 a.m.)Due to “serious vandalism,” the city’s rail operator MTR Corp. said on Monday all main subway lines, MTR buses and light rail would shut down early at 10 p.m. The Airport Express route was not affected, the company said, adding that it made the decision after reviewing ongoing repairs and conducting a “joint risk assessment” with the government.Officer hospitalized (5:30 p.m.)An officer was hospitalized with a neck wound after being slashed with a “sharp-edged” object at Kwun Tong train station, police said. Two people were arrested at the scene, according to a police statement.Officers fired tear gas to disperse crowds of masked people who damaged property in the districts of Shatin and Tsuen Wan, police said.MTR shuts stations (5:15 p.m.)MTR Corp., the city’s rail operator, closed down stops on four lines because of “an escalation of the situation at stations,” it said. The Kwun Tong, Shatin Wai, City One, Tsuen Wan and Tsuen Wan West stations were shut, MTR said in a statement on its website.Police confront protesters (3 p.m.)Riot police confronted black-clad protesters trying to barricade a road in Mong Kok, while demonstrators blocked a road in Tuen Mun and littered train tracks with rubbish in Shatin. Activists planned 18 district “blossom” events Sunday, with pop-up protests territory-wide.Restaurants closed (Sunday 9 a.m.)Protests have take their toll on Hong Kong’s restaurant industry, with about 100 restaurants having to shut down because of the months-long unrest in the city, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in a blog post Sunday.Around 2,000 employees have been affected as a result of the closures, Chan said in the Chinese-language post, citing the catering industry. He didn’t provide further details. Some retailers have also had to reduce the number of stores or cut back on staff, and several recent local events have had to be canceled for security reasons, Chan said.Lady Liberty (8 a.m.)A group of people assembled a makeshift statue of Lady Liberty overnight on top of the city’s iconic Lion Rock mountain in Kowloon. The three-meter (about 9.5 feet) figure wearing the protesters’ familiar helmet, goggles and masks, was originally created to represent a woman who was wearing a helmeted and masked figure.Police disperse crowd (10:30 p.m.)Police dispersed a crowd of people outside Mong Kok police station who had surrounded the building, thrown rocks at it and aimed lasers at officers. “Minimum force” was used to clear the crowd after several warnings for them to leave the area, according to a police statement.Offices set on fire (5 p.m.)A group of people set fire to the government offices in Cheung Sha Wan after breaking the security gate and entering the building, police said in a statement. Earlier, protesters gathered in Sham Shui Po, Prince Edward and Mong Kok. Railings were removed from roads, traffic was paralyzed in the area and some shops were vandalized, according to police.Officers issued a warning for people to leave the area immediately and said they would soon begin to disperse the crowds.Anti-emergency law march (3 pm.)Scattered bands of masked demonstrators marched from Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon to Sham Shui Po in protest against the decision by Lam to invoke an emergency law for the first time in more than half a century to ban face masks at public gatherings. Police stood by watchfully as the largely peaceful procession passed.Earlier police reported petrol bombs were thrown inside the Kowloon Tong train station, causing serious damage. No one was injured, they said.Wong disappointed by Apple (2 p.m.)Prominent activist Joshua Wong said in a letter to Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook that he was “deeply disappointed with Apple’s decision to ban” an app that was used by “lots” of Hong Kong people, according to a tweet by Wong reproduced part of his letter.He said he believed Apple was informed by Hong Kong police that the app was “being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present.”Apple CEO Defends Pulling Hong Kong App, Echoing Police ViewWong said “we use the real-time info from HKmap not with the intention to inflict personal harm on anyone but to protect ourselves from harm.”Police reshuffle (7:30 a.m.)Hong Kong police will appoint Frank Kwok, formerly with the elite special duties unit known as the Flying Tigers, as operations chief in a bid to better handle the protests, the South China Morning Post reported, citing an unidentified senior police official.Kwok will soon swap posts with Assistant Police Commissioner Terence Mak, who is currently in charge of operations, the newspaper reported. Kwok is New Territories North regional commander. Mak was originally being groomed as a future police chief, the Post reported. Commissioner Stephen Lo is expected to retire in a month and a successor has not yet been named. His departure was announced about a year ago.Rent cuts (Saturday 6 a.m.)MTR Corp., the city’s railway operator, Airport Authority Hong Kong and some property developers have offered to reduce rents to retailers affected by protests, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Financial Secretary Paul Chan.Chan has also appealed to private landlords to follow suit, the report said. Hysan Development Co. and Swire Properties Ltd. have confirmed rent cuts so far, the paper said, without saying where it got the information.Mask ban arrests climb to 90 (4:55 p.m.)Hong Kong police said they had arrested a total of 90 people as of Wednesday on suspicion of violating the mask ban. That’s up from 77 a day earlier.Lam’s decision to implement the ban under a colonial-era emergency ordinance that hadn’t been invoked in more than half a century sparked a destructive series of protests. The measure carries a possible sentence of as long as one year in jail.Police to probe assault claims (3:12 p.m.)Hong Kong police pledged to investigate a protester’s allegation that she was sexually assaulted by officers, after she dramatically shared her story at a university event.The woman, Sonia Ng, said she was assaulted in a dark body-search room at a detention center near the mainland Chinese border on Aug. 31 and wasn’t the only one who “suffered sexual violence.” Ng removed the face mask she was wearing in front of a crowd of more than 1,000 people and challenged university administrators present to take a stand against police violence.(An earlier version corrected the name of a town in "Police confront protesters" subhead)To contact the reporters on this story: Cathy Chan in Hong Kong at kchan14@bloomberg.net;Aaron Mc Nicholas in Hong Kong at amcnicholas2@bloomberg.net;Alfred Liu in Hong Kong at aliu226@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Stanley JamesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Police Respond to Reports of Mall Shooting in Florida, Confirm 1 Person Injured

Police Respond to Reports of Mall Shooting in Florida, Confirm 1 Person InjuredAuthorities have not yet identified the circumstances which led to the shooting


British paedophile who operated in Malaysia, Cambodia found dead in prison

British paedophile who operated in Malaysia, Cambodia found dead in prisonOne of Britain's most prolific child sex offenders, Richard Huckle, has died three years into a life sentence for abusing Malaysian and Cambodian children, Britain's Ministry of Justice said on Monday, with media saying he had been stabbed to death. Huckle, 33, who abused children and babies during a nine year period, was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to 71 offences. Dubbed the country's worst paedophile by Britain's media, he was found stabbed to death in prison on Sunday after being attacked with a makeshift knife, the BBC reported.


South Korean pop star Sulli found dead at her home

South Korean pop star Sulli found dead at her homeSouth Korean pop star and actress Sulli was found dead at her home south of Seoul on Monday, police said. The 25-year-old was found after her manager went to her home in Seongnam because she didn't answer phone calls for hours, said Kim Seong-tae, an official from the Seongnam Sujeong Police Department. "The investigation is ongoing and we won't make presumptions about the cause of death," said Kim, adding that security camera footage at Sulli's home showed no signs of an intrusion.


Disney World retesting Skyliner after malfunction grounds cable cars, reports say

Disney World retesting Skyliner after malfunction grounds cable cars, reports sayDisney World's Skyliner system is back up and running, but without passengers, as the park begins testing the system before reopening to guests.


China Built a Flying Saucer

China Built a Flying SaucerThe UFO is still on the ground—for now.


France 'worried' after nearly 800 IS relatives escape Syrian camp

France 'worried' after nearly 800 IS relatives escape Syrian campFrance said Sunday it was "worried" after Kurdish authorities reported that hundreds of relatives of foreign jihadists had escaped from a displacement camp in northern Syria in an area under Turkish assault. France has been hit by a wave of jihadist attacks since 2015, many claimed or inspired by the Islamic State group, and has expressed concerns that a Turkish assault on Kurdish forces at the helm of the fight against IS in Syria would bolster the radicals. "Of course we are worried about what could happen and that is why we want Turkey... to end" the assault "as quickly as possible", government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye told France 3 television.


Trump has delivered what Russia wants in Syria — at zero cost — and 'Putin likely can't believe his luck'

Trump has delivered what Russia wants in Syria — at zero cost — and 'Putin likely can't believe his luck'Vladimir Putin "didn't even have to try to make it happen," a NATO official told us. "Small wonder he'd interfere on Trump's side in an election."


In 1986, a Russian Submarine with 27 Nuclear Missiles Sank (And Exploded)

In 1986, a Russian Submarine with 27 Nuclear Missiles Sank (And Exploded)"Seawater combined with missile fuel to produce heat and toxic gases. Despite a crewman venting the tube, an explosion erupted in the silo, ejecting the missile and its warheads into the sea."


U.S. Gets Final OK to Hit EU With $7.5 Billion Airbus Sanction

U.S. Gets Final OK to Hit EU With $7.5 Billion Airbus Sanction(Bloomberg) -- The World Trade Organization on Monday formally authorized the U.S. to impose tariffs on about $7.5 billion worth of European exports annually in retaliation for illegal government aid to Airbus SE.Members approved this month’s arbitration award -- the largest in the trade organization’s history -- at a special meeting of the dispute settlement body at the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva. The development marks the final procedural hurdle before the U.S. can retaliate against European goods, which it plans to do on Oct. 18.The EU made a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. over the weekend to thwart the tariffs, seeking a negotiated settlement that would avoid the economic harm a tit-for-tat escalation would cause both parties. European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told her U.S. counterpart, Robert Lighthizer, that his tariff plan would compel the EU to apply countermeasures in a parallel lawsuit over aid the U.S. provided to Boeing Co.“I strongly believe that imposing additional tariffs in the two aircraft cases is not a solution,” Malmstrom said in an Oct. 11 letter to Lighthizer seen by Bloomberg News. “It would only inflict damage on businesses and put at risk jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, harm global trade and the broader aviation industry at a sensitive time.”‘Short-Sighted’U.S. Ambassador to the WTO Dennis Shea said at Monday’s meeting in Geneva that the Trump administration’s preference is to “find a negotiated outcome with the EU that ends all WTO-inconsistent subsidies,” according to a copy of his remarks obtained by Bloomberg. Malmstrom said last month that the EU had reached out to the U.S. with a “detailed proposal,” but that the U.S. wasn’t willing to negotiate.The EU said that it would be “short-sighted” for the U.S. to impose retaliatory tariffs on European goods and urged the U.S. to find a “fair and balanced solution” to the dispute, according to a statement delivered by Paolo Garzotti, the EU’s deputy head of delegation to the WTO.“Both the EU and the US have been found at fault by the WTO dispute settlement system,” Garzotti said. “In the parallel Boeing case, the EU will in some months equally be granted right to impose additional countermeasures. The mutual imposition of countermeasures, however, would only harm global trade and the broader aviation industry.”The EU has already published a preliminary list of U.S. goods -- from ketchup to video-game consoles -- it will target in a $12 billion plan for retaliatory levies related to the Boeing case. The WTO will issue an arbitration award next year. The office of the U.S. Trade Representative previously said it would impose a 10% tariff on large civil aircraft from France, Germany, Spain and the U.K. The U.S. will also slap 25% levies on a range of other items including Irish and Scotch whiskeys, wine, olives and cheese, as well as certain pork products, butter and yogurt from various European nations.(Updates with U.S. comment in the fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jonathan Stearns.To contact the reporter on this story: Bryce Baschuk in Geneva at bbaschuk2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Richard Bravo, Chris ReiterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Canadian Snowbird plane crashes during Atlanta air show

Canadian Snowbird plane crashes during Atlanta air showThe remaining festivities associated with the annual air show were cancelled following the crash


Special Report: The hunt for Asia's El Chapo

Special Report: The hunt for Asia's El ChapoHe is Asia’s most-wanted man. Tse Chi Lop, a Canadian national born in China, is suspected of leading a vast multinational drug trafficking syndicate formed out of an alliance of five of Asia’s triad groups, according to law enforcement officials. The syndicate, law enforcers believe, is funneling tonnes of methamphetamine, heroin and ketamine to at least a dozen countries from Japan in North Asia to New Zealand in the South Pacific.


Family of a missing Utah tech executive has called off search after body found

Family of a missing Utah tech executive has called off search after body foundThe family of a missing Utah tech executive has called off a search for her after police reported that a body was found inside a parked car in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Some states honoring indigenous people instead of Columbus

Some states honoring indigenous people instead of ColumbusA handful of states are celebrating their first Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday as part of a trend to move away from a day honoring Christopher Columbus. From Minnesota to Vermont, at least five states and Washington, D.C., have done away with Columbus Day celebrations in deference to Native Americans, though the federal Columbus Day remains in place. Since 1992, Native American advocates have pressed states to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day over concerns that Columbus helped launched centuries of genocide against indigenous populations in the Americas.


When Elizabeth Warren ducked and dodged on Medicare for All

When Elizabeth Warren ducked and dodged on Medicare for AllSeven years before Elizabeth Warren said “I’m with Bernie on Medicare for All," she was campaigning for the Senate and didn’t want to talk about single-payer health care. Running a tough race against Republican incumbent Scott Brown, the first-time candidate repeatedly distanced herself from the idea. In one interview, she was grilled by New England Cable News host Jim Braude: He wanted to know if she’d support single-payer if she were “the tsarina” — in other words, if politics weren’t an obstacle.


North Cyprus head stands firm in row over Turkey criticism

North Cyprus head stands firm in row over Turkey criticismThe leader of breakaway northern Cyprus, Mustafa Akinci, stood firm in the face of calls to resign on Monday after criticising Turkey's military offensive in Syria. Akinci, president of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, took the rare step over the weekend of criticising Turkey, the only country that recognises the TRNC. "Even if we call it 'Peace Spring', it is blood that is spilling and not water," he wrote on Facebook, referring to the codename of the Turkish military operation against Kurdish-held northeast Syria launched last Wednesday.


Assad troops enter north-east Syria after Russia-backed deal with Kurds

Assad troops enter north-east Syria after Russia-backed deal with KurdsBashar al-Assad’s forces swept into cities across northeast Syria for the first time in seven years on Monday after the West’s former Kurdish allies agreed to a Russian-brokered deal to try to hold off a Turkish attack.  The Syrian regime’s black-and-red flag went up across the region as Russia seized on Donald Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds to restore Assad’s rule over swathes of territory he has not controlled since 2012.  Assad’s troops clashed with Turkish-backed Syrian rebels outside Manbij, a key city on the Turkey-Syria border where US forces are evacuating on Mr Trump’s orders.  Western officials are watching closely to see if the skirmishes escalate into a direct confrontation between Turkey and the Syrian regime, or whether Russia can broker another deal to keep the two countries from clashing. Several European countries joined France and Germany in halting arms sales to Turkey, as the EU put out a joint statement condemning the offensive.  A Syrian regime soldier waves the national flag a street on the western entrance of the town of Tal Tamr in the countryside of Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on October 14, 2019 Credit: AFP Fears were also rising over an Islamic State (Isil) resurgence as it emerged that US forces had failed to secure dozens of the most hardened jihadist fighters, and Isil prisoners once again rioted against their Kurdish guards.  Mr Trump suggested the Kurds were deliberately freeing Isil prisoners in a bid to get the West’s attention, a talking point that has been repeatedly used by Turkey’s government to discredit its Kurdish enemies.    Assad’s re-entry into northeastern Syria marks a dramatic redrawing of the lines of control in the war-torn country and likely signals the beginning of the end of seven years of Kurdish autonomy in the area.  Regime fighters began entering the provinces of Hasakah and Raqqa and were moving quickly to consolidate their control over long swathes of the Turkish-Syrian border with the permission of Kurdish troops.  The exact details of the agreement between Damascus and the Kurds remains unclear. Kurdish authorities insisted that they would maintain their political autonomy and that the deal was focused solely on military issues.  Syrian regime forces are pictured as they patrol a street on the western entrance of the town of Tal Tamr in the countryside of Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on October 14, 2019 Credit: AFP But other reports suggested that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Western-backed Kurdish units who led the fight against Isil, would be folded into Assad’s army and that northeast Syria would come back under direct rule from Damascus.     The immediate focus of the newly-aligned SDF and Assad regime is to repel Turkish-backed rebels from seizing control of Manbij, a border city west of the Euphrates River which is currently in Kurdish hands.  The Syrian rebels, known as the National Army, said Monday night they had launched an operation to “liberate Manbij and its surroundings from the terrorist gangs”. The National Army claimed to have engaged Assad’s forces and captured a tank in a first round of fighting. The battle for Manbij will pose a test for Turkey, which must decide whether to back its Syrian rebel allies with airstrikes at the risk of sparking a confrontation with the Syrian regime. Turkey - Syria map Russia is believed to be relaying messages between the two sides to try to avert conflict.  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, said he was determined to put the city under the control “our Arabic brothers” in the National Army. But while Turkish warplanes thundered overhead there were no reports they were striking Assad’s forces in support of the rebels.  US forces have been ordered to evacuate northern Syria but many troops remained caught up in the chaos as different armed groups maneuvered and the roads remained clogged with refugees.  Sen. Lindsey Graham Credit: AP The situation in northeast Syria collapsed into disorder so quickly that US special forces did not have time to carry out a plan to seize around 60 of the top Isil fighters in Kurdish custody, according to the New York Times.  US commandos had planned to take the prisoners from the Kurds and move them to Iraq but were unable to reach a key road in time.  It is not known if any British fighters were among the 60 men on the US list. America has already taken custody of Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, the two surviving members of the “Beatles” group of alleged British executioners.      The report appeared to drastically undercut Mr Trump’s claim that “the US has the worst of the Isil prisoners”.  Mr Trump also said the “Kurds may be releasing some [Isil prisoners] to get us involved” in trying to stop Turkey’s offensive. Mr Erdoğan and other Turkish officials have made the same claim repeatedly in recent days.  The Turkish military released a video which it claimed showed its commandos entering a Kurdish prison only to find that the guards had released all the inmates. But Kurdish officials suggested the video was staged at an empty facility never used as a prison.  SDF guards at a prison were wounded during a riot by Isil prisoners at Ain Issa, according to Kurdish media. The Isil suspects still in Kurdish custody are panicked at the prospect they could be handed over to the Assad regime, which has a long history of torturing detainees.


Can The U.S. Army's Latest Air Defense System Handle 21st Century Warfare?

Can The U.S. Army's Latest Air Defense System Handle 21st Century Warfare?A demonstration might give us hints.


A woman got her arm cut off by a propeller on a plane that her husband was preparing to fly

A woman got her arm cut off by a propeller on a plane that her husband was preparing to flyThe couple got out of the plane to make sure it's wheels were clear before taxiing to the runway, when her arm came into contact with the propeller.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faces backlash over haircut

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faces backlash over haircutThis week, the Washington Times published a story saying that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., had spent $80 on a haircut and $180 on color at a Washington, D.C., salon, a choice the newspaper presented as hypocritical, given she “regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway.”


Son of sheriff who called immigrants ‘drunks’ at White House event arrested for public intoxication

Son of sheriff who called immigrants ‘drunks’ at White House event arrested for public intoxicationThe son of a Texas sheriff who used a White House press conference to describe immigrant offenders as “drunks” likely to repeatedly break the law has been arrested for public intoxication.Sergei Waybourn, 24, faces a count of indecent exposure as well as public drunkenness just days after his father, Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, was criticised for the comments.


UPDATE 1-Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate action

UPDATE 1-Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate actionIn a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne. Wearing white laboratory coats to symbolise their research credentials, a group of about 20 of the signatories gathered on Saturday to read out the text outside London's century-old Science Museum in the city's upmarket Kensington district. "We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and non-violent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law," said Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster with a PhD in molecular biology.


The Latest: Morawiecki likely to stay Polish prime minister

The Latest: Morawiecki likely to stay Polish prime ministerOfficials from Poland's ruling party say Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is a "natural" to stay on as head of government after the party's second consecutive election victory. Mueller says Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has repeatedly praised Morawiecki and said he would continue in the job after Sunday's election. Official returns from 99.5% percent of the votes counted in Poland's parliamentary election suggest the country's ruling right-wing party might have lost its majority in the upper chamber, the Senate.


Mobile phones back in Indian Kashmir, but internet still down

Mobile phones back in Indian Kashmir, but internet still downMobile phone networks were restored in Indian Kashmir on Monday after a 72-day blackout, authorities said, but the internet remains off-limits to the region's seven million-plus people. India cut access to mobile networks in the restive Kashmir Valley in early August citing security concerns as it scrapped the region's semi-autonomous status and imposed a lockdown. The easing on Monday covers around four million post-paid mobile phone contracts, but only for calls and text messages.


Tight squeeze: Cruise ship passes through Greek Canal with only 5 feet of breathing room

Tight squeeze: Cruise ship passes through Greek Canal with only 5 feet of breathing roomFred Olsen Cruise Lines says its MS Braemar set a record for the biggest ship to pass through Greece's narrow Corinth Canal on Oct. 9.


U.S. ‘Withdraws’ as Kurds Strike Deal to Let Assad’s Forces Into Region

U.S. ‘Withdraws’ as Kurds Strike Deal to Let Assad’s Forces Into RegionKhalil Ashawi/ReutersAmid a Turkish assault, the Kurds, or Syrian Democratic Forces, have struck a deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, that will bring forces loyal to Assad back into areas that have been under Kurdish control for years.“An agreement has been reached with the Syrian government—whose duty it is to protect the country’s borders and preserve Syrian sovereignty—for the Syrian Army to enter and deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to help the SDF stop this aggression [by Turkey],” the Kurds said in a statement.Once the agreement was made Sunday night, Syrian Assad troops began moving into towns near the border with Turkey where Turkish forces have been encroaching since President Trump announced that he was withdrawing American forces from the region earlier this week.The agreement appears to undermine any expectation that United States might continue to assist the Kurds—Washington’s allies against ISIS—as they are attacked by Turkey. In the aftermath of Trump’s announcement, with a Turkish invasion carried out just days later, American forces were unable to carry out a move of about 60 “high value” ISIS detainees out of wartime prisons run by the Kurds, The New York Times reports. The chaos also made way for hundreds of ISIS prisoners on Sunday to escape from a low-security detention camp in the area.In the latest surge of anti-war rhetoric from the Trump administration, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday that the U.S. is launching a “deliberate withdrawal” of American forces from northern Syria but refused to say how long it will take.“We want to conduct it safely and quickly as possible,” Esper told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday morning, adding, “I’m not prepared to put a timeline on it, but that’s our general game plan.” Two knowledgeable U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that the troops are just withdrawing further away from the advance of Turkish forces massacring the Syrian Kurds whom America relied upon to destroy the so-called Islamic State’s caliphate.There are currently 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria. A knowledgeable U.S. official said hundreds of those troops, without further specificity, will leave Syria for elsewhere in the Mideast. Following a pullout from two northern Syrian observation posts last week, the U.S. will now retreat farther away from the area Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invaded.Esper said Trump gave the withdrawal order because Turkish forces are pushing further south into Syria and Kurdish forces had been trying to cut a deal with Syria and Russia to counter-attack.“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” he said.But as Esper made clear, the order affects only the north and there will still be American forces in the rest of Syria even as Trump—who separately has ordered about 14,000 U.S. troops to the Persian Gulf region over the past six months—rails against the disastrous, bloody, and interminable U.S. misadventure in the Middle East over the past generation.A U.S. official told CNN that U.S. policy “has failed” and that the campaign in Syria to defeat ISIS is “over for now,” giving the terrorist group “a second lease on life with nearly 100,000 [people] who will re-join their jihad.” The mixed messaging by the Trump administration is making it difficult for even his most ardent supporters to help unravel his foreign policy on Syria as it spins out of control. Just days after Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria where they have been providing weapons and cover to allied Kurdish fighters on the border between Turkey and Syria, Turkey began a military incursion that has sent the region into a level of chaos it has not seen in recent years.The Daily Beast first reported Friday that claims made by the Trump administration that U.S. troops had been withdrawn were false. “We are out of there. We’ve been out of there for a while,” Trump said Wednesday. “No soldiers whatsoever.” Two officials told The Daily Beast that in fact the U.S. military had only pulled back from—not completely out of—northern Syria. They had simply abandoned two small observation posts from which they supported Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS fighters. Trump Says U.S. Troops Have Quit Syria. It’s Not True.Trump then tweeted that he had been talking with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–SC), who had been highly critical of Trump’s decision to remove troops. “Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS,” Graham warned Wednesday. “I urge President Trump to change course while there is still time by going back to the safe zone concept that was working.” Graham later tweeted that any sanctions had to be serious. “The conditional sanctions announced today will be viewed by Turkey as a tepid response and will embolden Erdogan even more,” Graham tweeted Friday. “The Turkish government needs to know Congress will take a different path—passing crippling sanctions in a bipartisan fashion.”But in a Sunday morning tweet, the president wrote that he was working with Graham “and many members of Congress, including Democrats, about imposing powerful Sanctions on Turkey.”He then added: “Treasury is ready to go, additional legislation may be sought. There is great consensus on this. Turkey has asked that it not be done. Stay tuned!”Turkey has warned that any threats of sanctions would be met with the release of millions of refugees along the border between Turkey and Syria into Europe. Trump told reporters at the White House earlier this week that such a possibility did not concern him. “Well they’re going to be escaping to Europe,” he said. “That’s where they want to go, they want to go back to their homes.”On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that up to 700 ISIS sympathizers did escape the Ain Eissa camp, which holds up 12,000 people caught up in years of unrest. Most of those who escaped are ISIS brides and children, but officials warn that they could be part of a resurgence of the so-called Islamic state. Several known ISIS fighters were also spotted fighting in the current conflict, according to CNN, which reported that at least five fighters had escaped the notorious Ghuwairan prison due to heavy shelling in the area. During an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)—who has been one of the president’s most vocal defenders on the Syria decision—called it a “messy, complicated situation” while saying the president was right to move soldiers out of the way because “Turkey was coming in one way or another.” When moderator Chuck Todd noted that U.S. soldiers near the Turkish border were serving as a deterrent to an Erdogan invasion, Paul retorted “they were until they weren’t.”Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin repeated Paul’s line that this is a “complicated situation” when asked on ABC’s This Week why the administration hasn’t imposed sanctions on Turkey yet.“We are ready to go on a moment’s notice to put on sanctions,” Mnuchin said. “As I said, these sanctions could be starting small. They could be maximum pressure which would destroy the Turkish economy. The president is very focused on this. He’s offered to mediate the situation.”Mnunchin also pushed back on criticism from those within the president’s own party. In response to Graham and others saying sanctions would be a tepid reaction to Turkey, Mnuchin stated that this is a “multi-step process” and the administration needs to make sure “we have the proper authorizations.” The treasury chief, meanwhile, was asked what the president was talking about when he criticized the Kurds for not storming the beaches at Normandy alongside U.S. troops. Mnuchin asserted Trump’s analogy was that he was pushing back on everyone “saying the Kurds are these long-standing allies” and that our role in Syria “was not to defend the Kurds.”On CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said that while he wished the president’s decision had “been different,” he feels that we tend to “oversimplify the complicated relationships” in the region. He went on to say this wasn’t a “binary choice” as both the Turks and Kurds are considered allies. As for whether the U.S. was retreating from the area and allowing the Turks to invade northern Syria, Cramer said “we can’t be in the middle of every skirmish in the neighborhood.”House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel (D-NY), meanwhile, told Meet the Press that while he is working on a bipartisan bill that will slap sanctions on Turkey and condemn the president’s policy as it relates to the Kurds, he acknowledges that “it’s not going to stop” the Turks now. Asked whether it’s too late to do anything at this point, Engel seemed to resign himself to that notion.“We could mitigate the damage,” he told Todd. “Of course, it’s spiraling quickly. And what’s happened, of course, is a lot of ISIS prisoners, we’ve gotten reports that they have been released or they’ve escaped and so this is just the tip of the iceberg. And if we think this is terrible, I predict we will have many, many more days, weeks, and months of terrible things like this.”Elsewhere on Meet the Press, former secretary of defense James Mattis warned that ISIS could see a revival in the area, noting the Syrian Democratic Forces were the ones who largely fought the terror group in Syria. If we don’t keep pressure on, ISIS will resurge,” Mattis said. “It’s absolutely a given that they will come back.”During his State of the Union interview, South Bend Mayor and Afghanistan War veteran Pete Buttigieg insisted Trump was “systematically destroying American allies and American values.”“What’s even more disturbing to me as a veteran is hearing from soldiers who feel they have lost their honor over this, who feel they are unable to look in the eye [of] allies who put their lives on line to fight with us,” he added. “If you take away a soldier’s honor, you might as well go after their body armor next. That is what the commander-in-chief is doing right now.”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.


A Real Threat: Why Russia's Air Force Should Be Taken Seriously

A Real Threat: Why Russia's Air Force Should Be Taken SeriouslyAnd why countries love to buy them.


$20,000 worth of ride props were reportedly stolen from Walt Disney World

$20,000 worth of ride props were reportedly stolen from Walt Disney WorldThe Orlando Sentinel reported on Thursday that the items were taken from a shed behind Test Track in Epcot.


Portland antifa activist killed in hit and run, police say

Portland antifa activist killed in hit and run, police sayCity’s antifascist group says death of Sean D Kealiher, 23, was not ‘related to fascist activity’ and police did not specify a motiveThe Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/ReutersA Portland antifascist activist was killed in the early hours of Saturday in an apparent hit-and-run near Cider Riot, a cidery and taproom popular with the city’s anarchist left that has been the scene of conflict with rightwing groups. According to the Portland police bureau, the car involved was fired upon and crashed into a nearby building. Its occupants fled the scene. Police said in a statement that the 23-year-old victim, Sean D Kealiher, was taken to a local hospital by associates. The Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Police said homicide squad detectives would investigate and called on witnesses to come forward. Kealiher was a prominent participant in antifascist and anti-Trump protests in Portland, speaking and marching in opposition to events held by rightwing groups. His activities occasionally attracted the attention of rightwing bloggers and social media personalities. Rose City Antifa, the city’s longest-standing antifascist group, said in a tweet addressing Kealiher’s death that it “was not related to fascist activity”. Police did not specify a motive. Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler ,and the Oregon Democratic party, outside whose building the incident happened, expressed condolences on Twitter. Memorial tributes were laid at the site. Six men, including the Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, are awaiting trial on charges arising from a violent incident at Cider Riot on 1 May. In an affidavit in support of Gibson’s arrest warrant, police officer Brad Kalbaugh described the group approaching Cider Riot “in an effort clearly designed to provoke a physical confrontation”. Multiple videos of that incident show punches, thrown drinks and pepper spray being exchanged. One of the men awaiting trial, Ian Kramer, is alleged to have struck a woman with a baton, fracturing her vertebra. More video appears to show members of the group planning violence ahead of the brawl. Gibson and the other men are charged with riot. Some face felony assault charges.Cider Riot’s owner, Abram Goldman-Armstrong, has commenced a $1m lawsuit against Gibson and several others. Goldman-Armstrong’s lawyer, Juan Chavez, says his client has been subject to “homophobic and antisemitic” harassment since the suit was filed.


CNN’s Anti-Religious Town Hall

CNN’s Anti-Religious Town HallLGBT activists gathered last week for CNN’s “Equality” town hall with the Democratic presidential candidates. The advocates present were, in the words of Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, the “tip of the spear in our fight for full equality.”The “spear” metaphor grew more apt as the night went on.Religious freedom was the second-most-popular whipping post. The candidates talked about the concept with palpable derision, as if religion — save Islam, which they predictably if incoherently exempted — were a ruse used to cement old prejudices. No one actually believes those folksy things about God, heaven, and hell, right? Never considered was the notion that people hold earnest religious beliefs that in turn inform their views on sexual morality.The town hall was also evidence that the LGBTQ movement has grown more jaded and contemptuous, even as it has achieved more and more of its ostensible aims. If conciliation was ever the preferred tone, it is no longer. Instead, it is now increasingly unashamed and vituperative scorn.How would Elizabeth Warren, for instance, respond to someone on the campaign trail who said that they believed in the traditional definition of marriage? “Well, I’m gonna assume it’s a guy who said that,” she said. That elicited a laugh from the audience, men being the only acceptable punchline to the humorless scolds in the crowd. She continued, “I’m gonna say then just marry one woman. I’m cool with that." Then, after a pause: "If you can find one.”(Social science notwithstanding on that last jab.)Beto O’Rourke piled on further, affirming his belief that “freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it should not be used to discriminate.”You are, in other words, “free” to practice your religion, so long as you practice it in a manner that Beto O’Rourke — the skateboard-wielding ex-congressman who posts videos of his dental visits on social media — sees fit. Some animals are more equal than others: O’Rourke will be happy to “discriminate” against your church if it happens to hold an unpopular position on sexual ethics. He literally said so seconds later, when asked by Don Lemon if religious institutions should “lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same sex marriage.” O’Rourke’s response:> There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone, any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so as president, we are going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.What “human right” are religious organizations “infringing upon” when they “oppose” same-sex marriage? Do people have a “civil right” to have their sexual preferences validated by private religious organizations? Is there a “human right” to have your particular sexual union baptized by religious traditions with centuries of contravening theological directives?Pete Buttigieg took this same tack, insisting that “the right to religious freedom ends where religion is being used as an excuse to harm other people.” Which of course depends entirely on what Buttigieg means by “harm.” There is certainly “harm,” for instance, in mutilating the genitals of a young girl — a more ecumenical venture than progressives care to admit — but does a baker’s refusal to bake a cake that violates his religious convictions “harm other people”? What if a church refuses to host a ceremony that offends its moral precepts? Does “religious freedom end” when someone refuses to grant moral approbation to someone else’s choices and behavior?Indeed, that was the Freudian subtext of the entire town hall. “Equality?” That has, even on activists’ own terms, been long achieved. Notice, Alphonso David didn’t simply want “equality” — whatever that means — but “full equality”: your approval. Not simply your toleration, but your moral assent and your unhesitating affirmation. It’s not enough to live and let live. You will, in Erick Erickson’s words, “be made to care.”First, we were told that good sense held that we ought to allow two consenting adults to do as they wished in the privacy of their own bedroom. Fair enough — what business is it of ours? Next came civil unions. Fine. Then, marriage was redefined at a federal level on the basis of specious legal reasoning. Next, religious florists, bakers, and caterers were asked to violate their consciences and dragged before the courts if they declined. And now, at long last, the public exercise of religious faith, and the very belief itself, the very notion that one has rights to “oppose” practices that violate their private conscience, are under siege.All of which, we were told, would “never happen.” As the town hall put on display, it’s not for want of trying.


Malaysia to study impact of India's planned trade action

Malaysia to study impact of India's planned trade actionMalaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said his government will monitor the trade situation with India, which is reported to be considering trade curbs on the Southeast Asian nation over his criticism of actions in Kashmir, news wire Bernama reported. Government and industry sources told Reuters last week that New Delhi is looking for ways to limit palm oil imports and other goods from Malaysia, in retaliation for Mahathir's speech at the United Nations in September when he said India had "invaded and occupied" Jammu and Kashmir. Malaysia had said it did not receive "anything official" from India.


Big changes to grueling Special Forces course draw scrutiny

Big changes to grueling Special Forces course draw scrutinyThe overnight land navigation test is just one hurdle in the grueling, monthslong course to join the Army's elite Special Forces, and using the light violates the rules. "We got a light!" barks an Army instructor from the front seat of his truck as he patrols the woods. For the nearly 200 candidates scrambling through Hoffman Forest at Camp Mackall, the struggle to become a Green Beret is real.


yahoo gaming tech news

2020 Vision Monday: Polls show a 17-point swing toward impeaching Trump, which could drag down his reelection bid

2020 Vision Monday: Polls show a 17-point swing toward impeaching Trump, which could drag down his reelection bidA rapid 17-point shift means a majority of Americans may soon support impeachment, or, taking margin of error into account, might already. And that’s terrible news for Trump.


What's causing record rates of STDs?

What's causing record rates of STDs?After decades of decline, rates of certain STDs have spiked to record levels, according to the CDC. What's causing the increase?


Hong Kong protesters and police clash, metro and shops targeted

Hong Kong protesters and police clash, metro and shops targetedRallies in shopping malls on Hong Kong island and across the harbor in the Kowloon district began peacefully around midday with a few hundred people at each chanting "Free Hong Kong" and other slogans. Police said protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs at police, with one setting a police van alight in Kowloon's Sha Tin district. Police made several arrests and used tear gas to disperse protesters, saying they used "minimum force".


Typhoon leaves as many as 33 dead as Japan continues rescue

Typhoon leaves as many as 33 dead as Japan continues rescueHelicopters, boats and thousands of troops were deployed across Japan to rescue people stranded in flooded homes Sunday, as the death toll from a ferocious typhoon climbed to as high as 33. One woman fell to her death as she was being placed inside a rescue helicopter. Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo on Saturday evening and battered central and northern Japan with torrents of rain and powerful gusts of wind.


'It's got to stop': Superintendent condemns teacher's racist rant in school parking lot

'It's got to stop': Superintendent condemns teacher's racist rant in school parking lotA teacher at Drexel Hill Middle School in Pennsylvania has been placed on administrative leave after she used racial slurs in a viral Facebook video.


Russia denies US news report it bombed 4 Syria hospitals in 12 hours

Russia denies US news report it bombed 4 Syria hospitals in 12 hoursRussia on Monday denied a US newspaper report that its warplanes bombed four hospitals in rebel-held territory in Syria over a period of 12 hours this year. The Russian defence ministry rubbished the claim in a report by The New York Times, saying "the alleged 'evidence' provided by the NYT is not worth even the paper it was printed on". The May strikes -- which the newspaper tied to Moscow through Russian radio recordings, plane spotter logs and accounts by witnesses -- are part of a larger pattern of medical facilities targeted by forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's devastating civil war.


Billionaires Could Face Tax Rates Up to 97.5% Under Sanders

Billionaires Could Face Tax Rates Up to 97.5% Under Sanders(Bloomberg) -- Billionaires may have much more to fear from a Bernie Sanders presidency than they do from an Elizabeth Warren administration, according to two economists advising both candidates.That’s one of the conclusions of a new interactive website developed by University of California, Berkeley professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.If Sanders had his way, they calculate that the 400 richest Americans, on average, would have an effective tax rate of 97.5%. That includes not only their income, but also a wealth tax that whittles away at the family fortune.The 97.5% average effective tax rate under his plans compares with 23% now and 62% under Warren’s proposals, according to the two economists. Sanders and Warren have both pitched wealth taxes, which is a key reason that their plans tax billionaires so much more. Warren’s wealth tax places a 2% levy on fortunes above $50 million and a 3% levy on assets more than $1 billion. Sanders’ plan goes further, and starts taxing wealth of $32 million at 1%, increasing to an 8% tax on fortunes above $10 billion.“With the wealth tax, you get directly at the stock instead of hitting the flow of income, making it a much more powerful de-concentration tool than income taxes,” Saez said in an email about Sanders’ tax, which Sanders has said would cut the number of billionaires in the country in half in 15 years.The calculations by Saez and Zucman cover state, local and federal taxes and also treat health insurance premiums that individuals pay as a tax, arguing that they are one of main drivers of inequality in the U.S.If a Democrat wins in 2020, wealthy Americans would fare best if it were Joe Biden, even though the former vice president would hit the rich with a markedly bigger tax burden -- an effective average rate of 30.6%, or more than 7 percentage points higher than they face now under President Donald Trump.Read More: Why Taxing the Rich Is Popular But Isn’t Always Easy: QuickTakeLarge tax increases on the rich have been a key topic in the 2020 Democratic primary as candidates have looked for proposals that would lessen inequality and raise lots of revenue to pay for expensive social programs, such as expanded health care and free college tuition.The economists released an interactive website Sunday that lets users select different tax rates to see how levies on various income groups are increasing. Saez and Zucman are also releasing a book on Tuesday, “The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay,” making the case for large tax increases on top earners.All major Democratic candidates have called for higher taxes on the wealthy, including raising the income tax rates or increasing levies on capital gain income. Sanders, Warren and Senator Kamala Harris have also floated levies on stock and bond trades.Taxes on the wealthy have historically been popular with voters. For decades a majority of polls have shown that people think the wealthy pay too little in taxes. Gallup found in April that 62% of people say that “upper-income” individuals pay too little in taxes.To contact the reporters on this story: Rich Miller in Washington at rmiller28@bloomberg.net;Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling 'Ashamed,' and Kurdish Allies Describing 'Betrayal'

Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling 'Ashamed,' and Kurdish Allies Describing 'Betrayal'WASHINGTON -- U.S. commandos were working alongside Kurdish forces at an outpost in eastern Syria last year when they were attacked by columns of Syrian government tanks and hundreds of troops, including Russian mercenaries. In the next hours, the Americans threw the Pentagon's arsenal at them, including B-52 strategic bombers. The attack was stopped.That operation, in the middle of the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria, showed the extent to which the U.S. military was willing to protect the Syrian Kurds, its main ally on the ground.But now, with the White House revoking protection for these Kurdish fighters, some of the Special Forces officers who battled alongside the Kurds say they feel deep remorse at orders to abandon their allies."They trusted us and we broke that trust," one Army officer who has worked alongside the Kurds in northern Syria said last week in a telephone interview. "It's a stain on the American conscience.""I'm ashamed," said another officer who had also served in northern Syria. Both officers spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals from their chains of command.And the response from the Kurds themselves was just as stark. "The worst thing in military logic and comrades in the trench is betrayal," said Shervan Darwish, an official allied with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.The next flurry of orders from Washington, as some troops had feared, will pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria altogether. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Sunday that President Donald Trump had ordered the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops in the country's northeast to conduct a "deliberate withdrawal" out of the country in the coming days and weeks.The defense secretary's statement came after comments Friday pushing back on complaints that the United States was betraying allies in Syria -- "We have not abandoned the Kurds" -- even as he acknowledged that his Turkish counterpart had ignored his plea to stop the offensive.Army Special Forces soldiers -- mostly members of the 3rd Special Forces Group -- moved last week to consolidate their positions in the confines of their outposts miles away from the Syrian border, a quiet withdrawal that all but confirmed the United States' capitulation to the Turkish military's offensive to clear Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.But as the Americans pulled back, the Kurds moved north to try to reinforce their comrades fighting the offensive. The U.S. soldiers could only watch from their sandbag-lined walls. Orders from Washington were simple: Hands off. Let the Kurds fight for themselves.The orders contradicted the U.S. military's strategy in Syria over the last four years, especially when it came to the Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG, who were integral to routing the Islamic State group from northeastern Syria. The Kurds had fought in Manbij, Raqqa and deep into the Euphrates River Valley, hunting the last Islamic State fighters in the group's now defunct physical caliphate. But the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, as the Kurdish and their allied Arab fighters on the ground are called, are being left behind.U.S. Special Forces and other troops had built close ties with their Kurdish allies, living on the same dusty compounds, sharing meals and common dangers. They fought side by side, and helped evacuate Kurdish dead and wounded from the battlefield."When they mourn, we mourn with them," Gen. Joseph L. Votel, a former head of the military's Central Command, said Thursday at the Middle East Institute.The Kurdish forces and U.S. military have survived previous strains, including Trump's sudden decision in December to withdraw all U.S. troops from northern Syria, a decision that was later walked back somewhat.This time may be different, and irreversible. "It would seem at this particular point, we've made it very, very hard for them to have a partnership relationship with us because of this recent policy decision," Votel said.As part of security measures the United States brokered to tamp down tensions with Turkish troops, Kurdish forces agreed to pull back from the border, destroy fortifications and return some heavy weapons -- steps meant to show that they posed no threat to Turkish territory, but that later made them more vulnerable when Turkey launched its offensive.Special Forces officers described another recent operation with Kurds that underscored the tenacity of the group. The Americans and the Kurdish troops were searching for a low-level Islamic State leader in northern Syria. It was a difficult mission and unlikely they would find the commander.From his operations center, one U.S. officer watched the Kurds work alongside the Americans on the ground in an almost indistinguishable symmetry. They captured the Islamic State fighter."The SDF's elite counterterrorism units are hardened veterans of the war against ISIS whom the U.S. has seen in action and trust completely," said Nicholas A. Heras, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, who visited the SDF in July to advise them on the Islamic State group, or ISIS.During the battle against ISIS, coordination between the U.S. military and the Syrian Democratic Forces has extended from the highest levels to rank-and-file fighters, according to multiple interviews with SDF fighters and commanders in Syria over the course of the campaign.SDF commanders worked side by side with U.S. military officers in a joint command center in a defunct cement factory near the northern Syrian town of Kobani, where they discussed strategy and planned future operations.The battle of Kobani that began in 2014 gave birth to the United States' ties to the Kurds in northeastern Syria. ISIS fighters, armed with heavy American-made artillery captured from retreating Iraqi army units, surrounded Kobani, a Kurdish city, and entered parts of it.Despite the Obama administration's initial reluctance to offer help, the United States carried out airstrikes against advancing ISIS militants, and its military aircraft dropped ammunition, small arms and medical supplies to replenish the Kurdish combatants.That aid helped turn the tide, the Kurds defeated ISIS, and U.S. commanders realized they had discovered a valuable ally in the fight against the terrorist group.Thousands of SDF fighters received training from the United States in battlefield tactics, reconnaissance and first aid. Reconnaissance teams learned to identify Islamic State locations and transmit them to the command center for the U.S.-led military coalition to plan airstrikes.Visitors to front-line SDF positions often saw Syrian officers with iPads and laptops they used to communicate information to their U.S. colleagues."For the last two years, the coordination was pretty deep," said Mutlu Civiroglu, a Washington-based Kurdish affairs analyst who has spent time in northeastern Syria. "The mutual trust was very high, the mutual confidence, because this collaboration brought enormous results.""They completed each other," he said of the SDF and U.S.-led coalition. "The coalition didn't have boots on the ground, and fighters didn't have air support, so they needed each other."That coordination was critical in many of the big battles against the Islamic State group.To open the battle in one town, SDF fighters were deposited by coalition aircraft behind the Islamic State group's lines. At the start of another battle, U.S. Special Operations forces helped the SDF plot and execute an attack across the Euphrates River.Even after the Islamic State group had lost most of its territory, the United States trained counterterrorism units to do tactical raids on ISIS hideouts and provided them with intelligence needed to plan them.Even in territory far from the front lines with the Islamic State, SDF vehicles often drove before and after U.S. convoys through Syrian towns and SDF fighters provided perimeter security at facilities where U.S. personnel were based.The torturous part of America's on-again, off-again alliance with the Kurds -- one in which the United States has routinely armed the Kurds to fight various regimes it viewed as adversaries -- emerged in 1974, as the Kurds were rebelling against Iraq. Iran and the United States were allies, and the Shah of Iran and Henry Kissinger encouraged the Kurdish rebellion against the Iraqi government. CIA agents were sent to the Iraq-Iran border to help the Kurds.The Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani did not trust the Shah of Iran, but believed Kissinger when he said that the Kurds would receive help from the Americans.But a year later, the Shah of Iran made a deal with Saddam Hussein on the sidelines of an OPEC meeting: In return for some territorial adjustments along the Iran-Iraq border, the shah agreed to stop support for the Kurds.Kissinger signed off on the plan, the Iraqi military slaughtered thousands of Kurds and the United States stood by. When questioned, Kissinger delivered his now famous explanation: "Covert action," he said, "should not be confused with missionary work."In the fight against ISIS in Syria, Kurdish fighters followed their hard-fought triumph in Kobani by liberating other Kurdish towns. Then the Americans asked their newfound Kurdish allies to go into Arab areas, team up with local militias and reclaim those areas from the Islamic State group.The U.S. military implored the SDF to fight in the Arab areas, and so they advanced, seizing Raqqa and Deir el-Zour, winning but suffering large numbers of casualties.The American-Kurdish military alliance against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq "began with us helping them," said Peter W. Galbraith, the former U.S. diplomat who has for years also been a senior adviser to the Kurds in both Syria and Iraq. "But by the end, it was them helping us. They are the ones who recovered the territory that ISIS had taken."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


This New Submarine Could Be a Real Killer (And No, Its Not American)

This New Submarine Could Be a Real Killer (And No, Its Not American)Their first new submarine in a decade from France.


Anthony Scaramucci is desperately trying to recruit Mitt Romney for a 2020 run

Anthony Scaramucci is desperately trying to recruit Mitt Romney for a 2020 runSen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is running for president again -- at least in Anthony Scaramucci's dreams.The famously short-lived White House communications director has since turned on the president who appointed him, and has publicly said he's trying to knock President Trump off the 2020 ticket. Now, it seems Scaramucci has decided on his dream candidate, and has launched a website and line of T-shirts to persuade him to run.Scaramucci started making his support for Romney known earlier this month, tweeting a poll that showed the 2012 GOP nominee beating the presumptive 2020 nominee in a hypothetical primary. He then revealed last week he'd launched Mitt2020.org, and on Sunday night, showed off that the site was offering "commit to Mitt" campaign T-shirts. They are being sold at $20.20 each to "test demand," and so far Scaramucci has seen an "overwhelming" response, he told ABC News.> You may be proud of your "Where's Hunter?" T-shirt...but we're really proud of ours...You see, we know where Mitt is...he's listening, he's hearing, he's seeing, he's reading and he's coming.... https://t.co/sCUTWW6IHA committomitt mitt2020 @MittRomney MittRomney pic.twitter.com/gpgTdL33UY> > -- Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) October 12, 2019While Romney hasn't even hinted at granting Scaramucci's wishes, the "Mitt Happens" shirt is sure to be a collector's item in a few years.


Pope Francis's main bodyguard resigns over a leak

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More than a dozen police killed in ambush in violent Mexican state

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Police: No evidence of shooting after Florida mall lockdown

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A Florida dog went missing. 12 years later, she reunited with her owner in Pittsburgh

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View Photos of Our Sports Sedan Battle Between the Dodge Charger and Kia Stinger GT

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Syria regime steps in to halt Turkish assault on Kurds

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US officials are considering pulling nuclear weapons from Turkey, effectively severing the US-Turkey alliance

US officials are considering pulling nuclear weapons from Turkey, effectively severing the US-Turkey allianceThe US-Turkey relationship has soured over the past several years, but the US still stores as many as 50 B61 gravity bombs at Inçirlik Air Base.


Meet the Massive Ordnance Penetrator: The Air Force's Newest Bunker Buster Bomb

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Subway System to Shut Down at 10 p.m. Monday: Hong Kong Update

Subway System to Shut Down at 10 p.m. Monday: Hong Kong Update(Bloomberg) -- A Hong Kong police officer was hospitalized after being attacked as protests spread to 18 districts in the latest weekend of unrest.Sunday’s clashes follow a night of sporadic violence and come as some demonstrators debate online on whether to soften their tactics to avoid alienating more moderate supporters. Saturday’s march was called in protest against the government invoking emergency laws, including banning masks at public gatherings. The unrest erupted on June 9 in opposition to Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s now-withdrawn legislation that would’ve allowed extraditions to mainland China have since expanded into a push for greater democracy. Last week, tens of thousands of people flooded Hong Kong’s streets after Lam banned protesters from wearing masks in her latest effort to rein in the unrest.Here’s the latest (all times local):Subway to close at 10 p.m. on Monday (5:00 a.m.)Due to “serious vandalism,” the city’s rail operator MTR Corp. said on Monday all main subway lines, MTR buses and light rail would shut down early at 10 p.m. The Airport Express route was not affected, the company said, adding that it made the decision after reviewing ongoing repairs and conducting a “joint risk assessment” with the government.Officer hospitalized (5:30 p.m.)An officer was hospitalized with a neck wound after being slashed with a “sharp-edged” object at Kwun Tong train station, police said. Two people were arrested at the scene, according to a police statement.Officers fired tear gas to disperse crowds of masked people who damaged property in the districts of Shatin and Tsuen Wan, police said.MTR shuts stations (5:15 p.m.)MTR Corp., the city’s rail operator, closed down stops on four lines because of “an escalation of the situation at stations,” it said. The Kwun Tong, Shatin Wai, City One, Tsuen Wan and Tsuen Wan West stations were shut, MTR said in a statement on its website.Police confront protesters (3 p.m.)Riot police confronted black-clad protesters trying to barricade a road in Mong Kok, while demonstrators blocked a road in Tuen Mun and littered train tracks with rubbish in Shatin. Activists planned 18 district “blossom” events Sunday, with pop-up protests territory-wide.Restaurants closed (Sunday 9 a.m.)Protests have take their toll on Hong Kong’s restaurant industry, with about 100 restaurants having to shut down because of the months-long unrest in the city, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in a blog post Sunday.Around 2,000 employees have been affected as a result of the closures, Chan said in the Chinese-language post, citing the catering industry. He didn’t provide further details. Some retailers have also had to reduce the number of stores or cut back on staff, and several recent local events have had to be canceled for security reasons, Chan said.Lady Liberty (8 a.m.)A group of people assembled a makeshift statue of Lady Liberty overnight on top of the city’s iconic Lion Rock mountain in Kowloon. The three-meter (about 9.5 feet) figure wearing the protesters’ familiar helmet, goggles and masks, was originally created to represent a woman who was wearing a helmeted and masked figure.Police disperse crowd (10:30 p.m.)Police dispersed a crowd of people outside Mong Kok police station who had surrounded the building, thrown rocks at it and aimed lasers at officers. “Minimum force” was used to clear the crowd after several warnings for them to leave the area, according to a police statement.Offices set on fire (5 p.m.)A group of people set fire to the government offices in Cheung Sha Wan after breaking the security gate and entering the building, police said in a statement. Earlier, protesters gathered in Sham Shui Po, Prince Edward and Mong Kok. Railings were removed from roads, traffic was paralyzed in the area and some shops were vandalized, according to police.Officers issued a warning for people to leave the area immediately and said they would soon begin to disperse the crowds.Anti-emergency law march (3 pm.)Scattered bands of masked demonstrators marched from Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon to Sham Shui Po in protest against the decision by Lam to invoke an emergency law for the first time in more than half a century to ban face masks at public gatherings. Police stood by watchfully as the largely peaceful procession passed.Earlier police reported petrol bombs were thrown inside the Kowloon Tong train station, causing serious damage. No one was injured, they said.Wong disappointed by Apple (2 p.m.)Prominent activist Joshua Wong said in a letter to Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook that he was “deeply disappointed with Apple’s decision to ban” an app that was used by “lots” of Hong Kong people, according to a tweet by Wong reproduced part of his letter.He said he believed Apple was informed by Hong Kong police that the app was “being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present.”Apple CEO Defends Pulling Hong Kong App, Echoing Police ViewWong said “we use the real-time info from HKmap not with the intention to inflict personal harm on anyone but to protect ourselves from harm.”Police reshuffle (7:30 a.m.)Hong Kong police will appoint Frank Kwok, formerly with the elite special duties unit known as the Flying Tigers, as operations chief in a bid to better handle the protests, the South China Morning Post reported, citing an unidentified senior police official.Kwok will soon swap posts with Assistant Police Commissioner Terence Mak, who is currently in charge of operations, the newspaper reported. Kwok is New Territories North regional commander. Mak was originally being groomed as a future police chief, the Post reported. Commissioner Stephen Lo is expected to retire in a month and a successor has not yet been named. His departure was announced about a year ago.Rent cuts (Saturday 6 a.m.)MTR Corp., the city’s railway operator, Airport Authority Hong Kong and some property developers have offered to reduce rents to retailers affected by protests, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Financial Secretary Paul Chan.Chan has also appealed to private landlords to follow suit, the report said. Hysan Development Co. and Swire Properties Ltd. have confirmed rent cuts so far, the paper said, without saying where it got the information.Mask ban arrests climb to 90 (4:55 p.m.)Hong Kong police said they had arrested a total of 90 people as of Wednesday on suspicion of violating the mask ban. That’s up from 77 a day earlier.Lam’s decision to implement the ban under a colonial-era emergency ordinance that hadn’t been invoked in more than half a century sparked a destructive series of protests. The measure carries a possible sentence of as long as one year in jail.Police to probe assault claims (3:12 p.m.)Hong Kong police pledged to investigate a protester’s allegation that she was sexually assaulted by officers, after she dramatically shared her story at a university event.The woman, Sonia Ng, said she was assaulted in a dark body-search room at a detention center near the mainland Chinese border on Aug. 31 and wasn’t the only one who “suffered sexual violence.” Ng removed the face mask she was wearing in front of a crowd of more than 1,000 people and challenged university administrators present to take a stand against police violence.(An earlier version corrected the name of a town in "Police confront protesters" subhead)To contact the reporters on this story: Cathy Chan in Hong Kong at kchan14@bloomberg.net;Aaron Mc Nicholas in Hong Kong at amcnicholas2@bloomberg.net;Alfred Liu in Hong Kong at aliu226@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Stanley JamesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Police Respond to Reports of Mall Shooting in Florida, Confirm 1 Person Injured

Police Respond to Reports of Mall Shooting in Florida, Confirm 1 Person InjuredAuthorities have not yet identified the circumstances which led to the shooting


British paedophile who operated in Malaysia, Cambodia found dead in prison

British paedophile who operated in Malaysia, Cambodia found dead in prisonOne of Britain's most prolific child sex offenders, Richard Huckle, has died three years into a life sentence for abusing Malaysian and Cambodian children, Britain's Ministry of Justice said on Monday, with media saying he had been stabbed to death. Huckle, 33, who abused children and babies during a nine year period, was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to 71 offences. Dubbed the country's worst paedophile by Britain's media, he was found stabbed to death in prison on Sunday after being attacked with a makeshift knife, the BBC reported.


South Korean pop star Sulli found dead at her home

South Korean pop star Sulli found dead at her homeSouth Korean pop star and actress Sulli was found dead at her home south of Seoul on Monday, police said. The 25-year-old was found after her manager went to her home in Seongnam because she didn't answer phone calls for hours, said Kim Seong-tae, an official from the Seongnam Sujeong Police Department. "The investigation is ongoing and we won't make presumptions about the cause of death," said Kim, adding that security camera footage at Sulli's home showed no signs of an intrusion.


Disney World retesting Skyliner after malfunction grounds cable cars, reports say

Disney World retesting Skyliner after malfunction grounds cable cars, reports sayDisney World's Skyliner system is back up and running, but without passengers, as the park begins testing the system before reopening to guests.


China Built a Flying Saucer

China Built a Flying SaucerThe UFO is still on the ground—for now.


France 'worried' after nearly 800 IS relatives escape Syrian camp

France 'worried' after nearly 800 IS relatives escape Syrian campFrance said Sunday it was "worried" after Kurdish authorities reported that hundreds of relatives of foreign jihadists had escaped from a displacement camp in northern Syria in an area under Turkish assault. France has been hit by a wave of jihadist attacks since 2015, many claimed or inspired by the Islamic State group, and has expressed concerns that a Turkish assault on Kurdish forces at the helm of the fight against IS in Syria would bolster the radicals. "Of course we are worried about what could happen and that is why we want Turkey... to end" the assault "as quickly as possible", government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye told France 3 television.


Trump has delivered what Russia wants in Syria — at zero cost — and 'Putin likely can't believe his luck'

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In 1986, a Russian Submarine with 27 Nuclear Missiles Sank (And Exploded)

In 1986, a Russian Submarine with 27 Nuclear Missiles Sank (And Exploded)"Seawater combined with missile fuel to produce heat and toxic gases. Despite a crewman venting the tube, an explosion erupted in the silo, ejecting the missile and its warheads into the sea."


U.S. Gets Final OK to Hit EU With $7.5 Billion Airbus Sanction

U.S. Gets Final OK to Hit EU With $7.5 Billion Airbus Sanction(Bloomberg) -- The World Trade Organization on Monday formally authorized the U.S. to impose tariffs on about $7.5 billion worth of European exports annually in retaliation for illegal government aid to Airbus SE.Members approved this month’s arbitration award -- the largest in the trade organization’s history -- at a special meeting of the dispute settlement body at the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva. The development marks the final procedural hurdle before the U.S. can retaliate against European goods, which it plans to do on Oct. 18.The EU made a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. over the weekend to thwart the tariffs, seeking a negotiated settlement that would avoid the economic harm a tit-for-tat escalation would cause both parties. European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told her U.S. counterpart, Robert Lighthizer, that his tariff plan would compel the EU to apply countermeasures in a parallel lawsuit over aid the U.S. provided to Boeing Co.“I strongly believe that imposing additional tariffs in the two aircraft cases is not a solution,” Malmstrom said in an Oct. 11 letter to Lighthizer seen by Bloomberg News. “It would only inflict damage on businesses and put at risk jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, harm global trade and the broader aviation industry at a sensitive time.”‘Short-Sighted’U.S. Ambassador to the WTO Dennis Shea said at Monday’s meeting in Geneva that the Trump administration’s preference is to “find a negotiated outcome with the EU that ends all WTO-inconsistent subsidies,” according to a copy of his remarks obtained by Bloomberg. Malmstrom said last month that the EU had reached out to the U.S. with a “detailed proposal,” but that the U.S. wasn’t willing to negotiate.The EU said that it would be “short-sighted” for the U.S. to impose retaliatory tariffs on European goods and urged the U.S. to find a “fair and balanced solution” to the dispute, according to a statement delivered by Paolo Garzotti, the EU’s deputy head of delegation to the WTO.“Both the EU and the US have been found at fault by the WTO dispute settlement system,” Garzotti said. “In the parallel Boeing case, the EU will in some months equally be granted right to impose additional countermeasures. The mutual imposition of countermeasures, however, would only harm global trade and the broader aviation industry.”The EU has already published a preliminary list of U.S. goods -- from ketchup to video-game consoles -- it will target in a $12 billion plan for retaliatory levies related to the Boeing case. The WTO will issue an arbitration award next year. The office of the U.S. Trade Representative previously said it would impose a 10% tariff on large civil aircraft from France, Germany, Spain and the U.K. The U.S. will also slap 25% levies on a range of other items including Irish and Scotch whiskeys, wine, olives and cheese, as well as certain pork products, butter and yogurt from various European nations.(Updates with U.S. comment in the fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jonathan Stearns.To contact the reporter on this story: Bryce Baschuk in Geneva at bbaschuk2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Richard Bravo, Chris ReiterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Canadian Snowbird plane crashes during Atlanta air show

Canadian Snowbird plane crashes during Atlanta air showThe remaining festivities associated with the annual air show were cancelled following the crash


Special Report: The hunt for Asia's El Chapo

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Family of a missing Utah tech executive has called off search after body found

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Some states honoring indigenous people instead of Columbus

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When Elizabeth Warren ducked and dodged on Medicare for All

When Elizabeth Warren ducked and dodged on Medicare for AllSeven years before Elizabeth Warren said “I’m with Bernie on Medicare for All," she was campaigning for the Senate and didn’t want to talk about single-payer health care. Running a tough race against Republican incumbent Scott Brown, the first-time candidate repeatedly distanced herself from the idea. In one interview, she was grilled by New England Cable News host Jim Braude: He wanted to know if she’d support single-payer if she were “the tsarina” — in other words, if politics weren’t an obstacle.


North Cyprus head stands firm in row over Turkey criticism

North Cyprus head stands firm in row over Turkey criticismThe leader of breakaway northern Cyprus, Mustafa Akinci, stood firm in the face of calls to resign on Monday after criticising Turkey's military offensive in Syria. Akinci, president of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, took the rare step over the weekend of criticising Turkey, the only country that recognises the TRNC. "Even if we call it 'Peace Spring', it is blood that is spilling and not water," he wrote on Facebook, referring to the codename of the Turkish military operation against Kurdish-held northeast Syria launched last Wednesday.


Assad troops enter north-east Syria after Russia-backed deal with Kurds

Assad troops enter north-east Syria after Russia-backed deal with KurdsBashar al-Assad’s forces swept into cities across northeast Syria for the first time in seven years on Monday after the West’s former Kurdish allies agreed to a Russian-brokered deal to try to hold off a Turkish attack.  The Syrian regime’s black-and-red flag went up across the region as Russia seized on Donald Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds to restore Assad’s rule over swathes of territory he has not controlled since 2012.  Assad’s troops clashed with Turkish-backed Syrian rebels outside Manbij, a key city on the Turkey-Syria border where US forces are evacuating on Mr Trump’s orders.  Western officials are watching closely to see if the skirmishes escalate into a direct confrontation between Turkey and the Syrian regime, or whether Russia can broker another deal to keep the two countries from clashing. Several European countries joined France and Germany in halting arms sales to Turkey, as the EU put out a joint statement condemning the offensive.  A Syrian regime soldier waves the national flag a street on the western entrance of the town of Tal Tamr in the countryside of Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on October 14, 2019 Credit: AFP Fears were also rising over an Islamic State (Isil) resurgence as it emerged that US forces had failed to secure dozens of the most hardened jihadist fighters, and Isil prisoners once again rioted against their Kurdish guards.  Mr Trump suggested the Kurds were deliberately freeing Isil prisoners in a bid to get the West’s attention, a talking point that has been repeatedly used by Turkey’s government to discredit its Kurdish enemies.    Assad’s re-entry into northeastern Syria marks a dramatic redrawing of the lines of control in the war-torn country and likely signals the beginning of the end of seven years of Kurdish autonomy in the area.  Regime fighters began entering the provinces of Hasakah and Raqqa and were moving quickly to consolidate their control over long swathes of the Turkish-Syrian border with the permission of Kurdish troops.  The exact details of the agreement between Damascus and the Kurds remains unclear. Kurdish authorities insisted that they would maintain their political autonomy and that the deal was focused solely on military issues.  Syrian regime forces are pictured as they patrol a street on the western entrance of the town of Tal Tamr in the countryside of Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on October 14, 2019 Credit: AFP But other reports suggested that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Western-backed Kurdish units who led the fight against Isil, would be folded into Assad’s army and that northeast Syria would come back under direct rule from Damascus.     The immediate focus of the newly-aligned SDF and Assad regime is to repel Turkish-backed rebels from seizing control of Manbij, a border city west of the Euphrates River which is currently in Kurdish hands.  The Syrian rebels, known as the National Army, said Monday night they had launched an operation to “liberate Manbij and its surroundings from the terrorist gangs”. The National Army claimed to have engaged Assad’s forces and captured a tank in a first round of fighting. The battle for Manbij will pose a test for Turkey, which must decide whether to back its Syrian rebel allies with airstrikes at the risk of sparking a confrontation with the Syrian regime. Turkey - Syria map Russia is believed to be relaying messages between the two sides to try to avert conflict.  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, said he was determined to put the city under the control “our Arabic brothers” in the National Army. But while Turkish warplanes thundered overhead there were no reports they were striking Assad’s forces in support of the rebels.  US forces have been ordered to evacuate northern Syria but many troops remained caught up in the chaos as different armed groups maneuvered and the roads remained clogged with refugees.  Sen. Lindsey Graham Credit: AP The situation in northeast Syria collapsed into disorder so quickly that US special forces did not have time to carry out a plan to seize around 60 of the top Isil fighters in Kurdish custody, according to the New York Times.  US commandos had planned to take the prisoners from the Kurds and move them to Iraq but were unable to reach a key road in time.  It is not known if any British fighters were among the 60 men on the US list. America has already taken custody of Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, the two surviving members of the “Beatles” group of alleged British executioners.      The report appeared to drastically undercut Mr Trump’s claim that “the US has the worst of the Isil prisoners”.  Mr Trump also said the “Kurds may be releasing some [Isil prisoners] to get us involved” in trying to stop Turkey’s offensive. Mr Erdoğan and other Turkish officials have made the same claim repeatedly in recent days.  The Turkish military released a video which it claimed showed its commandos entering a Kurdish prison only to find that the guards had released all the inmates. But Kurdish officials suggested the video was staged at an empty facility never used as a prison.  SDF guards at a prison were wounded during a riot by Isil prisoners at Ain Issa, according to Kurdish media. The Isil suspects still in Kurdish custody are panicked at the prospect they could be handed over to the Assad regime, which has a long history of torturing detainees.


Can The U.S. Army's Latest Air Defense System Handle 21st Century Warfare?

Can The U.S. Army's Latest Air Defense System Handle 21st Century Warfare?A demonstration might give us hints.


A woman got her arm cut off by a propeller on a plane that her husband was preparing to fly

A woman got her arm cut off by a propeller on a plane that her husband was preparing to flyThe couple got out of the plane to make sure it's wheels were clear before taxiing to the runway, when her arm came into contact with the propeller.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faces backlash over haircut

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faces backlash over haircutThis week, the Washington Times published a story saying that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., had spent $80 on a haircut and $180 on color at a Washington, D.C., salon, a choice the newspaper presented as hypocritical, given she “regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway.”


Son of sheriff who called immigrants ‘drunks’ at White House event arrested for public intoxication

Son of sheriff who called immigrants ‘drunks’ at White House event arrested for public intoxicationThe son of a Texas sheriff who used a White House press conference to describe immigrant offenders as “drunks” likely to repeatedly break the law has been arrested for public intoxication.Sergei Waybourn, 24, faces a count of indecent exposure as well as public drunkenness just days after his father, Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, was criticised for the comments.


UPDATE 1-Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate action

UPDATE 1-Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate actionIn a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne. Wearing white laboratory coats to symbolise their research credentials, a group of about 20 of the signatories gathered on Saturday to read out the text outside London's century-old Science Museum in the city's upmarket Kensington district. "We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and non-violent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law," said Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster with a PhD in molecular biology.


The Latest: Morawiecki likely to stay Polish prime minister

The Latest: Morawiecki likely to stay Polish prime ministerOfficials from Poland's ruling party say Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is a "natural" to stay on as head of government after the party's second consecutive election victory. Mueller says Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has repeatedly praised Morawiecki and said he would continue in the job after Sunday's election. Official returns from 99.5% percent of the votes counted in Poland's parliamentary election suggest the country's ruling right-wing party might have lost its majority in the upper chamber, the Senate.


Mobile phones back in Indian Kashmir, but internet still down

Mobile phones back in Indian Kashmir, but internet still downMobile phone networks were restored in Indian Kashmir on Monday after a 72-day blackout, authorities said, but the internet remains off-limits to the region's seven million-plus people. India cut access to mobile networks in the restive Kashmir Valley in early August citing security concerns as it scrapped the region's semi-autonomous status and imposed a lockdown. The easing on Monday covers around four million post-paid mobile phone contracts, but only for calls and text messages.


Tight squeeze: Cruise ship passes through Greek Canal with only 5 feet of breathing room

Tight squeeze: Cruise ship passes through Greek Canal with only 5 feet of breathing roomFred Olsen Cruise Lines says its MS Braemar set a record for the biggest ship to pass through Greece's narrow Corinth Canal on Oct. 9.


U.S. ‘Withdraws’ as Kurds Strike Deal to Let Assad’s Forces Into Region

U.S. ‘Withdraws’ as Kurds Strike Deal to Let Assad’s Forces Into RegionKhalil Ashawi/ReutersAmid a Turkish assault, the Kurds, or Syrian Democratic Forces, have struck a deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, that will bring forces loyal to Assad back into areas that have been under Kurdish control for years.“An agreement has been reached with the Syrian government—whose duty it is to protect the country’s borders and preserve Syrian sovereignty—for the Syrian Army to enter and deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to help the SDF stop this aggression [by Turkey],” the Kurds said in a statement.Once the agreement was made Sunday night, Syrian Assad troops began moving into towns near the border with Turkey where Turkish forces have been encroaching since President Trump announced that he was withdrawing American forces from the region earlier this week.The agreement appears to undermine any expectation that United States might continue to assist the Kurds—Washington’s allies against ISIS—as they are attacked by Turkey. In the aftermath of Trump’s announcement, with a Turkish invasion carried out just days later, American forces were unable to carry out a move of about 60 “high value” ISIS detainees out of wartime prisons run by the Kurds, The New York Times reports. The chaos also made way for hundreds of ISIS prisoners on Sunday to escape from a low-security detention camp in the area.In the latest surge of anti-war rhetoric from the Trump administration, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday that the U.S. is launching a “deliberate withdrawal” of American forces from northern Syria but refused to say how long it will take.“We want to conduct it safely and quickly as possible,” Esper told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday morning, adding, “I’m not prepared to put a timeline on it, but that’s our general game plan.” Two knowledgeable U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that the troops are just withdrawing further away from the advance of Turkish forces massacring the Syrian Kurds whom America relied upon to destroy the so-called Islamic State’s caliphate.There are currently 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria. A knowledgeable U.S. official said hundreds of those troops, without further specificity, will leave Syria for elsewhere in the Mideast. Following a pullout from two northern Syrian observation posts last week, the U.S. will now retreat farther away from the area Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invaded.Esper said Trump gave the withdrawal order because Turkish forces are pushing further south into Syria and Kurdish forces had been trying to cut a deal with Syria and Russia to counter-attack.“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” he said.But as Esper made clear, the order affects only the north and there will still be American forces in the rest of Syria even as Trump—who separately has ordered about 14,000 U.S. troops to the Persian Gulf region over the past six months—rails against the disastrous, bloody, and interminable U.S. misadventure in the Middle East over the past generation.A U.S. official told CNN that U.S. policy “has failed” and that the campaign in Syria to defeat ISIS is “over for now,” giving the terrorist group “a second lease on life with nearly 100,000 [people] who will re-join their jihad.” The mixed messaging by the Trump administration is making it difficult for even his most ardent supporters to help unravel his foreign policy on Syria as it spins out of control. Just days after Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria where they have been providing weapons and cover to allied Kurdish fighters on the border between Turkey and Syria, Turkey began a military incursion that has sent the region into a level of chaos it has not seen in recent years.The Daily Beast first reported Friday that claims made by the Trump administration that U.S. troops had been withdrawn were false. “We are out of there. We’ve been out of there for a while,” Trump said Wednesday. “No soldiers whatsoever.” Two officials told The Daily Beast that in fact the U.S. military had only pulled back from—not completely out of—northern Syria. They had simply abandoned two small observation posts from which they supported Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS fighters. Trump Says U.S. Troops Have Quit Syria. It’s Not True.Trump then tweeted that he had been talking with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–SC), who had been highly critical of Trump’s decision to remove troops. “Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS,” Graham warned Wednesday. “I urge President Trump to change course while there is still time by going back to the safe zone concept that was working.” Graham later tweeted that any sanctions had to be serious. “The conditional sanctions announced today will be viewed by Turkey as a tepid response and will embolden Erdogan even more,” Graham tweeted Friday. “The Turkish government needs to know Congress will take a different path—passing crippling sanctions in a bipartisan fashion.”But in a Sunday morning tweet, the president wrote that he was working with Graham “and many members of Congress, including Democrats, about imposing powerful Sanctions on Turkey.”He then added: “Treasury is ready to go, additional legislation may be sought. There is great consensus on this. Turkey has asked that it not be done. Stay tuned!”Turkey has warned that any threats of sanctions would be met with the release of millions of refugees along the border between Turkey and Syria into Europe. Trump told reporters at the White House earlier this week that such a possibility did not concern him. “Well they’re going to be escaping to Europe,” he said. “That’s where they want to go, they want to go back to their homes.”On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that up to 700 ISIS sympathizers did escape the Ain Eissa camp, which holds up 12,000 people caught up in years of unrest. Most of those who escaped are ISIS brides and children, but officials warn that they could be part of a resurgence of the so-called Islamic state. Several known ISIS fighters were also spotted fighting in the current conflict, according to CNN, which reported that at least five fighters had escaped the notorious Ghuwairan prison due to heavy shelling in the area. During an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)—who has been one of the president’s most vocal defenders on the Syria decision—called it a “messy, complicated situation” while saying the president was right to move soldiers out of the way because “Turkey was coming in one way or another.” When moderator Chuck Todd noted that U.S. soldiers near the Turkish border were serving as a deterrent to an Erdogan invasion, Paul retorted “they were until they weren’t.”Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin repeated Paul’s line that this is a “complicated situation” when asked on ABC’s This Week why the administration hasn’t imposed sanctions on Turkey yet.“We are ready to go on a moment’s notice to put on sanctions,” Mnuchin said. “As I said, these sanctions could be starting small. They could be maximum pressure which would destroy the Turkish economy. The president is very focused on this. He’s offered to mediate the situation.”Mnunchin also pushed back on criticism from those within the president’s own party. In response to Graham and others saying sanctions would be a tepid reaction to Turkey, Mnuchin stated that this is a “multi-step process” and the administration needs to make sure “we have the proper authorizations.” The treasury chief, meanwhile, was asked what the president was talking about when he criticized the Kurds for not storming the beaches at Normandy alongside U.S. troops. Mnuchin asserted Trump’s analogy was that he was pushing back on everyone “saying the Kurds are these long-standing allies” and that our role in Syria “was not to defend the Kurds.”On CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said that while he wished the president’s decision had “been different,” he feels that we tend to “oversimplify the complicated relationships” in the region. He went on to say this wasn’t a “binary choice” as both the Turks and Kurds are considered allies. As for whether the U.S. was retreating from the area and allowing the Turks to invade northern Syria, Cramer said “we can’t be in the middle of every skirmish in the neighborhood.”House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel (D-NY), meanwhile, told Meet the Press that while he is working on a bipartisan bill that will slap sanctions on Turkey and condemn the president’s policy as it relates to the Kurds, he acknowledges that “it’s not going to stop” the Turks now. Asked whether it’s too late to do anything at this point, Engel seemed to resign himself to that notion.“We could mitigate the damage,” he told Todd. “Of course, it’s spiraling quickly. And what’s happened, of course, is a lot of ISIS prisoners, we’ve gotten reports that they have been released or they’ve escaped and so this is just the tip of the iceberg. And if we think this is terrible, I predict we will have many, many more days, weeks, and months of terrible things like this.”Elsewhere on Meet the Press, former secretary of defense James Mattis warned that ISIS could see a revival in the area, noting the Syrian Democratic Forces were the ones who largely fought the terror group in Syria. If we don’t keep pressure on, ISIS will resurge,” Mattis said. “It’s absolutely a given that they will come back.”During his State of the Union interview, South Bend Mayor and Afghanistan War veteran Pete Buttigieg insisted Trump was “systematically destroying American allies and American values.”“What’s even more disturbing to me as a veteran is hearing from soldiers who feel they have lost their honor over this, who feel they are unable to look in the eye [of] allies who put their lives on line to fight with us,” he added. “If you take away a soldier’s honor, you might as well go after their body armor next. That is what the commander-in-chief is doing right now.”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.


A Real Threat: Why Russia's Air Force Should Be Taken Seriously

A Real Threat: Why Russia's Air Force Should Be Taken SeriouslyAnd why countries love to buy them.


$20,000 worth of ride props were reportedly stolen from Walt Disney World

$20,000 worth of ride props were reportedly stolen from Walt Disney WorldThe Orlando Sentinel reported on Thursday that the items were taken from a shed behind Test Track in Epcot.


Portland antifa activist killed in hit and run, police say

Portland antifa activist killed in hit and run, police sayCity’s antifascist group says death of Sean D Kealiher, 23, was not ‘related to fascist activity’ and police did not specify a motiveThe Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/ReutersA Portland antifascist activist was killed in the early hours of Saturday in an apparent hit-and-run near Cider Riot, a cidery and taproom popular with the city’s anarchist left that has been the scene of conflict with rightwing groups. According to the Portland police bureau, the car involved was fired upon and crashed into a nearby building. Its occupants fled the scene. Police said in a statement that the 23-year-old victim, Sean D Kealiher, was taken to a local hospital by associates. The Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Police said homicide squad detectives would investigate and called on witnesses to come forward. Kealiher was a prominent participant in antifascist and anti-Trump protests in Portland, speaking and marching in opposition to events held by rightwing groups. His activities occasionally attracted the attention of rightwing bloggers and social media personalities. Rose City Antifa, the city’s longest-standing antifascist group, said in a tweet addressing Kealiher’s death that it “was not related to fascist activity”. Police did not specify a motive. Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler ,and the Oregon Democratic party, outside whose building the incident happened, expressed condolences on Twitter. Memorial tributes were laid at the site. Six men, including the Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, are awaiting trial on charges arising from a violent incident at Cider Riot on 1 May. In an affidavit in support of Gibson’s arrest warrant, police officer Brad Kalbaugh described the group approaching Cider Riot “in an effort clearly designed to provoke a physical confrontation”. Multiple videos of that incident show punches, thrown drinks and pepper spray being exchanged. One of the men awaiting trial, Ian Kramer, is alleged to have struck a woman with a baton, fracturing her vertebra. More video appears to show members of the group planning violence ahead of the brawl. Gibson and the other men are charged with riot. Some face felony assault charges.Cider Riot’s owner, Abram Goldman-Armstrong, has commenced a $1m lawsuit against Gibson and several others. Goldman-Armstrong’s lawyer, Juan Chavez, says his client has been subject to “homophobic and antisemitic” harassment since the suit was filed.


CNN’s Anti-Religious Town Hall

CNN’s Anti-Religious Town HallLGBT activists gathered last week for CNN’s “Equality” town hall with the Democratic presidential candidates. The advocates present were, in the words of Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, the “tip of the spear in our fight for full equality.”The “spear” metaphor grew more apt as the night went on.Religious freedom was the second-most-popular whipping post. The candidates talked about the concept with palpable derision, as if religion — save Islam, which they predictably if incoherently exempted — were a ruse used to cement old prejudices. No one actually believes those folksy things about God, heaven, and hell, right? Never considered was the notion that people hold earnest religious beliefs that in turn inform their views on sexual morality.The town hall was also evidence that the LGBTQ movement has grown more jaded and contemptuous, even as it has achieved more and more of its ostensible aims. If conciliation was ever the preferred tone, it is no longer. Instead, it is now increasingly unashamed and vituperative scorn.How would Elizabeth Warren, for instance, respond to someone on the campaign trail who said that they believed in the traditional definition of marriage? “Well, I’m gonna assume it’s a guy who said that,” she said. That elicited a laugh from the audience, men being the only acceptable punchline to the humorless scolds in the crowd. She continued, “I’m gonna say then just marry one woman. I’m cool with that." Then, after a pause: "If you can find one.”(Social science notwithstanding on that last jab.)Beto O’Rourke piled on further, affirming his belief that “freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it should not be used to discriminate.”You are, in other words, “free” to practice your religion, so long as you practice it in a manner that Beto O’Rourke — the skateboard-wielding ex-congressman who posts videos of his dental visits on social media — sees fit. Some animals are more equal than others: O’Rourke will be happy to “discriminate” against your church if it happens to hold an unpopular position on sexual ethics. He literally said so seconds later, when asked by Don Lemon if religious institutions should “lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same sex marriage.” O’Rourke’s response:> There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone, any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so as president, we are going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.What “human right” are religious organizations “infringing upon” when they “oppose” same-sex marriage? Do people have a “civil right” to have their sexual preferences validated by private religious organizations? Is there a “human right” to have your particular sexual union baptized by religious traditions with centuries of contravening theological directives?Pete Buttigieg took this same tack, insisting that “the right to religious freedom ends where religion is being used as an excuse to harm other people.” Which of course depends entirely on what Buttigieg means by “harm.” There is certainly “harm,” for instance, in mutilating the genitals of a young girl — a more ecumenical venture than progressives care to admit — but does a baker’s refusal to bake a cake that violates his religious convictions “harm other people”? What if a church refuses to host a ceremony that offends its moral precepts? Does “religious freedom end” when someone refuses to grant moral approbation to someone else’s choices and behavior?Indeed, that was the Freudian subtext of the entire town hall. “Equality?” That has, even on activists’ own terms, been long achieved. Notice, Alphonso David didn’t simply want “equality” — whatever that means — but “full equality”: your approval. Not simply your toleration, but your moral assent and your unhesitating affirmation. It’s not enough to live and let live. You will, in Erick Erickson’s words, “be made to care.”First, we were told that good sense held that we ought to allow two consenting adults to do as they wished in the privacy of their own bedroom. Fair enough — what business is it of ours? Next came civil unions. Fine. Then, marriage was redefined at a federal level on the basis of specious legal reasoning. Next, religious florists, bakers, and caterers were asked to violate their consciences and dragged before the courts if they declined. And now, at long last, the public exercise of religious faith, and the very belief itself, the very notion that one has rights to “oppose” practices that violate their private conscience, are under siege.All of which, we were told, would “never happen.” As the town hall put on display, it’s not for want of trying.


Malaysia to study impact of India's planned trade action

Malaysia to study impact of India's planned trade actionMalaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said his government will monitor the trade situation with India, which is reported to be considering trade curbs on the Southeast Asian nation over his criticism of actions in Kashmir, news wire Bernama reported. Government and industry sources told Reuters last week that New Delhi is looking for ways to limit palm oil imports and other goods from Malaysia, in retaliation for Mahathir's speech at the United Nations in September when he said India had "invaded and occupied" Jammu and Kashmir. Malaysia had said it did not receive "anything official" from India.


Big changes to grueling Special Forces course draw scrutiny

Big changes to grueling Special Forces course draw scrutinyThe overnight land navigation test is just one hurdle in the grueling, monthslong course to join the Army's elite Special Forces, and using the light violates the rules. "We got a light!" barks an Army instructor from the front seat of his truck as he patrols the woods. For the nearly 200 candidates scrambling through Hoffman Forest at Camp Mackall, the struggle to become a Green Beret is real.