|Iran Says It Seized Ship for Smuggling, Stoking Tensions|
(Bloomberg) -- Iran said it seized a foreign ship that was smuggling fuel in the Persian Gulf, an act that threatens to heighten already tense relations in the world’s biggest oil-exporting region. The description of the vessel looks similar to that of a tanker that disappeared from global satellite tracking systems four days ago. Patrolling forces stopped the carrier on July 14 south of Larak island, close to the Strait of Hormuz, the shipping chokepoint at the mouth of the Gulf, according to state-run Tasnim news agency. The ship, carrying 1 million liters of fuel, was headed to load smuggled fuel from local boats and deliver it to foreign vessels, state-run Iranian Students News Agency reported, citing a statement from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The seizure follows threats Iran has made in the past few weeks after British Royal Marines helped authorities in Gibraltar impound a supertanker as it carried Iranian crude in the Mediterranean Sea seemingly bound for Syria. About one-third of the world’s seaborne oil passed through the Strait of Hormuz last year, highlighting its key role in global oil markets.Iran has been blamed for attacks on merchant shipping in recent months but has denied responsibility.Oil PricesBrent crude rose 54 cents and was trading at $64.20 a barrel at 1:31 p.m. in London. The benchmark futures contract has gained 19% this year, partly due to worsening friction between Iran and its regional rival Saudi Arabia.The ship, which Iranian forces seized four days ago, had 12 foreigners on board and a 2 million-liter capacity, ISNA reported. Iran’s state National Iranian Tanker Co. didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.The U.S. 5th Fleet is aware of the reports that Iran had seized a tanker and had no immediate comment on the matter, according to the military’s Bahrain-based public affairs office. U.S. Central Command’s media office in Florida said it was aware of the latest reports and trying to learn more.The Riah, which went missing on July 14, has a capacity 1,899 deadweight tons, according to Equasis, an international shipping database. That would give it a transportation capacity of roughly 2 million liters -- about the same as the ship Iran says it has seized.That’s a fraction of the nearly 160,000-ton capacity of the British Heritage, the U.K.-flagged oil tanker harassed by Iranian ships last week while exiting the Gulf.(Updates oil price in sixth paragraph; adds ship capacity details in ninth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Anthony DiPaola and Verity Ratcliffe.To contact the reporters on this story: Arsalan Shahla in Tehran at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nayla Razzouk at firstname.lastname@example.org, Bruce Stanley, Alaric NightingaleFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
|Trump attacks on the 'Squad' an electoral gambit|
Donald Trump tapped into a vein of grievance among white blue-collar and rural Americans to eke out a narrow victory in the 2016 US presidential election. Without a Democratic presidential candidate to focus on yet, the Republican chief executive has sought to make the four minority lawmakers known as the "Squad" the face of the Democratic Party. In tweets and remarks this week decried as racist by his opponents, Trump said the four should "go back" to their countries of origin if they are not happy here.
|Samantha Bee Shocked Kellyanne Conway Somehow Even ‘More Racist’ Than Trump|
TBSSamantha Bee didn’t have time to cover all of President Trump’s recent “racisms,” instead choosing to zero in on his demand that four freshmen Congresswomen of color go back to the countries “from which they came.” “Sadly, the only thing that should surprise anyone is that he wrote ‘from which they came’ to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition,” the Full Frontal host joked. “Way to go, Shakespeare, now return your head to the orifice from which it came.” “Of course, it wasn't long before spokes-golem Kellyanne Conway leapt to his defense by somehow sounding more racist than her boss,” Bee continued before playing the clip of the White House counselor literally responding to a reporter’s question with, “What’s your ethnicity?” “Fun fact,” Bee said, “that's also how she answers the phone.” Seth Meyers Tears Into Cowardly Republicans Hiding from Racist Trump TweetsFrom there, she moved onto the resolution condemning Trump’s remarks that passed the House with the support of only four Republican members. “So most House Republicans are A-OK with racism,” Bee said, “which is great news if Biden is elected because at least he has a history of working with segregationists.” The host spent the rest of her opening segment breaking down just how racist Trump’s policies are, including his efforts to stop even legal immigration to the United States. “It’s almost as if he doesn’t like people from certain parts of the world or something,” Bee said. “God, if only there were a word for that.” For more, listen to Samantha Bee on The Last Laugh podcast below.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
|Investigators 'discover mysterious 200lb load' on board MH370 after take-off|
Investigators looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have discovered a “mysterious 200lb load” added to the flight list after take-off, according to an engineer whose wife and two children were on board. Ghyslain Wattrelos said the cargo was revealed in a report on the passengers and baggage by French investigators. Mr Wattrelos, who believes the flight was deliberately downed, told Le Parisien newspaper: “It was also learned that a mysterious load of 89 kilos was added to the flight list after take-off. A container was also overloaded, without anyone knowing why. It may be incompetence or manipulation. Everything is possible. This will be part of the questions for the Malaysians.” MH370 became one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries when it vanished with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. French investigators who examined flight data at Boeing’s headquarters in Seattle believe that the pilot was in control of the airliner “right up to the end”. A modern mystery | Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mr Wattrelos said the investigators told him the data “lends weight” to the theory that the pilot crashed into the sea in a murder-suicide, although they stressed that there was no proof. The investigators expect it to take up to a year to examine the data fully. However, some experts believe a hijack by a stowaway is a possibility and the mysterious load could lend credence to the theory. Tim Termini, an aviation security specialist, told Channel 5 earlier this month: “It’s highly likely that a hijack took place and again, there’s four options for the hijack. "One is the hijack of the aircraft through a crew member. The second is a hijack coming from a passenger. A third option, which is a fairly unusual one, would be a stowaway. And then of course the fourth option is an electrical takeover of the aircraft from a ground-based station.” Mr Wattrelos, 54, who has led a campaign to find out what happened to the flight, acknowledged that “there is a risk that I may never learn the full truth.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
|2-year-old girl who disappeared from Michigan campsite found alive|
Police have found the 2-year-old who went missing from a campsite in Comins Township, Michigan, on Monday. The search lasted more than 24 hours.
|7,800 police in Philippines punished for deadly drug raids|
Thousands of Philippine police officers have received administrative punishments with more than 2,000 dismissed for wrongdoings during raids where drug suspects were killed under the president's crackdown, officials said Thursday. Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Rafael Banaag told a news conference that 14,724 police were investigated for their involvement in police drug operations that led to deaths from July 2016 until last April. A tally presented by Banaag showed that 2,367 police officers have been fired, 4,100 suspended while the rest were reprimanded, demoted, had their salaries forfeited or deprived of certain privileges.
|View Photos of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO|
|Storm Area 51: US Air Force warns alien-hunters against breaking into top-secret base|
The US Air Force has urged people not to invade Area 51 in search of aliens.Anyone attempting to do so will have to deal with highly developed defence measures, the military has said.A widespread internet joke – joined by more than a million people – suggests that people attempt to run into the Area 51 base on 20 September. If enough people do so, then at least some will be able to get through and storm the base, the Facebook group suggests.“They can’t stop all of us” it says. ”Let’s see them aliens.”Officials say they will not discuss the details of the security measures that are built to keep people out of the base. But they stressed that they are powerful and suggested soldiers are trained for this kind of situation.The range provides “flexible, realistic and multidimensional battlespace” for testing and “advanced training in support of US national interests”, it said.Nellis Air Force Base said in a statement that officials are aware of the Facebook posting and “any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged”.After decades of government officials refusing to acknowledge Area 51, the CIA released declassified documents in 2013 referring to the 8,000-square mile installation by name and locating it on a map near the dry Groom Lake bed.The base has been a testing ground for a host of top-secret aircraft, including the U-2 in the 1950s and later the B-2 stealth bomber.Secrecy surrounding the site has fuelled conspiracy theories among UFO enthusiasts and sprouted a small, alien-themed tourist industry in surrounding desert communities, including cafes, a motel and even a brothel.Additional reporting by agencies
|North Carolina father of 7 dies trying to save his drowning children at beach|
A North Carolina father drowned Sunday while rescuing two of his youngchildren who were swept away by a wave while walking on a submerged jetty atWrightsville Beach
|China Is Drafting Urgent Plan to Resolve Hong Kong Chaos, SCMP Says|
(Bloomberg) -- Chinese officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs are working on an urgent strategy to solve the city’s political chaos and have ruled out the use of military force, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the discussions.They will soon present top leaders in Beijing with both an immediate plan to handle the mass protests and a longer-term strategy that could result in China overhauling its management of the former British colony, the newspaper said, without elaborating on a date.Beijing maintains that the crisis is best left for Hong Kong authorities to resolve and doesn’t want to get directly involved, according to the report. Beijing has expressed public support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam throughout weeks of unrest and political gridlock, saying this week that it “firmly supports” her leadership.On Thursday, China condemned a joint motion for a resolution in the European Parliament that called on EU member states and other nations to investigate export controls “to deny China, and in particular Hong Kong, access to technologies” that could be used to violate human rights.“China strongly opposes this,” spokesman Lu Kang said. “China does value its relations with Europe, but maintaining a healthy relationship requires joint efforts.“Lam on Monday vowed she would remain in office, after a Financial Times report said she had offered to resign but that Beijing insisted she stay and clean up “the mess she created.”The Chinese officials also see Hong Kong’s police force as key to maintaining stability, the newspaper said. Officers’ tactics have come under fire after they used rounds of tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and pepper spray in dispersing the protests. Demonstrators have demanded an independent investigation into what they deem a use of excessive force, while opposition lawmakers have called for the resignation of security chief John Lee.Earlier: Hong Kong Police Tactics Under Fire as Legislature ResumesMainland officials want to avoid bloodshed and ensure the financial hub remains largely stable, the newspaper reported, citing the people familiar. China’s approach will be to “lure the snake from its hole,” according to one adviser cited by the SCMP, taking a defensive position until the opposition reveals its strategy.They’re also considering whether the current environment makes it too risky for President Xi Jinping to visit another former European colony, Macau, later this year for 20th anniversary celebrations of its return to Chinese rule, the paper reported.Crowds of Hong Kong protesters have turned out in unprecedented sizes every week since mid-June. In recent gatherings, their anger has focused on China. More protests are being planned in neighborhoods across the city by demonstrators vowing to spread the word until Lam responds to their demands, including the official withdrawal of legislation that would allow extraditions to the mainland and first sparked the rallies.There are indications that Xi and his top officials are preparing for their annual summer conclave in the seaside city of Beidaihe, which this year will bear even closer watching than usual as China faces growing risks at home and abroad, including Hong Kong’s unrest and an ongoing trade war with the U.S.(Updates in fourth paragraph with China foreign ministry comments)\--With assistance from Dandan Li.To contact the reporters on this story: Karen Leigh in Hong Kong at email@example.com;Dominic Lau in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at email@example.com, James Mayger, Iain MarlowFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
|US Congress blocks Saudi arms sales in rebuke to Trump|
The US House voted Wednesday to block $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other allies, a rebuke of Donald Trump that will likely lead to a veto by the president. Lawmakers, many of whom are outraged with the kingdom over Riyadh's role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year, approved three resolutions that would prevent the controversial sales announced under emergency measures earlier this year by Trump. The resolutions blocking the sales have already cleared the US Senate, and now go to the White House, where Trump is expected to issue the third veto of his presidency.
|Ingraham: The Democrats' new AOC plus 3 agenda|
President Trump not afraid to take on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her 'squad,' Democrats rush to their defense.
|A Military Flyboard Doesn’t Make Any Sense|
They’re not useful on the battlefield—even if France might think otherwise.
|New York City removed 110 trash cans. Now garbage is overflowing and the rats are 'running wild'|
Rats are populating the Upper West Side thanks to the removal of trash cans by the New York City Department of Sanitation.
|The California hiker who was found after spending 4 days alone in the wilderness says she got lost after fleeing a man with a knife|
Sheryl Powell, 60, disappeared on Friday while on a camping trip with her husband. Search teams found her alive and well on Monday.
|How Kim Jong Un Got Mercedes-Benz Pullman Limos Home to North Korea|
Researchers tracked the luxury cars all the way from the Netherlands, in apparent defiance of sanctions.
|Chappaquiddick 50 years on: The car crash that forever tarnished Ted Kennedy|
He was the handsome young senator from an American political dynasty, widely tipped to win the White House. Heavily favoured to win the Democratic nomination for the presidency, Ted Kennedy looked set to square-off against Republican incumbent Richard Nixon at the 1972 election.But his hopes of emulating his older brother John F Kennedy were irreparably damaged 50 years ago.A car crash in Chappaquiddick would claim the life of a young female political campaigner and forever tarnish his reputation. Here The Independent examines the incident. What happened?On 18 July, 1969, Kennedy, aged 37 at the time, had been attending a party on Chappaquiddick Island, part of the affluent Massachusetts resort Martha’s Vineyard.The Massachusetts senator had left the party with Mary Jo Kopechne, a 28-year-old political campaign specialist. He later testified at inquest that she had asked him to drop her back at a hotel.At around midnight, Kennedy’s car swerved off a narrow, unlit bridge with no guardrails and plummeted into the Poucha Pond.He escaped the sinking saloon. Kopechne did not. Kennedy claimed he made several attempts to save her before giving up and returning to the party on foot.Later, he said he returned with two friends for another rescue attempt but that was foiled by the strong tide.Ten hours passed before the senator reported the incident to the police, minutes before Kopechne’s body was recovered from the vehicle. John Farrar, the diver who recovered the corpse, said he believed she died from suffocation rather than drowning, trapped potentially for hours in a small air pocket inside the car. What action was taken?Just a week after the crash on 25 July, Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended two-month prison sentence, the statutory minimum for the offence.His attorneys had argued he should be granted a lenient sentence by the judge, due to his age, character and prior reputation. That night the senator made a speech in which he insisted he had not been driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, as well as denying “widely circulated suspicions of immoral conduct” surrounding his relationship with Kopechne.He described his decision not to immediately report the incident to the police as “indefensible”, stating that he was overcome by a “jumble of emotions—grief, fear, doubt, exhaustion, panic, confusion, and shock.”An inquest would later conclude there was “probable cause to believe” Kennedy had been operating the vehicle negligently. A tarnished figureKennedy’s inaction caused significant damage to his reputation.Prior to the incident, he was popular throughout the country and was seen by many to follow in the footsteps of his brothers, John and Robert, by running for the presidency. Five years before the crash, Kennedy had been re-elected to the senate with 75 per cent of the vote. In an election 15 months after the crash, his margin of victory was reduced to 64 per cent. He did not run in the 1972 or 1976 presidential race, a decision likely taken as a result of Kopechne’s death. When Kennedy decided to run in 1980, renewed interest in the Chappaquiddick incident hindered his campaign.His Democratic primary opponent, then-president Jimmy Carter, frequently called into question Kennedy’s character by alluding to the events on the resort island. After a failed campaign, Kennedy abandoned his White House dreams. He went on to serve in the Senate for another four decades until his death.In Kennedy’s posthumous memoir, True Compass, he called the incident a “horrible tragedy that haunts me every day of life.” The Edward M Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, a body created in honour of his 47 years of service in the Senate, has no plans to commemorate the incident and the death of Kopechne.
|Epstein defense offers explanation for foreign passport|
Defense attorneys told a court Tuesday that financier Jeffrey Epstein obtained a foreign passport decades ago out of fear that he might be kidnapped in the Middle East, seeking to allay concerns over the apparently phony travel document. Prosecutors have said the passport was under an alias.
|Buzz Aldrin has landed -- for the Apollo 11 anniversary|
The suspense had been building for 24 hours: would Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, show up Wednesday night in Huntsville, Alabama -- nicknamed "Rocket City" for the nearby NASA space flight center? Aldrin declined to join him at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the two were supposed to appear together on NASA TV to mark the 50th anniversary of their mission (Neil Armstrong died in 2012).
|Trump’s better deal with Iran looks a lot like Obama’s|
Trump has repeatedly urged Iran to negotiate, saying that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are his chief concern, talking points that experts say echo the 2015 deal.
|India to make new bid to launch Moon rocket on Monday|
India will make a new bid to launch a landmark mission to the Moon on Monday, a week after aborting lift-off at the last minute because of a fuel leak, officials said.
|Ex-chairman of Vietnam's BIDV bank dies in detention|
A former head of Vietnam's second largest listed bank, the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), died in detention on Thursday, state media and three sources with direct knowledge of the situation said. Tran Bac Ha was arrested in November last year in a widening crackdown on corruption in the Southeast Asian country, which has seen its Communist-ruled government launch investigations into hundreds of public officials and several executives at state-owned enterprises jailed. Ha had not stood trial and was being held at a military detention center near Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
|Woman killed while riding in SUV with husband was just minutes from home before shooting|
'You have taken an angel from us' Saron James and her husband Cleveland had been married for 40 years before someone opened fire on their SUV and killed her.
|Your Kids Won't Have Any Room For Candy After These Halloween Dinner Ideas|
|'What am I supposed to do with you?' Judge bars Roger Stone from social media for breaking gag order|
A federal judge ordered former Trump adviser Roger Stone to stop using social media after saying he had violated a gag order in his criminal case.
|Teachers union has become an arm of the abortion-rights left. Conservatives should quit.|
Why would the NEA go out of its way to take extreme stands on hot-button issues so far removed from the real problems facing our nation’s schools?
|Asylum seekers waiting in Nuevo Laredo fear lurking dangers|
The round-faced woman from La Ceiba, Honduras, and her 5- and 12-year-old sons arrived in this city across the border from Laredo, Texas, where she had been promised a job and hoped to build a new life. As the United States tries to slow the flow of mostly Central American migrants and asylum seekers to its southern border and pressures Mexico to assist, months-long stays on the Mexican side of the frontier have become the rule for many. The U.S. government tells its own employees not to set foot in nearly all parts of the state.
|Landlords Sue NYC Over New Rent Caps on a Million Apartments|
(Bloomberg) -- New York City’s rent-stabilization law is under attack after a group of real-estate trade groups and landlords sued to overturn regulations that cover more than 1 million apartments.The decades-old law that limits rent increases violates the U.S. Constitution by placing an unfair burden on property owners, particularly those who own pre-1974 buildings with six or more units, according to the suit, filed Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.The state legislature, now under full Democratic control, adopted sweeping tenant protections in June that further cap rent increases and restrict landlords’ ability to evict residents. The massive rewrite of the rent rules, which cover about 2.4 million residents, aimed to preserve affordable housing by eliminating tools landlords used to remove units from regulation. The package also abolished a “vacancy bonus” that allowed property owners to raise rents 20% when a tenant left.The plaintiffs say the update further eroded their rights and that the law’s “irrationality and arbitrariness” and “web of restrictions override core rights of property owners.”Read More: NYC Tenants Get a Rent-Law Blessing That Landlords See as CurseThe landlords claim the rules have morphed over the years so that they benefit too many higher earners, while renters who make less than $35,000 a year account for just 38% of rent-stabilized renters. The breakdown is about the same for unregulated apartments, the groups claim, suggesting the law isn’t much different from the unregulated market.The trade groups claim that 22% of rent-stabilized tenants make more than $100,000 a year and that married couples without children are over-represented in rent-stabilized apartments despite being less likely to suffer rental hardship than couples with children.The city said the suit threatens ordinary New Yorkers.“Dismantling rent stabilization would be a devastating blow to everyday New Yorkers who are working hard to call this great city home,” Jane Meyer, the mayor’s deputy press secretary, said in a statement. She said the city would review the suit and continue to “fight to protect affordability, prevent harassment and keep this a city for everyone.”Supreme Court SnubTenants-rights groups argued the changes were needed to counter decades of abuse by some landlords and a shrinking supply of affordable housing. Tens of thousands of apartments have been removed from rent-stabilized status, sending rents higher as neighborhoods are gentrified. The effort won support from Governor Andrew Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, as well as New York City mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio.The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the city’s rent-stabilization system in 2012, turning away an appeal from landlords who said the city had violated their constitutional rights by limiting rents on three one-bedroom apartments in their Upper West Side brownstone. The state of New York defended the statute, citing previous Supreme Court decisions that judges “should not sit as super-legislatures reviewing matters of economic policy, but should ask only whether a legislature’s policy judgments are rational.”Among the plaintiffs is the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords. When the law was amended, the landlords said it would cause buildings to fall into disrepair because owners wouldn’t be able to afford to maintain them.The case is Community Housing Improvement Program v. City of New York, 19-cv-4087, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).(Updates with second paragraph under Supreme Court Snub)\--With assistance from Gerald Porter Jr..To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Larson in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Henry Goldman in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter JeffreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
|Ocasio-Cortez on Trump's attack: 'There is no bottom to the barrel of vitriol'|
As the president continued his attack against four Democratic congresswomen of color, the self-proclaimed “Squad” say that they will not be distracted by him.
|German Sea-Watch captain to face Italy prosecutor over migrants|
German captain Carola Rackete, who sparked international headlines by forcibly docking in an Italian port with rescued migrants, faces questioning by an Italian prosecutor on Thursday over allegedly aiding illegal immigration. The captain of the Sea-Watch 3 is expected to be questioned in the southern Sicilian town of Agrigento from 10 am (0800 GMT). Rackete was arrested on June 29 for entering Italy's Lampedusa port despite a veto imposed by far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, and knocking a coast guard boat out of the way to land 40 migrants after over two weeks blocked at sea.
|Big Guns: Army Prototypes Range-Doubling New Artillery Weapon to Outgun Russia|
The Army is building prototypes of a new artillery cannon that can more than double the range of existing weapons and vastly alter the strategic and tactical landscape shaping land war into the future.The Army program, called Extended Range Cannon Artillery, has been developing for several years; it is now entering a new phase through an Army deal with BAE Systems to build “Increment 1” prototypes.“This prototype phase will address capability gaps in the Army’s indirect fire systems and improve the rate and range of fire with the development of power distribution software and hardware integration solutions,” a BAE Systems statement said.During testing thus far, the Army has successfully fired a 155mm artillery round 62 kilometers - marking a technical breakthrough in the realm of land-based weapons and progressing toward its stated goal of being able to outrange and outgun Russian and Chinese weapons.Currently, most land-fired artillery shot from an M777 Towed Howitzer or Self-Propelled Howitzer are able to pinpoint targets out to 30km - so hitting 62km dramatically changes Army offensive attack capability. As part of an effort to ensure the heavy M777 is sufficiently mobile, the Army completed a “mobility” demonstration of ERCA prototypes last year.
|From Iraq to Yemen, drones raise U.S. alarm over Iranian plans|
GENEVA/WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) - The increased use of drones by Iran and its allies for surveillance and attacks across the Middle East is raising alarms in Washington. The United States believes that Iran-linked militia in Iraq have recently increased their surveillance of American troops and bases in the country by using off-the-shelf, commercially available drones, U.S. officials say.
|Argentina still waiting for 1994 Jewish center bombing justice|
Argentina marks the 25th anniversary of the bomb attack on a Jewish center that left 85 people dead with a day of mourning on Thursday, but the relatives of victims are still waiting for justice. "This attack, even if there was a large anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic component -- of course -- was an attack on Argentina and Argentine society," said Weinstein, who worked at the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), where the attack was carried out. A truck loaded with explosives was driven into the AMIA center in a densely populated central area of Buenos Aires, also leaving 300 people wounded.
|Humane Society SOS: Dogs swim for their lives as Ark. shelter floods. Community comes to the rescue.|
An Arkansas animal shelter issued an SOS as flash flooding poured in and a puppy drowned. Then the community came to the rescue.
|Teenage girl making sexual abuse claim sexually assaulted by detective dealing with case|
A Los Angeles County sex crimes investigator accused of raping a teenager after having been assigned to investigate her previous sexual assault allegations has pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and is expected to be sentenced to three years in prison.It was at least the third time the detective, Neil David Kimball of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, was accused of misconduct while on duty, though he was not charged as a result of the first two allegations.District Attorney Gregory Totten of Ventura County, whose office prosecuted the case, said in a statement that Kimball, 46, met the then-15-year-old victim in 2017 when she reported a sexual assault.He befriended her and then sexually assaulted her, according to the statement.Kimball was originally charged with raping the victim while she was tied or bound. Kimball was also accused of “witness intimidation by threat of force”.But Patrice Koenig, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, said that prosecutors later determined they could not prove that Kimball had used force during the encounter, which she said took place in his trailer in Camarillo, in southern Ventura County.The girl did not report the encounter. Rather, when a different officer took over her case about a year later, her father told the new investigator about the assault, Ms Koenig said.Kimball pleaded guilty last week to a lewd act with a child and unlawful sexual intercourse, and is expected to be sentenced to three years in prison at his next appearance, on 8 August. He must also register as a sex offender.In a statement, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that Kimball’s pay was suspended in March and that it was seeking to terminate him immediately. A lawyer for Kimball declined to comment.Kimball’s plea comes just more than a month after Sara Abusheikh, a Los Angeles fashion designer, wrote in a post on Medium about her experience with the detective after she was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance in 2014, and reported it to the authorities.Kimball was assigned to her case, but she wrote that he never investigated, and instead said wildly inappropriate things to her.Ms Abusheikh wrote that Kimball teased her about going back to her assailant and suggested she “let him make love to you gently”.“His only interest in the details of my rape came in the form of perverse, sick questions, and he – most tellingly – suggested he come inside to get high,” she wrote.She later filed a restraining order against her assailant, which led Kimball to joke that she was paranoid, she wrote. When she reported his inappropriate behaviour to his supervisor, word got back to Kimball immediately, she added.The next summer, after getting help from a rape treatment centre, she met with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, which declined to prosecute the case, she wrote.A deputy district attorney told her Kimball was “a fine detective” and insisted there was no evidence to back up her claim, she wrote.“And the Special Victims Bureau? It only functioned to protect not one, but two, alleged rapists,” Ms Abusheikh concluded in her essay.The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined to comment on Ms Abusheikh’s post.Last year, Ms Abusheikh shared screenshots of text messages she said were from Kimball with The Daily Beast, as well as records of email exchanges with lawyers and patient advocates from the rape treatment centre. She did not return calls or respond to messages seeking further comment.Kimball, a 20-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, was assigned to the Special Victims Bureau in 2013, The Los Angeles Times reported.The bureau has been involved in high-profile cases, including accusations by a young actor that he was sexually abused by Asia Argento, a leading figure in the MeToo movement, who had herself accused the producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. She denied the allegations.In 2009, Kimball was investigated for sexual battery but not charged after an episode at a hotel the previous year, The Los Angeles Times reported.According to the report, which was based on a prosecutor’s memo, the detective had questioned a group of friends in a parking lot.Afterward, women in the group and Kimball went to a hotel room, where some of the women stripped down to their underwear and got into a hot tub as he encouraged them, the memo stated.It also said that one woman accused the detective of grabbing her hand and trying to place it on his genitals.But no charges were filed. Witnesses gave contradictory statements, there was a lack of evidence and the complainant failed to cooperate with investigators, the memo said.Greg Risling, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County district attorney, confirmed that the office had declined to prosecute Kimball over the hotel incident. In an email, he said that no other cases involving the detective were under review.The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office had also urged any additional victims to come forward, Ms Koenig said, but none did so.Asked last year why Kimball was selected to serve in the Special Victims Bureau even after the 2008 hotel allegations, the sheriff’s department told The Los Angeles Times it would “conduct a review of the internal process” related to the assignment.The department did not respond to a question about the outcome of that review.Grier Weeks, senior executive at the National Association to Protect Children, a non-profit in Knoxville, Tennessee, that pushes for child protection laws, said that the sentence was too light considering the severity of the crime.“There should be more severe penalties for people in positions of authority or trust who assault a child,” he said. “It’s something that has to be treated as the most serious type of assault.”New York Times
|Over-the-Top Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes That Are Worth Every Calorie|
|Arrested reporter slams conditions at US detention centers|
A Spanish-language reporter who was recently released from immigration custody said Wednesday he was held for 15 months in detention centers that were plagued by insects and he had to bathe with cold water from water hoses. During a news conference, Manuel Duran discussed what he called inhumane conditions at immigration detention facilities in Louisiana and Alabama. Duran was released from an Alabama facility on bail last week as immigration courts consider his request for asylum.
|House Vote to Repeal Obamacare Tax Shows Health Care Tension|
(Bloomberg) -- The House voted overwhelmingly to repeal a tax Wednesday intended to fund the Affordable Care Act, preserving tax breaks for employer-sponsored insurance plans favored by large corporations.In a reversal of the usual partisan roles, Democrats rather than Republicans led the charge to kill a key part of Obamacare.The bill to repeal the levy commonly known as the “Cadillac tax” passed 419-6 with bipartisan support. The 40% excise tax on the most generous and expensive employer health-insurance plans was included in Obamacare as a measure that economists said would help curb health costs.Congress kept delaying its implementation so the tax has never actually been collected. Had it gone into effect, it would have hit about one in five employers that offer health benefits to their workers, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The vote to repeal the tax highlights the conflicting forces pulling at Democrats when campaigning versus legislating.Several of the party’s presidential candidates led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren support replacing nearly all private insurance with a government-run system financed by tax increases. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner in the race, has a less sweeping plan to bolster Obamacare, but it still would offer a public health insurance option funded by tax hikes on the wealthy.But in Congress, Democrats and Republicans are facing pressure from labor unions and large companies to move in the opposite direction by keeping tax advantages for employer-sponsored plans. Supporters of repealing the tax say keeping it in place would force employers to offer less generous health insurance to their workers.Employers can reap large tax savings by compensating their employees in the form of more extensive health insurance, rather than wages, which are subject to payroll taxes. Employer-paid premiums are exempt from federal income and payroll taxes, and the premiums employees pay are also often excluded from taxable income.Changing Minds“I’ve been a supporter of the Cadillac tax because I thought it would” lower health care costs, said Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House. “But I’ve read some additional material on it and it’s obviously overwhelmingly thought this will not have the effect in terms of raising money or controlling cost that I thought it would have.”The dissonance among Democrats about whether to expand or shrink employer-sponsored health coverage makes them look like “gymnasts,” said Representative Mike Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican.“Where are you on this stuff?” he said. “Wait a minute, you’re all advocating that there be no such thing as employer-sponsored coverage.”The repeated delays in imposing the Cadillac tax delays mean that Congress was never able to test whether it would curb the explosion of health care spending, which has risen an average 4.2% every quarter between 2010 and 2018, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The repeal also would mean that the Treasury Department won’t collect the $201 billion the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated it would raise over a decade.Obamacare TaxesObamacare included several other tax increases, including a 3.8% tax on investment income and a 0.9% levy on wages for top-earners. The portion of the law that was supposed to be financed through the Cadillac tax instead would be paid for through deficit spending, unless lawmakers propose a last-minute tax increase to offset the cost.Democrats have generally opposed measures to chip away at President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, but the Cadillac tax has been unpopular since it became part of the code.The measure to repeal it, H.R. 748, was passed under a fast-track procedure requiring two-thirds support among House members.Yet popularity doesn’t necessarily mean good policy, said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Politicians don’t like the tax on health benefits, but nearly every economist thinks the Cadillac tax or a similar measure is necessary to help slow the rise in health-care costs and curb overuse of health services, he added.“Just because it’s bipartisan doesn’t mean it’s good,” he said.Not all Democrats are on board with eliminating the tax. Representative Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat, said he opposes the repeal because the cost isn’t offset and there wasn’t any discussion about how scuttling the tax would affect the Affordable Care Act overall.“I think we are lapsing into some very bad habits in the majority,” he said. “We need to start instilling some fiscal discipline in this place and making some tough decisions.”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, hasn’t committed to addressing the issue in his chamber. Because the repeal effort is led by Democrats, it sets up a path for McConnell to use it as a vehicle to attach Republican tax priorities, such as correcting errors in the 2017 tax law or extending several expired tax breaks that benefit the biodiesel and energy industries.“We’ve kicked the can down the road for so long on this one that the assumption is that it’s never going to go into effect,” said Representative Dan Kildee, a Michigan Democrat. “There’s a certain inevitability to this one getting repealed.”\--With assistance from Emily Wilkins.To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
|Puerto Rico: thousands protest governor's sexist and homophobic texts|
* Ricardo Rosselló resisting calls to resign over leaked messages * Ricky Martin and other performers join crowds on streets of San JuanThousands marched in Puerto Rico to demand the resignation of Rossello. Photograph: Eric Rojas/AFP/Getty ImagesAccompanied by some of Puerto Rico’s most famous performers, thousands of people marched to the governor’s residence in San Juan on Wednesday chanting demands for the embattled governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to resign after the leak of online chats that show him making misogynistic slurs and mocking his constituents.The crowd ranged from teenagers to retirees, with some waving the island’s flag printed in black and gray rather than red, white and blue to symbolize their discontent with a government they call corrupt and unresponsive to its people. Musicians Ricky Martin, Residente and Bad Bunny marched and addressed the crowd.Police erected concrete barricades and shop owners covered store windows with metal sheeting or plywood as if a hurricane were coming. The multicolored umbrellas that form a photogenic awning over the street in front of the governor’s mansion were taken down.The turnout filled several city blocks in colonial Old San Juan but appeared to fall short of the many tens of thousands that some Rosselló opponents had predicted. Many older protesters went home before nightfall as chanting young people filled Old San Juan’s Totem Plaza and the first few blocks leading up to the 16th century fortress where the governor resides.Karla Villalon has three elementary-age children and an 81-year-old grandmother. Her kids have been uprooted twice in two years when first one school, then another, was closed by budget cuts under Rosselló. Her grandmother, a retired teacher, is anguished over the possibility of losing her pension in future rounds of cutbacks.Villalon was outraged when Rosselló’s former education secretary was arrested and accused of steering millions in improper contracts to politically connected contractors. Then hundreds of pages of online chats between Rosselló and members of his administration leaked, revealing the men mocking women, the disabled and victims of Hurricane Maria. Villalon has had enough.“It’s the final straw,” the homemaker said before the march. “My kids’ classrooms have mold in them ... There’s just so much outrage that’s been building over time.”Demonstrators chant and wave Puerto Rican flags in San Juan. Photograph: Gabriella N Baez/ReutersThe Rosselló administration has remained under siege since the weekend after leaked text messages between the governor and a number of his inner circle revealed a slew of misogynist and homophobic comments shared between the group.A number of senior members of the administration have already resigned in the wake of the scandal, but on Monday Rosselló refused to tender his resignation, claiming that while the messages were inappropriate they were not illegal.“I’m not proud of what I did,” Rosselló told reporters on Tuesday. “Those were merely comments – but they were hurtful comments. So, I apologize for what I’ve done but again, I need to move forward and continue on the work we’re doing for Puerto Rico.”The affair only only adds to sustained criticism of Rosselló’s leadership as sweeping austerity and privatization measures imposed after Hurricane Maria decimated the island almost two years ago drew public backlash.Puerto Rico, an unincorporated US territory, is in the midst of a multibillion-dollar debt crisis now managed by an unelected oversight board appointed in Washington that oversees much of the island’s economic affairs.Shortly before the text message scandal, referred to as “RickyLeaks”, a number of administration officials and contractors, including the former education secretary Julia Keleher, were arrested by the FBI over allegations of corruption and misappropriation of $15.5m in federal funds apportioned to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.Workers cover shop windows with wood in preparation for protests against Governor Ricardo Rosselló near La Fortaleza in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday. Photograph: Carlos Giusti/APKey figures in the movement to oust Rosselló remained hopeful that the protests on Wednesday would remain peaceful.A number of high-profile Puerto Ricans, including the actor and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, singer Ricky Martin and trap artist Benito Martínez Ocasio, known by his stage name Bad Bunny, have also lent vocal support to the protests. Martin and Ocasio are expected to appear at the protests.San Juan’s firebrand mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, an outspoken critic of Rosselló, told the Guardian by text message the demonstrations would mark “a historic day in Puerto Rico”.Cruz, who announced she would challenge Rosselló in elections next year, became the face of resistance to the Trump administration’s faltering efforts to assist during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria.Both Mayor Cruz and Ricky Martin also appeared as targets of abuse in the leaked text messages.According to the messages, Rosselló referred to Cruz as “off her meds” while other administration officials mocked Martin’s sexuality.
|The U.S. Marine Corps Has Lost More Than 25,000 Marines to Misconduct|
The Marine Corps has lost more than 25,000 Marines to misconduct over the past decade, according to Commandant Gen. David Berger.In his 2019 Commandant's Planning Guidance, Berger said that the Corps "continued loss of 8,000 Marines per year to non-EAS attrition is unacceptable," using an acronym to describe the end of active service in an enlistment.A total of 25,336 Marines were booted from the Corps between 2009 and 2019; 11,765 were for drug and alcohol offenses, while 13,571 were over unspecified misconduct."This must change," Berger wrote, noting that the cost to replace that many Marines was in excess of $1 billion.Interestingly, that number should be even higher, as its section on drug use reveals. Since Oct. 2017, 2,410 Marines tested positive for illegal drug use, but only 1,175, or 48.8%, had been separated. "I am deeply troubled by the continued retention of Marines failing to adhere to our standards related to drug use.""We are an elite institution of warriors, and will remain so on my watch," Berger wrote. "It is our shared responsibility to ensure the continued health of our collective soul and identity."Toward the end of the 26-page document, which largely focused on changes Berger intended to implement as the top Marine officer, the new commandant talked about misconduct in the force and what he called "destructive" behavior.Of sexual assault, for example, Berger said that despite the Corps' efforts, "the continued rise in reporting leads me to conclude that we still do not fully understand the scope and scale of this issue, or that we can say with any confident that the measures we have taken to date are preventing sexual assaults."
|Asylum seekers anxiously cross into U.S. as new policy kicks in|
Fear over new U.S. curbs on almost all asylum seekers spread this week among migrants at its southern border, but some on waiting lists in Mexican cities found the gates to the United States stayed open, despite a much higher bar to stay. Migrants in Ciudad Juarez and other Mexican border towns were cautiously optimistic as the policy took effect on Tuesday, with U.S. officials still calling those on lists of asylum seekers to cross the bridge into the United States and apply.
|Australian detained in China expected to be charged: lawyer|
An Australian national who was detained in China on national security grounds is expected to be formally charged, his lawyer said Thursday, amid tensions between Canberra and Beijing. Chinese-Australian author and democracy advocate Yang Jun, whose pen name is Yang Hengjun, was detained in January shortly after making a rare return to China from the United States. The foreign ministry in Beijing said then he was suspected of endangering "China's national security" -- which often implies espionage allegations.
|Biden says if Trump mocks his age or mental state in a debate he'd challenge him to a push-up contest|
"I know it will be an ugly campaign. I know it will be not an honorable campaign that he'll run, but I'm not backing down at all from him," Biden said.
|‘Quite phenomenal’: Arctic heatwave hits most northerly settlement in world|
The planet's most northerly human settlement is in the midst of an "unprecedented" heatwave as parts of the Arctic endure one of their hottest summers on record.Canada's weather agency confirmed on Tuesday that temperatures in Alert, Nunavut, peaked at 21C at the weekend – far exceeding the July average for the area of around 5C.Overnight temperatures on Sunday remained above 15C; again, well in excess of nighttime lows that usually hover around freezing in a settlement that lies less than 900km from the North Pole.The previous temperature record for the town, of 20C, was set in 1956.In a further alarm bell for the region, the mercury climbed above 20C for a second day on Monday – the first time Alert's climate station has recorded two consecutive days of 20C-plus temperatures in its history.Alert is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world – with a population numbering less than 100 – and is far to the north of the Arctic Circle.David Phillips, Environment Canada's chief climatologist, said the weather in the far north of Canada was "quite spectacular" and "unprecedented".He told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: "It's nothing that you would have ever seen." Armel Castellan, a meteorologist at the Canadian environment ministry, told AFP the extreme weather was "quite phenomenal"."It's an absolute record, we've never seen that before," he said.Unusually, Victoria, 4,000km south of Alert, enjoyed cooler temperatures of 20.6C while the Arctic settlement baked.Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, said: "These two communities have a staggering amount of lines of latitude in between them, with the City of Victoria situated at 48°N, while Alert is plopped north of 82°N."This is in fact the first time a temperature warmer than 20C has been measured north of 80° on the planet."Alert's heatwave comes as nearby Alaska saw its own record temperatures earlier this month.Anchorage, the state's largest city, sweltered in 32C on 4 July – shattering the seasonal high of around 24C.Other local records were set across southern Alaska and came after five weeks of above average temperatures in the outlying US state.Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the University of Alaska, said at the time that exceptionally warm weather events would only become more frequent because of the loss of sea ice and warming in the Arctic Ocean."These kinds of extreme weather events become much more likely in a warming world," he said."Surface temperatures are above normal everywhere around Alaska. The entire Gulf of Alaska, in the Bering Sea, in the Chukchi Sea south of the ice edge, exceptionally warm waters, warmest on record, and of course record-low sea ice extent for this time of year off the north and northwest coasts of the state."Research published at the start of the year found Arctic summers may be hotter than they have been for 115,000 years.Evidence that this century is the warmest the region has faced for millennia came from plants collected in the remote wilderness of Baffin Island.As glaciers melt in the Canadian Arctic, landscapes are emerging that have not been ice-free for more than 40,000 years.“The Arctic is currently warming two to three times faster than the rest of the globe,” said Simon Pendleton, a PhD student at the University of Colorado at Boulder who led the research.
|The Latest: Phoenix reaches hottest temperature of the year|
Phoenix is having its hottest day of the year. The National Weather Service in Phoenix confirmed on social media Tuesday afternoon that the city's high temperature has hit 115 degrees. The sweltering conditions prompted the agency to issue an excessive heat warning earlier in the day.
|2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 SUV and Coupe Get More Power, Better Looks|
The middle-rung GLC models move closer to the AMG side of the Mercedes-Benz spectrum.
|Billionaire Shows How Politics Might Really Work in Ukraine|
(Bloomberg) -- In the Ukrainian town of Horishni Plavni, hundreds of people gathered at the Palace of Culture waiting for their man. He pulled up in a black Mercedes G Class SUV with his bodyguards and dashed to address a full house.When you employ almost a fifth of the population, pump millions into amenities and offer discount home loans, a hero’s welcome is probably the least you expect even in the murky world of Ukrainian politics. But for billionaire Kostyantin Zhevago, keeping his faithful on board could end up meaning more than just reward for two decades as the local lawmaker with deep pockets.The company he controls, Ferrexpo, the world’s third-biggest exporter of iron-ore pellets, is being examined by auditors for links to a charity that’s suspected by local prosecutors of possible money laundering.For super-rich businessmen, retaining a seat in this weekend’s election comes with benefits afforded to members of parliament: access to power, influence over the adoption of laws, and immunity from prosecution, not that Zhevago is being targeted by the authorities. Both he and Ferrexpo reject any suggestions the company acted improperly. The razzmatazz in Horishni Plavni gives a glimpse of how politics works in the former Soviet state where a television comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, shot to power this year to become president.Read More: Comedian Raises Serious Questions for UkraineAlmost 200 seats – just under half of parliament – are being contested by oligarchs, sports stars, showbiz celebrities and activists with their own agendas, potentially complicating Zelenskiy’s promise to overhaul Ukraine. The system makes the outcome of elections unpredictable and forces governments to navigate a maze of interests, egos and alliances.“Very often candidates endow voters with children’s playgrounds or distribute packages of cereals,” said Ilona Sologoub, chief executive officer at the Vox Ukraine think tank. “If this is an owner or a top official at some large enterprise in a constituency, the candidate has the resources to impact elections.”The 45-year-old Zhevago, with an estimated wealth of $1.5 billion in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was in confident form when he visited the industrial town last week. The Poltava and Yerystovo iron ore mining plants, both part of Ferrexpo, provide 9,000 jobs for a population of 51,000.In the Palace of Culture, whose stage he paid to refurbish in 2012, Zhevago stood behind a rostrum in front of a silky white grand drape curtain. He fended off uncomfortable questions about his company’s environmental footprint and promised to improve the town and its infrastructure.“You can ask anyone, everyone knows him,” said cafe owner Olha Pushenko, 48, who has been voting for Zhevago since 2012. When asked if she was going to choose the billionaire in the Sunday vote, she was emphatic: “Definitely, definitely!”Because her husband worked as a blaster at the iron ore mine, Pushenko’s family received a mortgage from Zhevago’s bank at a better interest rate, she said. The lender was declared insolvent in 2015 by Ukraine’s central bank and the state-run Deposit Guarantee Fund said in December it was under investigation. Zhevago, who set up his own brokerage before building a fortune in finance, metals and mining and the auto industry, was 24 years old when he was elected to parliament in 1998. With two revolutions in the past 15 years, only a handful of Ukrainian politicians can boast such political longevity. During that time, he became the first Ukrainian businessman to debut a company on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in 2007.He has a knack for knowing which way the wind is blowing. He told the audience in Horishni Plavni that in the presidential election runoff he voted for Zelenskiy, a comic who played a fictional schoolteacher thrust into the presidency after a video of him railing against corruption went viral.Ukraine is ranked by Transparency International as Europe’s most corrupt country after Russia and Azerbaijan. Zelenskiy has vowed to tackle graft, even ending the immunity law for politicians.“I would like to support new forces in parliament, because old forces have all discredited themselves,” said Zhevago, who was a member of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s party and is currently independent. “Because they led Ukraine to poverty, to war and disorder.”But Zhevago has his own problems. On April 26, Ferrexpo’s shares lost 28 percent, the most in three years, after auditor Deloitte LLP and two directors resigned amid an investigation at a charity linked to the company. Deloitte had previously found “unexplained discrepancies” in donations Ferrexpo made to the Ukrainian charitable foundation Blooming Land, which backs causes such as diabetes awareness and care of the elderly. Ukrainian prosecutors are investigating whether the charity was used to launder money and evade taxes, according to legal documents available in the public courts registry dated in February. Ferrexpo denies any control or influence on Blooming Land.At the event in Horishni Plavni, Zhevago responded when asked by Bloomberg about the audit of Ferrexpo and the probe into Blooming Land, that “this is provocation from your side.”“Everything you say is just a lie,” he said. At a function in May, he said the investigation means nothing because the authorities are looking into almost all the country’s charitable foundations.One man in the audience asked why Ferrexpo’s shares had plunged. The company now is the second-best performer of the 36 companies included in the FTSE All-Share Basic Materials Index, having gained 39 percent this year.“The shares fell after some representatives from the audit committee made absurd statements saying nonsense,” Zhevago responded. “Then they resigned and since their conclusions were not confirmed, three days later the stock rose.”Indeed, Ferrexpo is a source of pride in the town. A different charity fund set up by Ferrexpo Poltava Mining pays awards to students and sports people and gives money to repair schools and kindergartens.“An oligarch who shares his income with people is a good option,” says Lyudmyla Kasianova, a 64-year retiree who will cast her ballot for Zhevago like her husband, also a pensioner.Having such a “contract” with a tycoon “is not very good,” said Volodymyr Pazynych, 43, an official at Horishni Plavni’s local council in charge of sports. “But people are okay with it, as the town gets money. I don’t know how to make people change their point of view. As of today, they mentally are not ready for changes.”In the town, formerly called Komsomolsk after the political youth organization in the Soviet Union, a large billboard advertises the website that glorifies Zhevago’s largess. Other than that, it’s hard to see that an election campaign is underway.Zhevago’s opponents don’t waste money on competing with a man who won 44% percent of the vote the last time around in October of 2014, an 18 point victory over his nearest opponent.Yet his visit to Horishni Plavni was somewhat of a rare treat, according to locals. With a business spanning tire production to pharmaceutical plants, public records show Zhevago also doesn’t spend a lot of time in parliament, though he’s a member of its legal policy and justice committee.During the term that just ended, he sat in a third of sessions and last voted for a bill in March, according to the legislature’s registry. When asked about his attendance, Zhevago denied he skipped sittings. “That is not true,” he said.Pushenko, the cafe owner, doesn’t see any problems if Zhevago didn’t show up. “Many lawmakers are like this,” she said. “Of course it’s his duty to attend parliament sessions. But to be honest with you, I sort of close my eyes to this a little.”\--With assistance from Alexander Sazonov.To contact the authors of this story: Volodymyr Verbyany in Kiev at email@example.comKateryna Choursina in Kiev at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at email@example.com, Rodney JeffersonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
|Here's Why, in 1986, Gaddafi's SAMs Couldn't Touch America's SR-71 Blackbirds|
“We are a roaring express now, and as we roll through the enemy’s backyard, I hope our speed continues to defeat the missile radars below.”On Apr. 14, 1986, Operation El Dorado Canyon launched air-strikes against Libya in response to Libya’s bombing of a Berlin discotheque frequented by US military personnel. The attack was performed by a strike-group of 18 U.S. Air Force (USAF) F-111s supported by numerous U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) A-6, A-7 and F/A-18 aircraft.On Apr. 16, 1986 after the raid, SR-71 64-17960 piloted by Maj. Brian Shul with RSO Maj.Walter Watson, entered Libyan airspace at a blistering 2,125 mph to photograph the targets for bomb damage assessment (BDA). As they neared the end of their sweeps, they started receiving launch indications from Libyan surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites below.The story of how the SR-71 incredible performance allowed them to hold their course and outrun the missiles before returning home safely to RAF Mildenhall is told by Shul himself in his book Sled Driver.
|India aims to expel all illegal migrants, interior minister says|
India will identify and deport illegal immigrants from across the country, the interior minister said on Wednesday, stepping up a campaign that critics say could stoke religious tension and further alienate minority Muslims. An exercise to identify alien immigrants from Muslim-majority Bangladesh has been going on in the northeastern state of Assam for years, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist-led government has taken it up in earnest. The campaign was a key issue in this year's general election, won by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu-nationalist party.