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  • Pelosi describes Trump's 'very serious meltdown' during White House meeting on Syria news

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walked out of a meeting with Donald Trump about the crisis in Syria Wednesday after she said the president had had a “very serious meltdown” and insulted her in front of other congressional leaders.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:40:50 -0400
  • Buttigieg, O'Rourke clash over assault-rifle buyback plan news

    At Tuesday night’s Democratic primary debate, presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg escalated their disagreement over O’Rourke’s proposal for mandatory buybacks of assault weapons.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:57:41 -0400
  • Former Nazi SS guard, 93, goes on trial in Hamburg news

    From his post as a teenage SS private in a watchtower in Nazi Germany's Stutthof concentration camp, Bruno Dey could hear the screams of Jews dying in the gas chamber. More than seven decades later, Dey went on trial Thursday on 5,230 counts of accessory to murder in Hamburg state court.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 08:56:27 -0400
  • How a British family got entangled in a US immigration nightmare after a wrong turn led to nearly 2 weeks in ICE detention news

    The Connors' story shows how just one unintentional violation of US immigration law can land a family in weeks of detention in an unfamiliar country.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 22:06:31 -0400
  • A woman sues San Antonio after a police officer pulled out her tampon in public news

    The city of San Antonio will vote this week on a proposed settlement that would award a woman $205,000, after she accused a police officer of inappropriately searching her and pulling out her tampon in public.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 19:52:33 -0400
  • Explainer: Democrats Warren and Sanders want wealth tax; economists explain how it works news

    According to Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the University of California at Berkeley economists who developed that estimate, that is in part because the wealthiest American families declare only a small portion of their actual economic gains in any given year as income, while leaving the rest invested in stocks and other assets, to grow in value. Saez has been involved in a series of what are considered groundbreaking studies of U.S. income, inequality and economic mobility that involved both developing techniques to impute income based on holdings of wealth, and extensive access to U.S. Internal Revenue Service records. "The greatest injustice of the U.S. tax system today is its regressivity at the very top: billionaires in the top 400 pay less (relative to their true economic incomes) than the middle class," the economists wrote in a September paper

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:28:57 -0400
  • Trevor Noah Exposes Eric and Don Jr.’s Hunter Biden Nepotism Hypocrisy news

    Comedy CentralWith Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings in the news, Trevor Noah turned his attention to the issue of nepotism Wednesday night. “The truth is, your name could be a big reason that you get a leg up in life,” The Daily Show host began. “With that said,” he added, “you can’t deny, it’s not a good look that a Ukrainian company hired Hunter Biden just months after Joe Biden became the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine. Because it looks very much like he got this business because of his father’s position.” “And I understand why a lot of people would complain about that,” he continued. “What I don’t understand is why these people are complaining about that.” With that, he cut to a clip of Donald Trump Jr. accusing Hunter Biden of trading on his name and Eric Trump arguing that he and his brother are exempt from criticism because they do not sit on any corporate boards. “First of all, I’m not surprised nobody has put Beavis and Forehead on any corporate boards,” Noah said. “I don’t even think they’re allowed on diving boards.” But more importantly, the host said, “If there was ever an example of people who got opportunities because of their names, it’s these two.” For instance, if Donald Trump Jr. was not Donald Trump’s son, Noah asked why anyone would be paying him $50,000 to make a speech. “To share his expertise on bad beards?”  Jimmy Kimmel Goes Off on Lara Trump: A ‘Heartless Imbecile With Lip Injections’“Also, if Trump’s sons are actually concerned, like truly concerned, about children of politicians doing business overseas,” Noah added, “then can someone please explain to me why they have been doing this?” He then allowed various news reports to lay out the details of continued foreign projects currently being carried out by Eric and Don Jr. on behalf of the Trump Organization. “Yeah, that’s right, even with their dad in office, the Trumps are still growing their business in places like India, Philippines, Indonesia, Uruguay,” Noah said. “They’re all over the world. It’s like The Amazing Race with no running and no chins.” But “at least Donald and Eric are one step removed from the Trump presidency,” Noah said before turning his attention to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who have official roles in the White House and yet still have entanglements with businesses that benefit from foreign money. “Now let’s be clear,” Noah concluded. “I’m not defending Hunter Biden. I don’t know him. I don’t know about his business. I’m just saying that the last people who should be talking about the blurred lines of family names and political influence are the people currently running their home office from the White House.” Trevor Noah Roasts Joe Biden Over Bad Debate Answer on Son HunterRead 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.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:33:37 -0400
  • Hong Kong Activist Renews Call for March After Hammer Attack news

    (Bloomberg) -- One of Hong Kong’s most prominent protest organizers -- including a march planned for Sunday -- was recovering after being attacked on the street by men wielding hammers.Jimmy Sham -- convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized many of the city’s largest peaceful protests -- issued a plea from his hospital bed Thursday for police to allow the march go ahead in the Tsim Tsa Tsui area as planned. Sham was assaulted by four to five men Wednesday while on his way to a meeting in nearby Mong Kok -- the second time he’s been attacked since August.“When Jimmy was at his street counter, many of the citizens expressed that they really hope there will be a safe march on Sunday,” the Civil Human Rights Front said in a statement Thursday. “Jimmy therefore urges the Police to issue Letter of No Objection, so that Hongkongers can express their views.”The Civil Human Rights Front has helped organize several of the largest protests ever held in the former British colony, including two largely peaceful marches in June that drew more than a million people. The demonstrations have since mushroomed into a broader push for greater democracy, leading to regular clashes between protesters and police and occasional incidents of mob violence.On Thursday, Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, was forced to repeatedly halt a question session in the city’s legislature as opposition lawmakers demanded her to step down and address other protester demands. The coming weekend will be the Asian financial center’s 20th-straight weekend of unrest.See also: Hong Kong Police Targeted With Remote-Controlled ExplosiveNg Tak-nam, chief police inspector for the Mong Kok area, condemned the attack on Sham, which he said appeared to have been premeditated. “The police will investigate impartially and seriously, regardless of the person’s background and identity,” Ng told reporters.Sham, who is planning to join the district council elections next month, was attacked in August by two masked men with a baseball bat and knife. Police have arrested three men in connection with that earlier case, charging two of them with conspiracy to assault causing bodily harm. The third is on bail pending further investigation.The Civil Human Rights Front said that the assailants in the latest attack appeared to be aiming for Sham’s head, elbows and knees. The group said he suffered several wounds, but had no broken bones.“The Civil Human Rights Front strongly condemns the acts of the perpetrators,” the group said. “It is not hard to link this incident to a spreading political terror in order to threaten and inhibit the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights.”(Updates with recovery in headline and first paragraph)\--With assistance from Justin Chin.To contact the reporter on this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at sbanjo@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at, Ben SharplesFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 03:41:10 -0400
  • Mystery as plane carrying Russian arms smugglers crashes in Congo news

    The Democratic Republic of Congo has one of the world’s worst aviation safety records, so reports that an aircraft had tumbled into a remote forest last week caused few international ripples. Since then, however, a deepening mystery over the nature of the cargo and the identity of those on board has left the Congolese government facing awkward questions. The fate of the stricken plane, a mysterious Antonov-72 so far only identified by its former registration number, EK-72903, may also provide a glimpse into the murkier side of Russia’s attempts to reassert its influence in Africa. The details remain scant. Last Thursday, the plane crashed 59 minutes after taking off from the eastern city of Goma bound for the capital Kinshasa. None of the eight people on board survived, officials said. The passengers were identified as the personal chauffeur of Felix Tshisekedi, Congo’s president, and three of his bodyguards. An armoured vehicle used by the president was also on board. A more troubling disclosure followed when two of the four-strong crew were identified. Vitaly Shumkov and Vladimir Sadovnichy, the plane’s pilots, were not only Russian nationals, they both appeared to have a background in gun running. The plane, too, has a murky past. EK-72903 was once owned by an Armenian company whose proprietor has been linked to arms smuggling elsewhere in Africa. Whether the crew were somehow furthering Kremlin interests remains unknown. However, there is no secret that Russia hopes to regain the influence the Soviet Union once wielded in Africa by wooing its leaders with arms sales, private security and “political technologists” adept at winning elections. Such attempts have often been linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin who has been accused of masterminding attempts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. Mr Prigozhin allegedly had Congo in his sights after Russia announced in May that it was sending a team of army specialists to the country. Some Russia media outlets speculated that Mr Prigozhin, was on board the plane ahead of a meeting with President Tshisekedi. That is almost certainly untrue. Slumming it on an Antonov is generally not Mr Progozhin’s style. “He wouldn’t get into a plane like that,” a Congolese government official said.  “This gentleman is an oligarch and if he travels then he travels on his own plane.” The official said that while Mr Prigozhin had not been scheduled to meet President Tshisekedi, other Russian government representatives had requested a meeting to discuss the upcoming summit. It is unclear if any were on board. At least two people described as being “of eastern European origin” were also on the plane. They have not yet been identified, adding to the intrigue surrounding the flight. For the moment, whoever else was on board the plane remains unknown. With some sources saying there may have been 11 people rather than eight on board, UN officials were attempting to identify the remains of the dead — some of whom had been hastily buried — last night. Even that might not put an end to the intrigue of what happened aboard EK-72903. Congo rarely gives up its mysteries. In 1961, a plane departing the country with then UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld on board crashed.  Three inquiries failed to determined the cause of the crash and Hammarskjöld’s death remains a mystery to this day.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:43:21 -0400
  • Republicans infuriated by Schiff's secrecy news

    Secrecy and strategic leaks in the impeachment inquiry have enraged Republicans, who charge that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff are circumventing the kind of public accounting that an impeachment should involve.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:36:44 -0400
  • Pence Says US Will Withdraw New Turkey Sanctions Despite Bipartisan Opposition news

    Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw existing Turkish sanctions and will not impose any additional ones after Turkey agreed to a five-day ceasefire with Kurdish forces in Syria.Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for several hours on Thursday and agreed on the brief ceasefire agreement, which gives Kurdish fighters 120 hours to leave the 20-mile-wide occupied zone along the Turkey-Syria border.“Once that is completed, Turkey has agreed to a permanent cease-fire,” Pence said.Earlier Thursday, a pair of bipartisan senators introduced legislation to slap additional sanctions on Ankara as Turkey continues its offensive into northern Syria following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region.Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) introduced a bill that would saddle Turkey with sanctions on its energy sector, defense department, as well as several of its top government officials.Graham, a frequent Trump ally but recently a fierce critic of the president's foreign policy in Syria, promised the new sanctions would be "wide-ranging and hard-hitting" and would "supplement" existing sanctions on Turkey."If you continue on the course you're on, you will have brought a lot of damage to the nation, you'll abandon a valuable ally, set in motion the re-emergence of ISIS, and Mr. President, as much as I like you and want to work with you, I am going to be consistent," Graham said from the Senate floor as he introduced the measure. "I will hold you accountable."Trump has called the Kurds "no angels" and said he does not want the U.S. to “police” the area any longer. However, he vowed to punish Turkey if the country takes any action the U.S. considers “off limits.”"There's a lot of sand that they can play with," Trump said Wednesday. "Let them fight their own wars."Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) also voiced support for the new sanctions.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:01:12 -0400
  • China detains 2 US citizens who ran teaching program news

    China said Thursday it detained two U.S. citizens on suspicion of organizing others to illegally cross the border, amid sharpening tensions between the sides over trade, technology and other sensitive issues. Police in the eastern province of Jiangsu arrested Alyssa Petersen and Jacob Harlan on Sept. 27 and Sept. 29, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. "The department handling the case has informed the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai in a timely manner, arranged U.S. diplomats to conduct consular visits and protected the legitimate rights and interests of the two," Geng said at a regular press briefing.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:37:47 -0400
  • Doing it for the 'gram? Royal Caribbean says no to that, bans guest from ever sailing again

    Doing it for the 'gram? Royal Caribbean Cruises doesn't seem to think that's a good idea, particularly when it's dangerous.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:44:22 -0400
  • Putin signals Russia's return to Africa with summit news

    President Vladimir Putin hosts dozens of African leaders next week as Russia seeks to reassert its influence on the continent and beyond. The heads of some 35 African countries are expected for the first Africa-Russia Summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi next Wednesday and Thursday. For Putin, the summit is a chance to revive Soviet-era relationships and build new alliances, bolstering Moscow's global clout in the face of confrontation with the West.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 22:08:12 -0400
  • Israel envoy demands probe after effigy of Jewish tycoon left at Ukraine synagogue news

    The Israeli ambassador to Ukraine asked police on Thursday to find and punish people who left a red paint-spattered effigy of tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky, who holds a Ukrainian Jewish community leadership post, on the steps of the main synagogue in Kiev. Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine's richest men, is in the public eye over his business ties to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who came to fame as the star of TV show on a channel Kolomoisky owns. Kolomoisky is president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, one of several Jewish community bodies in the country.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:08:49 -0400
  • Washington Group Fighting Affirmative Action Used Proud Boys As Guards news

    John Rudoff/GettyAn anti-affirmative action campaign used members of the Proud Boys for security—and is now claiming it didn’t realize its protection team was an organization labeled a hate group.On Nov. 5, voters in Washington state are set to decide on the future of Referendum 88, a measure that would allow affirmative action hiring in public jobs. The measure has support from civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), but faces opposition from a state veterans group and the organization Washington Asians for Equality, which claims the measure would lead to preferential treatment for some groups. This summer, some of those opponents partnered with a more notorious organization: the Proud Boys, who featured the signature drive in a recently surfaced propaganda video.The Proud Boys—designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center—prioritizes street fights and has extensive connections to more explicit white supremacist organizations. But unlike many other extremist groups, the Proud Boys frequently cozy up to the more mainstream right. Their current leader, Enrique Tarrio, is a Florida director of Latinos for Trump, despite marching in 2017’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.Republicans Are Adopting the Proud BoysIn the August video, a Washington Proud Boy claims Referendum 88 backers solicited the Proud Boys’ help in delivering signatures to the secretary of state’s office.The group “gave us a call asking for security to help take the signatures for Referendum 88 down to the capitol building,” he says in the video, which referendum supporters like the group Washington Fairness surfaced this week.The video goes on to show the group riding in a truck with the signatures and speaking into walkie-talkies for reasons that are not immediately apparent. The clip concludes with an advertisement for gas masks, which the Proud Boy says he used during a summer brawl with anti-fascists in Portland, Oregon.Reject Ref. 88, the organization that allegedly hired the Proud Boys, disavowed knowledge of them.“The Referendum 88 petition drive worked with many volunteers during the signature gathering phase,” organizer Linda Yang said in an email. “We didn’t know the association of these individuals you refer to, nor did they tell us. The Reject Ref.88/I-1000 campaign welcomes people from all walks of life who believe in equality for all, regardless of race. Those who don’t believe in that principle—be they on the far left or the far right—are not welcome in this campaign.”But as the Seattle Stranger noted, Yang even appeared in the Proud Boys’ video, explaining her opposition to Referendum 88. In the video, she gives different account of her group coming to work with the Proud Boys. After trying and failing to hire a security company to help deliver referendum signatures, “I got a call saying ‘hey there’s a group, they’re willing to help,’” she said in the video. “I said ‘we’ll take it.’”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.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:16:34 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek

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    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:00:00 -0400
  • Mexico Throws $900 Million at Labor to Entice Democrats on USMCA news

    (Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is pledging close to $1 billion to implement a law to improve labor conditions that U.S. Democrats say is key to passing a stalled North American trade accord.Mexico’s Finance Ministry will ask lawmakers to boost the budget that was already presented to congress by $69 million for next year, Lopez Obrador stated in a letter he sent to U.S. Representative Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He promised another $830 million over the following three years to fund the labor overhaul.The expensive pledges seem to be working, as both the White House and House Democrats are becoming increasingly upbeat about the stalled U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, known as USMCA. But AMLO’s steep austerity measures for most of his other ministries amid a stagnant economy present a challenge to his carrying out those promises.Neal said he was very pleased with Mexico’s demonstration of good faith, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer separately told a Bloomberg Government audience on Thursday that Democrats are “working hard to get to yes.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she’s “optimistic” about finishing work on the accord, although “we are not there yet.”AMLO, as Lopez Obrador is known, also said he’d tell the relevant authorities to carry out a “frontal attack” against labor impunity.To contact the reporter on this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:30:41 -0400
  • Former Vice President Al Gore Says President Trump’s Conviction After Impeachment Is Unlikely — But Not Impossible news

    "Listening to what president Trump has said out of his own mouth, when he publicly asks foreign governments to dig up dirt on one of his principal political opponents, that is an impeachable offense," Gore said

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:25:55 -0400
  • A N.J. school district wants to ban students from attending prom if they have more than $75 in school lunch debt news

    A school district in New Jersey passed a new policy this week that will allow schools to bar students from attending prom if they have a school lunch debt above $75.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:47:37 -0400
  • Peek Inside Eero Saarinen’s Iconic General Motors Technical Center

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    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:22:04 -0400
  • Police arrest 2nd suspect in case of isolated Dutch family news

    Dutch police said Thursday that a group of people discovered on an isolated farm this week may have been kept there against their will for up to nine years, as they arrested a 67-year-old man who says he is the father of the group. The man who raised the alarm after walking into a local bar and ordering five beers for himself also says he belongs to the family. While the six people on the farm and the man who raised the alarm say they are all from the same family — a father and six siblings all now young adults — police say they are still investigating their exact relationship as none of the siblings appears to have been registered with authorities.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:58:05 -0400
  • U.S. Indicts Turkish Bank With Ties to Giuliani Client For Evading Iran Sanctions news

    The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday indicted Turkey's second-largest bank on charges of fraud and money laundering, accusing it of helping Iran evade sanctions implemented to curb its nuclear program.Halbank was reportedly involved in the largest Iran sanctions violation to date, sending billions of dollars in gold and cash to Iran in exchange for oil and gas."This is one of the most serious Iran sanctions violations we have seen, and no business should profit from evading our laws or risking our national security," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a statement released by the Justice Department. The statement further alleged that senior Turkish government officials received tens of millions of dollars in bribes to hide the violations from U.S. regulators.Earlier this month it was reported that Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in 2017 pushed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to ask the Justice Department to drop a case against his client Reza Zarrab. An Iranian-Turkish gold trader who himself evaded Iran sanctions, Zarrab went on to testify against Halbank head of international banking Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who was convicted of helping Iran evade sanctions through money laundering and served 28 months in U.S. prison.Zarrab had also alleged that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan knew of Atilla's laundering operation, which Erdogan has denied.The charges against Halbank came as the Trump administration is trying to negotiate its relationship with Turkey, which recently launched an invasion of northeastern Syria after Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region. The invasion is in part intended to combat Kurdish groups that Turkey considers terrorist organizations, some of which were instrumental in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS in Syria.Trump authorized sanctions on the Turkish economy on Monday, however the impact of the sanctions was less damaging than initially assumed.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:30:07 -0400
  • This sick 5-year-old boy got a wish trip to Disney World — and another wish on the flight there news

    Allegiant, working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, made a five-year-old boy's dream vacation to Walt Disney World that much more special.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:49:31 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Hungary would have to "use force" to fend off new wave of migrants -PM

    Hungary would have to "use force" at its southern border with Serbia to protect the European Union's frontier if Turkey delivers on a threat to open the gates for refugees through the Balkans towards Europe, Hungary's prime minister said. Prime Minister Viktor Orban built a steel fence on Hungary's border with Serbia to seal off the Balkans route of migration, where hundreds of thousands of people marched through from the Middle East to Western Europe at the peak of the crisis in 2015.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:36:25 -0400
  • Thirty years after devastating quake, is San Francisco ready for the next? news

    The 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake killed 63 in 1989. Decades later, the Bay Area is still plagued by structural threats and flammable fuelsIn a 17 October 1989 photo, a California highway patrol officer checks the damage to cars that fell when the upper deck of the Bay Bridge collapsed onto the lower deck after the Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco. Photograph: George Nikitin/APOn the afternoon of 17 October 1989, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area, killing 63 people and causing $13bn in damages as it toppled a chunk of the Bay Bridge, colapsed a section of freeway in Oakland, and crumbled thousands of buildings from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.Thirty years later, California will launch an earthquake early warning app, the first to cover the whole state, developed by UC Berkeley and the California Office of Emergency Services. The decades since the Loma Prieta quake have been remarkably quiet – yet it’s not a matter of if, but when, the next large earthquake will rattle the Bay Area, and the consequences will undoubtedly be severe.There are multiple faults to worry about in the Bay: the infamous San Andreas is a system, with branches that run up the San Francisco peninsula, along the East Bay foothills through Oakland and Berkeley and further inland through Dublin and Walnut Creek.Just this week, a 4.5-magnitude quake with an epicenter in the Pleasant Hill area shook the region.An antenna to send data stands on a rise above an earthquake monitoring well, right, powered by a solar electric panel, lower left, as scientists from the US Geological Survey set up an earthquake monitoring station on the San Andreas fault. Photograph: Reed Saxon/APIn the case of a major earthquake, experts are particularly worried that “ground failures” will cause widespread structural damage in many parts of the region built on landfill and sand. The California Geological Survey’s most recent map of earthquake hazards shows huge swaths of the inner Bay Area are in “liquefaction zones”, meaning that during a major earthquake, the ground could be shaken so violently that it would very temporarily soften into jelly. “People love to ask the question: is X place prepared for X disaster? Is California prepared for the next earthquake? The answer to that question, 99.99% of the time, is no,” said Dr Samantha Montano, assistant professor of emergency management and disaster science at the University of Nebraska Omaha. “The way we think about preparedness is really kind of weird. When we talk about it day to day: do you have an emergency kit, yes or no? Just because you have that doesn’t mean you’re prepared for an earthquake – there’s a lot more going into that.”For any community facing a potential wide-scale disaster, the preparation is twofold: mitigating risk and preparing for the inevitable management of the emergency.While newer, stricter building codes put in place after Loma Prieta have required more quake-resilient construction, thousands of buildings in the Bay Area were built using old, shaky standards. Oakland passed an ordinance in 2019 requiring owners of vulnerable apartments to retrofit their structures. In San Francisco, where retrofits were due to be completed in 2018, about three-quarters of susceptible units have been quake-prepped.Politicians in Berkeley cited earthquake risk as one motivator for moving to ban natural gas hook-ups in new buildings earlier this year.Officials and others evacuate a man, Erick Carlson, from the Cypress section of Highway 17, now called Interstate 880, in Oakland, California, following the Loma Prieta earthquake. Photograph: Michael Macor/The Oakland Tribune/AP“We have basically allowed ourselves to pump a toxic flammable greenhouse gas producing an expensive liquid into our homes across earthquake fault lines,” the Berkeley city councilmember Kate Harrison said at the time. “It will seem crazy in 100 years. We can see that this is a dangerous situation.”The East Bay had perhaps a little taste of that danger earlier this week: following the mid-sized East Bay quake, two of the area’s five refineries shut down due to the “upset” and their built-up gasses flared.Later, on Tuesday, a NuStar energy fuel storage facility suffered an explosion and large fire, leading many to speculate the earthquake had triggered the accident. A spokesperson could not confirm the cause of the explosion, which some in the area said felt like yet another earthquake.“We want local governments to really be taking the lead and making sure not only that there’s a plan for the city’s government but also that they’re integrating the plans with communities and businesses – particularly businesses like refineries, where there could be an added hazards,” said Montano.> BREAKING : WOW! You can see the tank's top being blown off during this giant explosion at a NuStar refinery in Contra Costa County. According to fire officials, 3 large tanks of ethanol are burning. @kron4news> > — Amy Larson (@AmyLarson25) October 15, 2019Environmental justice activists in the East Bay city of Richmond cite this kind of risk in the bigger quakes to come.“When the Hayward fault shifts, and we have that earthquake, the reality is, large portions of the Chevron refinery are built on landfill,” said Andrés Soto, an organizer with Communities for a Better Environment in Richmond. “And despite the best assurances from Chevron about how they’ve secured their refinery in the event of an earthquake, nature seems to have a way of conquering man-made structures.”A transition away from the fossil fuels that in turn contribute to several other impending California environmental disasters could help make the Bay Area more resilient when the big one inevitably hits.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 01:00:31 -0400
  • The Latest: Probe after Chicago chief found lying in car news

    Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has asked the department to investigate his actions after he was found lying down in a car near his home. Police department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says Johnson indicated he parked his car after feeling lightheaded. The 59-year-old Johnson underwent kidney transplant surgery in August 2017.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:36:12 -0400
  • Tulsi Gabbard Calls Syria ‘Regime Change War,’ Mayor Pete Buttigieg Says She’s ‘Dead Wrong’ news

    Shannon Stapleton/ReutersIn a tense exchange, the two military veterans in the Democratic primary sparred over President  Trump’s decision to pull back U.S. troops in Syria. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who has long opposed any U.S. efforts to undermine Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime, sparred with Mayor Pete Buttigieg over how the U.S. should extract itself from the long-running conflict.“Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading this regime change war,” she said. Last week, Trump announced that 50 U.S. troops stationed on Syria’s northern border with Turkey would be pulled deeper south into the country. After the announcement, Turkey immediately invaded, slaughtering Kurdish fighters and civilians, and horrifying the international community. The Kurds fought ISIS alongside U.S. troops, and Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. protection for them was widely viewed as a betrayal that seriously harms America’s international credibility. “We need to get out, but we need to do this through a negotiated solution,” Gabbard said. Buttigieg lit into Gabbard.“Respectfully, Congresswoman, I think that is dead wrong,” he said. “The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence, it is a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values. Look, I didn’t think we should have gone to Iraq in the first place. I think we need to get out of Afghanistan, but it’s also the case that a small number of specialized, special operations forces and intelligence capabilities were the only thing that stood between that part of Syria and what we’re seeing now, which is the beginning of a genocide and the resurgence of ISIS.” Gabbard pressed him on his answer, asking if he would keep the U.S. in Syria indefinitely. “You can put an end to endless war without embracing Donald Trump’s policy, as you’re doing,” he retorted.“What is an endless war if it’s not a regime change war?” she replied. “What we were doing in Syria was keeping our word,” he replied. The skirmish encapsulated the tension within the Democratic Party on foreign policy. But neither is wooing voters in an outsize way: Buttigieg polls at just over 5 percent of the Democratic primary vote in the RealClearPolitics polling average, while Gabbard is just under 1 percent.  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.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 21:55:32 -0400
  • This Is What Happens When a U.S. Navy Attack Submarine Crashes Into a 'Mountain' news

    Well, an 'underwater mountain', that is.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:33:00 -0400
  • Proposed GM contract lifts wages, closes 4 plants news

    General Motors' proposed agreement to end a labor strike includes a wage increase and faster transition to fulltime status for temporary workers but permanently shuts four plants, according to a union summary released Thursday. The United Auto Workers said they achieved "key gains" during negotiations held during a strike launched on September 26, according to a 19-page summary released by the union, while UAW leadership met with local chapters to discuss the deal. The UAW announced Wednesday it had reached a preliminary bargain but said the strike would continue until its national council approved the agreement and the stoppage could be extended until the full membership votes.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:44:24 -0400
  • Texas pastors seek federal action after police shoot black woman in her home news

    Jefferson's killing on Saturday by a rookie Fort Worth officer was the latest in a string of fatal shootings that has made the city's African American community wary of police, said Pastor Kyev Tatum.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:07:53 -0400
  • McConnell Says He Wants ‘Something Stronger’ than House Resolution Condemning Syria Troop Withdrawal news

    Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he would like to see "something stronger" than the bipartisan resolution the House passed on Wednesday condemning President Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria."I believe it's important that we make a strong, forward-looking strategic statement. For that reason my preference would be for something even stronger than the resolution that the House passed yesterday, which has some serious weaknesses," McConnell said in a Senate floor speech.The resolution overwhelmingly passed the House in a 354 to 60 vote, with 129 Republicans voting in favor. It states that Congress "opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria" and demands the White House present a plan to support Kurdish fighters and prevent ISIS from regaining a foothold in the area.Trump announced last week that he would withdraw American troops stationed in the north part of Syria, saying he did not want the U.S. to “police” the area any longer. The decision was condemned by many in Trump's party, including some of his closest allies, who anticipated that a U.S. troop withdrawal would clear the way for the invasion of the region subsequently launched by Turkey and leave the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who have fought alongside by U.S troops in an alliance against ISIS, open to attack.However, while McConnell said he was "encouraged" by the resolution, he complained that it is "narrowly drafted," and does not address several crucial issues such as the Sunni Arab and Christian communities in Syria."It is curiously silent on the issue of whether to actually sustain a U.S. military presence in Syria, perhaps to spare Democrats from having to go on record on this question," McConnell remarked. "Many of us will have much more to say on the subject very soon," he added.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 12:37:10 -0400
  • Demise of Tasmanian Tiger may be greatly exaggerated after reported sightings of extinct marsupial news

    More than 80 years since the last thylacine in captivity died and almost 40 years since it was declared extinct, rumours of the Tasmanian Tiger’s survival have been reignited by a newly published document. The thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger, was once Australia's top predator but the last one in captivity died in 1936. Tasmanian officials say “there is no evidence to confirm the thylacine still exists” but a document published this week by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) features numerous accounts from farmers, bushwalkers, tourists and others claiming to have seen the striped carnivore over the past three years. The Department received eight reports in that period of thylacine sightings, sometimes of an adult with cubs, and usually at dusk or dawn in the northern and western parts of the island state. Two Western Australian tourists recorded in the document said they saw a striped animal the size of a “large kelpie” in February last year and were “100 per cent certain” it was a Tasmanian Tiger. In April 2017 a motorist included in the document said he saw a thylacine run across the Murchison Highway. “If it was a cat, it was a bloody big one,” he said. Engravings and rock art by Aboriginal people depicting the thylacine have been found dating back to before 1000 BC, and it is believed some depictions of the animal are much older, including in the north of Western Australia - as far away from Tasmania as possible in Australia. The thylacine has been declared extinct Credit: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images It is believed some of the art depicts efforts by the Aboriginal people to save the species on the mainland. However, the Tiger was already extinct on the mainland by the time Europeans first arrived. Abel Tasman’s party recorded seeing footprints of “wild beasts having claws like a tiger” in Tasmania in 1642. The mature thylacine ranged from 100 to 130 cm long, with a tail of around 50 to 65cm, and about 60cm tall, and weighing up to 30kg. After claims the animal was attacking sheep, the Van Diemen's Land Company introduced bounties on the thylacine in 1830. From 1888 and 1909 the Tasmanian Government paid £1 per head for dead adult thylacines and ten shillings for pups. Farmers, bounty hunters, wild dogs introduced by Europeans, destruction of habitat, disease, and the extinction of animals on which the tiger fed all contributed to the dramatic fall in the animal’s population. Thylacine expert Col Bailey told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he saw a Tasmanian Tiger 50 years ago on a river bank while canoeing. “I'm sure they're not extinct… this (document) has shed a bit of light," he said. Mr Bailey said the fascination with the Tasmanian Tiger was partly motivated by a sense of guilt that previous generations had driven the species to the brink of extinction, if not beyond. The thycaline was officially declared extinct in 1982, and the DPIPWE issued a statement that for more than 50 years there have been no officially confirmed sightings of the animal. "The Department will continue to record information on reported sightings,” it added.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:17:17 -0400
  • Border Patrol's growing presence at hospitals creates fear news

    An armed Border Patrol agent roamed the hallways of an emergency room in Miami on a recent day as nurses wheeled stretchers and medical carts through the hospital and families waited for physicians to treat their loved ones. The agent in the olive-green uniform freely stepped in and out of the room where a woman was taken by ambulance after throwing up and fainting while being detained on an immigration violation, according to advocates who witnessed the scene. The presence of immigration authorities is becoming increasingly common at health care facilities around the country, and hospitals are struggling with where to draw the line to protect patients' rights amid rising immigration enforcement in the Trump administration.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:58:45 -0400
  • Record-smashing bomb cyclone or 'explosive cyclogenesis' wreaks havoc in the Northeast news

    An 'explosive cyclogenesis' or bomb cyclone hit the Northeast, causing widespread power outages in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:29:28 -0400
  • Mexican Asylum Seekers Are Facing Long Waits at the U.S. Border. Advocates Say That's Illegal news

    A new 'metering' practice is particularly dangerous for Mexican asylum seekers

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 13:08:43 -0400
  • Rudy Giuliani’s Twitter Feed Is a Boomer Conspiracy-Theory Sh*tshow news

    Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/GettyWhen Rudy Giuliani logs into Twitter, he’s presented with a world where the recent California power outages were staged by military operatives rooting out cannibal-pedophiles deep in their underground bunkers. It’s a place where President Donald Trump only betrayed the Kurds because they were running black sites for a global deep-state cabal; where former Trump Russia adviser Fiona Hill ran an anti-Trump spy ring out of the White House; where former Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta eats children; and where the pope is about to seize world power, and maybe already has. It is the worst that the right-wing internet fever swamp has to offer, and it is all right there, waiting for Giuliani to consume. With the president’s personal lawyer now in hot water for helping to orchestrate an apparent pressure campaign to get the Ukrainian leadership to launch investigations beneficial to Trump’s domestic political needs, the question being routinely asked is what compelled him to act in these ways. To answer that question, it’s worth examining the dozen of hardcore conspiracy theory accounts that populate Giuliani’s Twitter timeline. Giuliani, after all, has become a fairly regular user of the platform, having posted to it more than 1,000 times and routinely favoriting content during the course of any given day. But he only follows 224 people (as of Wednesday). A good chunk of those follows are conventional Trumpworld figures, including the president himself (Trump was Giuliani’s earliest follow), Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton, opinion writer John Solomon, and former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka.But many of those 224 dabble in far darker realms of the far-right conspiracy theory internet than the usual rantings of a Fox News primetime broadcast. For instance, Giuliani follows writer Ella Cruz—the author of an Amazon self-published book called Ring of the Cabal: The Secret Government of The Royal Papal Banking Cabal, which alleges that the New World Order will soon impose the “mark of the beast” on all humanity. In August, Cruz tweeted at Giuliani, warning him that Hillary Clinton murdered pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. Though Giuliani doesn’t often RT or even like the content produced by the people he follows his taste for conspiracy theories does occasionally shine through, such as in August, when he quote-tweeted conspiracy theorist Matt Couch, a prolific promoter of the baseless idea that former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered by Hillary Clinton. Couch has become so vocal in his attacks on the Rich family that Rich’s brother filed a defamation suit against him. Giuliani promoted a tweet from Couch questioning the police narrative about Rich’s 2016 murder, and later told The Daily Beast there are “legitimate questions” about the investigation. Giuliani follows a number of accounts that promote the QAnon conspiracy, which alleges that Trump is engaged in a secret war against cannibal-pedophiles in the Democratic Party, Hollywood, and Wall Street. Nearly 5 percent of the accounts that Giuliani follows have explicit QAnon references permanently on their Twitter pages, either in the form of pinned tweets, Twitter names, bios, or header images. Many more of them frequently tweet and retweet QAnon messages from popular promoters of the conspiracy theory. Several accounts Giuliani follows recently retweeted a video, shot in a dimly lit, anonymous living room, starring a man claiming that Navy SEALs and Marines had recently rescued “2,100 children from California Underground bases.” There is no evidence that this is actually true. Other accounts that Giuliani follows are prone to promoting a wild potpourri of various conspiracy theory claims. Among them are that Barack Obama is engineering the Trump impeachment process to install Michelle Obama in the White House, or that Hillary Clinton plans to kill off each Democratic presidential candidate so she can become president herself. Others allege that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg secretly died months ago, but that her death is being covered up. Taken together, the accounts circle around a few popular right-wing targets: the Clintons, the Obamas, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Several accounts Giuliani follows recently claimed, without any proof, that Omar had donned a disguise to take part in a gathering of left-wing antifascist activists. Another promoted a long-discredited idea that a photograph proves Omar attended a terrorist training camp (in fact, the picture was taken years before Omar was even born).Many of the accounts Giuliani follows have just a few hundred or thousand followers, raising questions about how he became aware of them in the first place. But Giuliani also follows some of Twitter’s leading right-wing conspiracy theorists. Giuliani follows SGT Report, a sort of clearing house for anti-vaccine activists and other conspiracy theorists that has more than 500,000 subscribers on YouTube.The degree to which Rudy’s Twitter consumption informs his world view is inherently unknowable. Giuliani hasn’t favorited any of tweets from the conspiracy theory accounts. Reached for comment, he declined to say why so many obscure conspiracy theory Twitter accounts make up the relatively small number of total accounts that he follows on Twitter.“Never saw any of that,” Giuliani wrote in a text message.But there is some anecdotal evidence that Giuliani has embraced or, at a minimum, begun to echo the world that he has built for himself on that platform and it is not just because of his penchant for promoting conspiracy theories about billionaire George Soros and former Vice President Joe Biden. Earlier this month, Giuliani appeared on an internet TV radio show hosted by Bill Mitchell, a diehard Trump fan who has frequently promoted QAnon online. Asked ahead of the interview why he was going on the show, given Mitchell’s QAnon connection, Giuliani asked for proof that Mitchell supports QAnon. After The Daily Beast sent Giuliani one article proving Mitchell’s support for QAnon, the former prosecutor stopped responding to text messages.Giuliani’s own Twitter use has accelerated since he took on a starring role in Trump’s Ukraine scandal, according to social media analytics site SocialBlade. In October 2018, Giuliani had 29 average monthly tweets. A year later, he averages 132 tweets a month, according to SocialBlade.Many of the fringe accounts Giuliani follows have rallied to his defense as the Ukraine investigation heats up and echo his most conspiratorial insinuations about the Biden family. One account Giuliani follows, for example, regularly urges him and Trump to sue Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) over impeachment. Several of the conspiracy theorist Twitter users that Giuliani follows have, in turn, cited their social media connection to the former New York City mayor as a way of burnishing their credibility. “It’s an honor that he follows me,” Couch, the Seth Rich conspiracy theorist, told The Daily Beast.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.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:29:56 -0400
  • China's foreign ministry warns of 'strong countermeasures' if U.S. enacts Hong Kong bill news

    China threatened unspecified “strong countermeasures” if the U.S. Congress enacts legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters, in a sign of the deepening strain between the world’s two largest economies as they attempt to seal a trade deal.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:55:04 -0400
  • 11 Mesmerizing Structures by Shigeru Ban

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

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:26:00 -0400
  • U.S. Supreme Court wrestles over 'D.C. Sniper' life sentence appeal news

    U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday questioned whether a lower court sufficiently considered that a man convicted in the deadly 2002 "D.C. Sniper" shooting spree in the Washington area was a minor at the time of the crimes when he was sentenced to life in prison. The nine justices heard arguments in an appeal by the state of Virginia objecting to the lower court's decision ordering that Lee Boyd Malvo's sentence of life in prison without parole be thrown out. The most likely contender based on questions he asked during the argument would be Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 14:45:08 -0400
  • Syria troops fight Turkish forces alongside Kurds: monitor news

    The Syrian army deployed alongside Kurdish forces on the front line in northern Syria Wednesday but their newfound cooperation saw no let-up in the week-old Turkish invasion, a monitor said. In a rare scene in Syria's eight-year-old civil war, government troops and Kurdish fighters were "fighting together" against Turkey's Syrian proxies northeast of the town of Ain Issa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Britain-based monitor reported "violent clashes" near the M4 highway -- a key east-west artery that links the Kurdish heartland in the northeast with Syria's second city Aleppo and the Mediterranean coast beyond.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 05:31:59 -0400
  • Dior Apologizes for Showing China Map without Taiwan in Meeting with Chinese College Students news

    Luxury brand Christian Dior apologized on Thursday for showing students a map of China that didn't include Taiwan in a closed-door recruiting session at Zhejiang Gongshang University in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou."Dior first extends our deep apologies for the incorrect statement and misrepresentation made by a Dior staff member at a campus presentation," read a statement by Dior on Weibo, a Chinese social-media platform similar to Twitter. "Dior always respects and upholds the One China policy, strictly safeguards China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and treasures the feelings of the Chinese people."In a video, later posted online, of the question-and-answer session that followed the presentation, a female student asks why Taiwan, which the Chinese government considers a part of China, wasn't included on the map of China shown by Dior representatives. One representative answered that the map was too small, to which the student replied that the map did include the island of Hainan south of China, which is similar in size to Taiwan. Another representative interjected that Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China together form "Great China."The company's apology to China drew condemnation from Taiwanese officials."@Dior's apology to the PRC government is a mistake," Taiwanese foreign minister Joseph Wu shot back on Twitter. "Its employee was correct in showing the Chinese map without Taiwan."The controversy comes after the NBA was accused of buckling to Chinese censorship in a similar spat earlier this month.On October 4, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted, "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong." The Chinese Basketball Association immediately moved to cut all ties with the Rockets, and Chinese streaming service Tencent announced that it would not show any Rockets games for the coming year. Morey subsequently released a statement apologizing to Chinese fans, and the NBA publicly condemned Morey for his tweet supporting the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The NBA faced widespread condemnation from U.S. elected officials, who blasted what they called its weak response to China's demands.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:38:50 -0400
  • Protesters bar Haiti's president from visiting historic site news

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti's embattled president was forced on Thursday to hold a private ceremony amid heavy security for what is usually a public celebration of one of the country's founding fathers. Jovenel Moïse and other officials appeared at the National Pantheon Museum in downtown Port-au-Prince as hundreds of armed police officers closed down the surrounding area while protesters who demanded his resignation began to gather nearby.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:45:11 -0400
  • Turkey's Air Force Has Stealth Fighter Dreams news

    No F-35s or Su-57s? Could Turkey just build their own? What about China?

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 01:30:00 -0400
  • Powerful coastal storm known as a 'bomb cyclone' will blast the Northeast from New York to Maine news

    A powerful storm – created by a bombogenesis – will unleash rain and winds from the mid-Atlantic to New England at the end of the week

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 13:36:02 -0400
  • Trump's businesses reportedly gave different financial figures to lenders and tax authorities as recently as 2017

    More questions have arisen surrounding President Trump's businesses after ProPublica obtained documents via New York's Freedom of Information Law.The documents show that for two of Trump's New York properties -- 40 Wall Street and the Trump International Hotel and Tower -- different financial figures were reported to lenders and to tax authorities. For example, the Trump Organization told a lender that 40 Wall Street had been 58.9 percent leased on Dec. 31, 2012, before vaulting to 95 percent a few years later, which reportedly represented borrower-friendly "leasing momentum." But the company reportedly disclosed that the building was 81 percent rented as of Jan. 5, 2013 to tax officials. Ultimately, the reporting strategy helped Trump reach favorable terms -- he received a 10-year loan with a lower interest than the building previously had and was also able to defer paying off much of the principal until the end of the loan. "There was a story crafted here," said Kevin Riordan, a financing expert and real estate professor at Montclair State University.As for Trump Tower, the company reportedly told tax authorities that the building made around $822,000 renting space to commercial tenants in 2017, while reporting to lenders that it took in nearly double that. In eight years of data ProPublica examined for the property, the Trump organization generally reported gross income to tax authorities that was around 81 percent of what it reported to the lender.There can be legitimate reasons for such numbers to diverge, real estate experts have noted, but those same experts told ProPublica that some of the gaps in the documents did not appear to have any reasonable justification. Nancy Wallace, a professor of finance and real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley said the discrepancies amount to some "versions of fraud." Read more at ProPublica.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 09:53:00 -0400
  • ‘Barbaric’: DLA Piper Partner Who Said Boss Assaulted Her Four Times Has Been Put on Leave news

    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos HandoutThe junior partner at top-grossing law firm DLA Piper who claimed she was sexually assaulted four times by her boss in 2018 has been placed on paid administrative leave.Vanina Guerrero, who works out of the multinational firm’s Silicon Valley corporate practice, filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission earlier this month, claiming that the $2.84-billion firm discriminated against her and retaliated when she complained of the alleged assaults. The complaint identified her boss, DLA Piper partner Louis Lehot, as the man who allegedly assaulted her in Shanghai, Brazil, Palo Alto, and Chicago.“During my entire career I was known for my intellect, tenacity and confidence,” Guerrero, who is married with children, wrote in an open letter to the firm earlier this month. “In less than nine months at DLA Piper... I became a shell of my former self.” In her letter, Guerrero asked the firm to allow her to litigate the matter in court instead of through forced arbitration. A spokesman for the law firm has said the company took appropriate steps to investigate the allegations against Lehot as soon as they were reported and that the company “takes them seriously.”Lehot has since left the firm, the company said last week.“Despite the fact that the allegations have not been substantiated by the investigation to date, the firm has concluded for various reasons that it is in the best interest of the firm that we part ways with Louis Lehot,” three executives wrote in a memo, Bloomberg Business reported.But on Tuesday, the firm sent a letter to Guerrero claiming that “during the course of our investigation of your allegations against Louis Lehot, another individual at the firm alleged that you engaged in inappropriate behavior toward, and harassed, that individual.”“DLA Piper takes allegations of harassment seriously, regardless of the position or gender of the individual making those allegations or against whom they are made,” said the letter, which was provided to The Daily Beast by Guerrero’s attorney. “Unfortunately, you continue to refuse to cooperate with that investigation, including refusing to discuss the allegations that have been made against you. Indeed, you refused to do so despite our stated willingness to allow your counsel to be present during the interview.”The memo states that Guerrero is barred from going to the Silicon Valley office or engaging in any of the firm’s business until the investigation has concluded—and that DLA Piper has retained an outside firm to probe the matter.Guerrero’s attorney, Jeanne Christensen, said in a statement on Wednesday that the letter was sent overnight to media outlets “across the country” in an attempt “to publicly smear” Guerrero “for daring to complain about being sexually assaulted.”Christensen called the move “barbaric” and unprecedented.“To be clear, as of the writing of this email, our firm and Ms. Guerrero have no knowledge or information about the purported ‘harassment,’” she added. “The message is loud and clear: MeToo movement or not—speaking out about gender motivated violence will result in untold harm, damage and pain to you personally and professionally.”Junior Partner at Silicon Valley Law Firm DLA Piper: Boss Sexually Assaulted Me 4 Times, Company Ignored ItRead 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.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:16:44 -0400
  • An Equestrian Was Shot by Her Olympic Trainer, Then Pummeled Online news

    LONG VALLEY, N.J. -- The gunshots rang out from the back porch of the farmhouse, a little ways off from the stables and Olympic-level dressage arena, the improbable sound rising over the 53-acre estate. A woman had been shot twice in the chest by a man well known not merely to her but also to just about everyone in the rarefied dressage community: Michael Barisone, an Olympic rider, the owner of the farm and the woman's trainer. The shooting was the shocking culmination of a landlord-tenant dispute that the woman, Lauren Kanarek, had documented all summer on social media, openly fearful of what might happen. "I'm afraid," she wrote, five days before the attack. "I'm being bullied." Barisone, who was charged with two counts of attempted murder, said that he shot Kanarek in self-defense. In the week before the shooting, Barisone had called 911 several times, claiming that she and her fiance were squatters on his farm and were harassing him; in one call, Barisone described the conflict as "a war. And it's going to be dealt with." Kanarek survived the attack but was placed in a medically induced coma. Finally, after an extensive surgery to repair damage from a bullet to her left lung and more than a week of hospitalization, she had recovered enough to start reconnecting with the world. The first thing she saw, she recalled, were comments that "wished I was dead." "They know there is a person suffering multiple gunshot wounds, bullet wounds," she said in an interview, her voice raspy where the ventilator had damaged her vocal cords. "To say those things, is something no one could ever imagine." Seldom do attempted murder cases elicit sympathy for the suspect; rarer still are cases where the victim is blamed. And yet Kanarek somehow found herself the target of an online lynch mob. "Yes, you were shot by an obviously provoked man … but you accept zero accountability," reads one direct reply to Kanarek on an online forum hosted by The Chronicle of the Horse, an equestrian publication. "What a narcissist. It's always someone else's fault." The blind sympathy for Barisone lies partly in his standing in the dressage world; he served as a reserve rider on the U.S. dressage team in the 2008 Olympics and coached Allison Brock, one of the riders for the U.S. squad that won a team bronze in the 2016 Olympics. Few fans could fathom his involvement, and many who tried to find reason behind the shooting ended up focusing on his claims that Kanarek had serially harassed him. Just before the shooting, Kanarek had asked the Division of Child Protection and Permanency to investigate Barisone for potential abuse of a child of his fiancee, according to Jeffery Simms, the lawyer who represented him at the arraignment. "The alleged victim is not a victim," Simms told reporters then. "She's a villain." Kanarek said she did not recall placing the call to child services. Barisone's supporters also point to Kanarek's inflammatory social media presence. She has at least one pending charge against her for cyberstalking in North Carolina, where she used to live."Lauren Kanarek took her bullying too far. Everyone has limits," Susan Wachowich, who runs a popular site covering the sport, wrote on Twitter the day of the shooting. She wrote that the site "100% supports Michael Barisone in his actions." The post has since been deleted by Twitter as a violation of its standards. Wachowich did not respond to a request for comment. As is her way, Kanarek is fighting back. In flurries of posts since her attack, Kanarek has replied to strangers, friends and foes, unspooling her version of events and reminding the people who pile up on her that she was nearly killed. "No matter what -- I was shot twice. It was not in self-defense. While plenty more story exists, what else matters?" she wrote in one response. "Do you condone trainers shooting their students trying to kill them? Sure looks that way." Kanarek met Barisone at a horse competition in Wellington, Florida, in 2018. She decided to move her horses from North Carolina to his Hawthorne Hill farm in Long Valley, in the heart of New Jersey's horse country, for the chance to train with an Olympic great, she said. As part of the arrangement, she and her fiance, Robert Goodwin, would live on the property, in an apartment in a farmhouse where Barisone lived. Tensions grew after a flood in the farmhouse forced Barisone and his fiancee to move into a barn on the property, Kanarek said. Barisone tried to kick Kanarek and Goodwin out of the apartment, according to Kanarek, so he could live there; they refused. A month before the shooting, Barisone began contacting people who had online disputes with Kanarek. He told them that he was trying to build a legal case against Kanarek and Goodwin, and eject them from his property. Joey Ann Stagaard, a hair restoration specialist from New Jersey, received one such call about a week before the shooting. "'I know that you are a victim of this girl Lauren's torture, and she is on our farm,' " Stagaard recalled Barisone telling her over the phone. "He said, 'She is causing nothing but havoc here; we are losing our minds.' " Stagaard has been embroiled in a long online spat with Kanarek, whom she has never met, over a former shared love interest, she said. Her public animus toward Kanarek has continued even after the shooting. Stagaard was one of several women, including a North Carolina-based horsewomen named Kathryn Parkinson, who filed a complaint last spring to the U.S. Equestrian Federation and SafeSport, a nonprofit organization that investigates various forms of misconduct in Olympic sports. They accused Kanarek of bullying. The federation said the complaint was investigated and found not to merit any action. "It seemed to us more like a personal matter," said Vicki Lowell, a spokeswoman for the federation. Separately, Kanarek said she had complained to SafeSport about Barisone this summer. Dan Hill, a spokesman for SafeSport, said he could not confirm whether a report was filed.In the meantime, the situation at Hawthorne Hill worsened in the weeks before the shooting: Police were summoned to the farm at least six times, according to recordings of 911 calls placed by Kanarek, her family and Barisone. "These people have been living here, and they're causing us hell," Barisone told the operator July 31, according to recordings obtained by news site Patch. Three days before the attack, on Aug. 4, Barisone called 911 a final time. "I'm taking my life back," he told the operator. When police responded the day of the shooting, they found Barisone pinned beneath Goodwin, a black and pink 9-millimeter Ruger pistol under both of them. The police report indicated that he also shot at Goodwin but missed. As medical personnel and police officers circled through, Barisone was overheard repeating the same sentence: "I had a good life." Barisone is being held in a Morris County jail, after being refused bail by a judge. His current lawyer, Edward J. Bilinkas, did not respond to multiple emails and calls requesting comment. To Kanarek and her lawyer, the details of the spiraling conflict between trainer and student, whether bandied about in the courtroom or on Facebook, are beside the point. "She is the victim here, and she was fighting for her life and trying to recover, while at the same time being attacked," her lawyer, Andrew O'Connor, said. "A disconnect that a lot of these trolls can't get over, is that, 'I've seen this guy from afar, and I see his bronze medal, and so it must be her.' "Kanarek concurred, saying that it was difficult to "go online and see every single person talking about you." She pulled up her blouse to reveal two entry wounds in her rib cage. "Every part of my body and soul and mind is just thinking, I should be on my horses, riding," she said. "Instead, I was shot." This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:18:31 -0400
  • Thai child trafficker sentenced to record 374 years in jail

    A Thai trafficker was sentenced to a record 374 years in jail for child trafficking in a ruling that lawyers say will send a deterrent to other criminals. Yuttana Kodsap, 31, was found guilty of child trafficking for the purpose of pornography after he lured children aged 7-12 to play computer games at his house where he filmed sexual acts with them and sold the videos on a chat app, police said. A court in Thailand's southern province of Phang Nga sentenced him to 374 years in jail for his crimes and ordered him to pay 800,000 Thai baht ($26,000) in compensation to each of the five victims, according to court documents provided to the Thomson Reuters Foundation by the Court of Justice.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:30:45 -0400
  • Netanyahu's Latest Call for Unity Government Is Quickly Rejected news

    (Bloomberg) -- Benjamin Netanyahu’s main rival turned down the Israeli prime minister’s renewed call to set aside political differences and join a national unity governmentNetanyahu has until late next week to form a ruling coalition or risk the country’s president handing the mandate to former military chief Benny Gantz. Short of a majority in parliament, the premier’s efforts to coax Gantz’s Blue and White bloc, the largest in the legislature, into a power-sharing agreement have so far failed.“All of Israel’s citizens look around and see how the Middle East is changing for the worse in front of our eyes,” Netanyahu said Thursday in a tweet. “Those who need to know, know that the security challenges are growing, and they are not waiting for us.”The prime minister didn’t specify the threats facing Israel. But his statement follows the decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria as he seeks to end America’s presence in long-running Middle Eastern conflicts.The U-turn has boosted Israel’s main regional foe, Iran, which is a key supporter of the government in Damascus, and stoked speculation in Israel over the future reliability of the country’s superpower patron.Gantz quickly rejected Netanyahu’s offer.“I received a proposal today that one must refuse,’’ Gantz said in a tweet. “We will wait for the President’s mandate and begin serious negotiations for the establishment of a liberal unity government that will lead to change and restore hope to the citizens of Israel.”\--With assistance from Ivan Levingston.To contact the reporter on this story: Yaacov Benmeleh in Tel Aviv at ybenmeleh@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at, Mark Williams, Paul AbelskyFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:37:51 -0400
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