Sign In   |   Sign Up   |   Contact Us

Weather News

  • Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows two-thirds of voters want the Senate to call new impeachment witnesses

    Golocal247.com news

    In a new poll, 63 percent of registered voters agree that the Senate should call new witnesses to testify during President Trump’s impeachment trial.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 17:55:45 -0500
  • Steyer: U.S. reparations for slavery will help 'repair the damage'

    Golocal247.com news

    The billionaire presidential candidate Tom Steyer reiterated his support Wednesday for reparations for African- Americans suffering from the legacy of slavery.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 17:52:52 -0500
  • The American Airlines flight attendant union is calling on US airlines to step up precautions for the deadly Wuhan coronavirus

    Golocal247.com news

    The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has sickened more than 630 people and killed 18. It has spread to at least 8 countries.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 18:55:20 -0500
  • Additional U.S. troops have been flown out of Iraq following Iranian missile attack

    Golocal247.com news

    Additional U.S. troops have been flown out of Iraq for closer evaluation of potential concussion injuries from the Iranian missile attack of Jan. 8, U.S. defense officials said Tuesday.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 08:53:57 -0500
  • REI’s January Sale Offers 50% off Cold-Weather Outdoor Gear

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

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 10:26:00 -0500
  • Exclusive: The inside story of how the U.S. gave up a chance to kill Soleimani in 2007

    Golocal247.com news

    In the first years of the occupation, Qassem Soleimani had moved back and forth between Iran and Iraq “constantly,” but had always taken the precautions to be expected from a seasoned intelligence officer, said John Maguire, a former senior CIA official stationed in Baghdad in the mid-2000s. Soleimani disguised his rank and identity, used only ground transportation and avoided speaking on the phone or the radio, preferring to give orders to proxies and subordinates in Iraq in person.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 05:00:22 -0500
  • Family attorneys say cruise line's story of toddler's death is 'physically impossible'

    Golocal247.com news

    Attorneys representing Chloe Wiegand's family say a ship visit proves it's "physically impossible" for her grandfather to hold her out of the window.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 15:53:33 -0500
  • White Nationalists Arrested ahead of Richmond Rally Planned to Kill Gun-Rights Demonstrators to Spark Civil War

    Golocal247.com news

    Three alleged members of a white supremacist group were plotting to murder demonstrators at Monday's gun rights rally at the Virginia Capitol before they were arrested by the FBI last week, according to court documents.The men were caught discussing their plans on a hidden camera set up in their Delaware apartment by FBI agents.“We can’t let Virginia go to waste, we just can’t,” said Patrik J. Mathews, one member of the hate group "the Base" that promotes violence against African-Americans and Jews.According to authorities, the 27-year-old former Canadian Armed Forces reservist also discussed creating "instability" in Virginia by killing people, derailing trains, poisoning water, and shutting down highways in order to "kick off the economic collapse" and possibly start a "full blown civil war."Mathews also discussed the possibility of "executing" police officers and stealing their belongings and remarked that, “We could essentially be like literally hunting people.”“Virginia will be our day,” said 33-year-old Brian M. Lemley Jr., adding, “I need to claim my first victim.”“Lemley discussed using a thermal imaging scope affixed to his rifle to conduct ambush attacks,” the court filings read.The two were arrested along with a third man, 19, last Thursday. They are charged with federal firearms violations and “transporting and harboring an alien,” referring to Mathews, who is a Canadian national. Four more members of The Base have also been arrested and charged in Georgia and Wisconsin.In a search of the apartment, prosecutors said that FBI agents found propaganda fliers for The Base, communications devices, empty rifle cases, "go bags" with "numerous Meals-Ready-to-Eat," knives, and materials for building an assault rifle.Tens of thousands of gun rights advocates rallied in Richmond on Monday to protest the state’s Democratic legislature's gun-control agenda. Critics raised fears beforehand that militant white supremacists could disrupt the rally, but the day ended peacefully with no violence.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 14:04:56 -0500
  • First stage of extradition hearing for top Huawei exec ends

    Golocal247.com news

    A Canadian judge said Thursday she will announce her decision at a later date after ending the first phase of an extradition hearing that will decide whether a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei is sent to the United States. This week's hearings dealt with the question of whether the U.S. charges against Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, are crimes in Canada as well. Canada arrested Huawei's chief financial officer in December 2018 at Vancouver's airport at the request of the U.S. as she was changing flights.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 15:11:11 -0500
  • Ad targets Susan Collins: 'You’re a senator. Act like it.'

    Golocal247.com news

    A conservative group critical of President Trump released an ad that targets Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins for her votes during the impeachment trial.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 11:36:01 -0500
  • Elizabeth Warren clashes with Iowa father who calls her student loan policy unfair

    Golocal247.com news

    Elizabeth Warren was confronted by an angry father at a campaign event in Iowa by an angry father who took issue with her plan to forgive student loan debts.Arguing that those who paid for college tuition themselves would be “screwed” by her proposal, he confronted the Democratic senator on Monday at a presidential campaign town hall in Grimes, Iowa.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 19:47:01 -0500
  • A University of Minnesota student was arrested in China and sentenced to 6 months in prison for tweeting cartoons making fun of President Xi Jingping

    Golocal247.com news

    According to Chinese court documents obtained by Axios, 20-year-old Luo Daiqing was arrested after returning to Wuhan for summer break.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 09:18:05 -0500
  • The brazen (and careless) Russian assassination team behind the Salisbury poisonings has been spotted in Europe, again

    Golocal247.com news

    They keep failing to kill their targets. And they leave lots of evidence behind them.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 10:34:34 -0500
  • Man in Mexico Now Ill After Visiting Coronavirus Ground Zero

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- A man who fell ill in Mexico on Monday following a December trip to Wuhan, China, is under observation as a potential case of the coronavirus, the respiratory virus that has killed at least 17 people worldwide.The 57-year-old molecular biology professor works for the Instituto Politecnico Nacional university in the city of Reynosa, which borders with the U.S. The man returned to Mexico on Jan. 10 through a Mexico City airport and then flew to the state of Tamaulipas, Mexican authorities said.Tamaulipas State Health Minister Gloria Molina said in a radio interview that the man immediately reported his situation to authorities after feeling sick. He is now in his home under monitoring to prevent any potential spread. His test results are expected on Thursday, Mexico’s chief epidemiologist Jose Luis Alomia said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.Molina said the man also had layovers at the border city of Tijuana when he left and returned to Mexico, according to journalist Joaquin Lopez Doriga’s news site.Link: China Seeks to Contain Virus as Death Toll Jumps to 17Earlier on Wednesday, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that a second possible case in Mexico had been ruled out. “The coronavirus is being looked into. If we have more information we will release it later today,” he said.Mexico plans to inform daily on the latests developments of the virus around the world. A preventive travel recommendation is in place for the country and passengers arriving from international ports will be checked for any symptoms, Alomia said.Separately, Colombian authorities are also evaluating whether a Chinese man with a respiratory illness, who traveled to Colombia from Turkey, has the same virus, according to Blu, a Bogota-based radio station. The country’s health ministry declined to comment.The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he needs to consider all evidence before deciding if the coronavirus that emerged from Wuhan is an international health emergency.(Adds Alomia comments in paragraphs 3 and 6, and WHO comments in last paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Cyntia Barrera Diaz in Mexico City at cbarrerad@bloomberg.net;Lorena Rios in Mexico City at lriost@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ney Hayashi at ncruz4@bloomberg.net, Dale QuinnFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 17:24:28 -0500
  • Are North Korea's Vaunted Submarines Actually Any Good?

    Golocal247.com news

    Let's take a look.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 04:20:00 -0500
  • Utah bans LGBTQ conversion therapy for minors

    Golocal247.com news

    "It simply will save lives," said GOP State Representative Craig Hall, who originally sponsored the proposal.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 13:13:12 -0500
  • 1 Killed, 7 Wounded, Including 9-Year-Old, in Shooting in Downtown Seattle. Here's What to Know

    Golocal247.com news

    The shooting is the third in Seattle in two days

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 21:28:32 -0500
  • Firefighting plane crashes in Australia, killing 3 Americans

    Golocal247.com news

    Three American firefighting airplane crew members were killed Thursday when the C-130 Hercules aerial water tanker they were in crashed while battling wildfires in southeastern Australia, officials said. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the deaths in the state's Snowy Monaro region, which came as Australia grapples with an unprecedented fire season that has left a large swath of destruction. Canada-based Coulson Aviation said in a statement that one of its Lockheed large air tankers was lost after it left Richmond in New South Wales with retardant for a firebombing mission.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 22:44:28 -0500
  • At impeachment trial, Democrats address Biden corruption allegations as Graham promises more developments

    Golocal247.com news

    Sen. Lindsey Graham made it clear that he plans to make Hunter Biden a much bigger part of the impeachment debate in the coming days.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 21:31:53 -0500
  • Oklahoma zookeeper sentenced to 22 years in murder-for-hire plot

    Golocal247.com news

    A former Oklahoma zookeeper and one-time candidate for governor was sentenced Wednesday to 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot and violating federal wildlife laws.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 16:28:06 -0500
  • Coronavirus Patient Had Close Contact With 16 in Washington State

    Golocal247.com news

    SEATTLE—Washington state officials said they have determined the man with the first known case of Wuhan coronavirus in the United States had close contact with at least 16 people since returning from China.But authorities said there was no reason to panic—even as Seattle residents rushed to buy face masks at drug stores and fretted about whether the bug that has killed 17 people overseas would spread across the United States.“I would expect that at some point we’re going to have more cases in the U.S.,” state Health Secretary John Wiesman said, stressing that public health officials are well-equipped and trained to handle and contain outbreaks.The initial patient, a man in his 30s, returned from a trip to China on Jan. 15 but did not fall ill until several days later. He had seen news of the outbreak that has infected hundreds in China and went to a Snohomish County clinic on Jan. 19, and told doctors about his travel history. Samples sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came back positive for the virus on Monday, prompting the patient’s hospitalization in an isolation unit at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. Officials confirmed the case the following morning, followed by the afternoon press conference.China’s Deadly Coronavirus Cover-Up Is Getting Worse as First Case Hits U.S.Wiesman said the man, who lives alone, is doing well. He’s being observed in a bio-containment room under precautions that include security guards and a robot with a stethoscope to limit physical contact with hospital staff, KOMO-TV reported.Wiesman said that after confirming the virus, health investigators immediately began tracing the patient’s steps to identify who had close contact with him. He said they had identified and were in the process of notifying and monitoring 16 people—but cautioned that number could rise. Officials are not recommending isolation for those people unless they develop symptoms, at which point they would be infectious, he said.Despite the messages of reassurance, Seattle residents were snapping up available anti-viral face masks. In the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, a manager for Bartell Drugs said the store’s stock had been essentially cleaned out by noon on Tuesday. A few blocks away at Rite Aid, a single box of face masks remained, and at a nearby Walgreens, a last-minute shopper bought one of two remaining 20-packs.  Boya, 31, a mental health therapist from Seattle, said the Walgreens face masks weren’t her first choice but would have to do given her “complex” situation. She requested that her last name not be used because both she and her partner would be traveling to China soon, and she worried that the Chinese government hadn’t been entirely truthful about the outbreak’s extent.Boya’s partner was due to fly to Hong Kong and then Chengdu, China, on Thursday, she said, and had enlisted her help after being unable to find any face masks at other stores. In February, Boya said, she herself would fly to Shanghai.Some hospitals also appeared to be taking extra precautions. At the entrance to the Emergency & Trauma Center at Harborview Medical Center near downtown, staff had posted red signs on the sliding glass door and by the metal detector that read, “Ask for a mask if you have a fever, rash, cough, runny nose, red eyes, or feel ill.” The air smelled of alcohol as a gloved security guard wiped down round security trays with Purell.China’s Deadly Coronavirus Cover-Up Is Getting Worse as First Case Hits U.S.A few blocks away, the Swedish First Hill Emergency Room waiting area was quiet and mostly empty, and only one young man wore a face mask. A retired public health worker who was waiting for her granddaughter but declined to give her name said she felt fortunate to be living in the county because of its public health capabilities. Even so, she said, messages about the coronavirus would have to overcome language and cultural barriers to be effective.At Walgreens, Boya agreed that the newly confirmed case didn’t pose an immediate threat to her. “Here, I feel safe,” she said. But her grandparents and some other relatives still live in Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter. She also worried about her partner’s safety and her own during their upcoming trips. “I’m calm but still have concern here,” she said, pointing at her chest.Janet Baseman, a professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, said she was impressed by the rapid response of health officials. “This is the way that the public health surveillance system is supposed to work,” she said. “So I’m very pleased.”The virus, officially called 2019-nCoV, was first identified in December in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in central China. Officials originally linked the outbreak to a large seafood and animal market. Since then, they have confirmed human-to-human transmission as well, though it’s not yet clear how easily the virus can spread. By Wednesday, more than 400 cases and 17 deaths had been reported in at least five countries, and screenings in the U.S. had expanded to include airports in Chicago and Atlanta.For the general public, Baseman said, “unless they are traveling to affected areas in China, they are at very, very low risk.” Evidence from other coronaviruses like SARS, she said, suggests that person-to-person transmission occurs primarily when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, or otherwise comes into close contact with someone else. In this case, she noted, the Washington state patient didn’t report any symptoms until several days after his arrival in the U.S. For other people in the vicinity, she said, “That makes transmission very, very, very unlikely. Usually people do not transmit viruses like this to other people until they have symptoms themselves.”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.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 11:03:32 -0500
  • These gun enthusiasts at the Virginia rally carried more firepower than many US troops

    Golocal247.com news

    "This sends a strong visual message," a man holding a .50 caliber rifle said. Attendees also came with an armored vehicle and a grenade launcher.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 12:32:11 -0500
  • FISA Court Confirms Two Carter Page Surveillance Applications ‘Not Valid’

    Golocal247.com news

    A FISA Court order declassified Thursday confirmed that the government had found two of the four FISA applications authorized for the FBI to surveil 2016 Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page to be “not valid,” and will further investigate the validity of the other two.The order revealed that the government found two of the surveillance application renewals to be "not valid" based on “the material misstatements and omission” used by the FBI, which was found by the Justice Department to have "insufficient predication to establish probable cause to believe that Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power.”Based on the ordering of the applications, it appears the review found the second and third renewal applications used against Page to be invalid, while the original application and the first renewal remain under investigation. The third renewal was personally signed by James Comey, while the fourth was signed by Andrew McCabe.The court also said it was still waiting on the Bureau after it “agreed ‘to sequester all collection the FBI acquired pursuant to the Court’s authorizations’” against Page, but so far has not provided an update.DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz revealed “at least 17 significant errors or omissions” committed by the FBI in his report on the Bureau’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign, but did not come up with any “documentary evidence” that the probe was predicated by political bias.Among the more egregious violations detailed in the report was the revelation that a top FBI national security lawyer doctored an email for Page’s fourth application to conceal that Page served as a source for the CIA.In its order, the FISC also outlines five further steps for the government to complete by January 28, 2020, including a review of its “minimization procedures” with “a detailed description of the steps taken or to be taken to restrict access to such information in unminimized form.”The FISC slammed the FBI in a rare public statement last month following Horowitz's report.“The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable,” the court wrote.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 15:40:11 -0500
  • See This Nuke? Meet the Most Destructive Nuclear Bomb Ever Made By Man

    Golocal247.com news

    Thank god the Soviets never deployed it.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 10:45:00 -0500
  • Virologist who helped identify SARS on coronavirus outbreak: 'This time I'm scared'

    Golocal247.com news

    Experts are seeing shocking similarities between the coronavirus that has now spread beyond China and the SARS outbreak of 2003.Like the infectious pneumonia that has killed at least 17 people, SARS was caused by a coronavirus that originated in China. But when one of the virologists who helped identify the SARS virus visited Wuhan, where this virus originated, he didn't see nearly enough being done to fight it. People were out at markets without masks, "preparing to ring in the New Year in peace and had no sense about the epidemic," Guan Yi of the University of Hong Kong's State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases told Caixin. Airports were hardly being disinfected, Guan continued, saying the local government hasn't "even been handing out quarantine guides to people who were leaving the city."The city did disinfect the market where the virus has been traced to, but Guan criticized Wuhan for that, saying it hurts researchers' abilities to track down the virus's source. "I've never felt scared," Guan told Caixin. "This time I'm scared."A case involving the coronavirus was identified in Washington state on Wednesday, and cases have also been identified in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. A total of 639 cases were confirmed in China.More stories from theweek.com Democrats walked right into Mitch McConnell's trap GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn questions patriotism of Purple Heart recipient Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman Saturday's impeachment session could start bright and early

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 17:58:00 -0500
  • Germany still dealing with "same evil" that led to Holocaust, president says in Jerusalem

    Germany has still not learned "once and for all" its lesson from the Holocaust, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday, as he expressed sorrow for his country's role in the murder of six million Jews during World War Two. Steinmeier spoke at a Jerusalem memorial event marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, where more than one million people, most of them Jews, were killed by the Nazis. The World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem memorial centre in Jerusalem was attended by some 40 world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 10:57:20 -0500
  • Fifth condemned Tennessee inmate opts for the electric chair

    Golocal247.com news

    A Tennessee inmate has chosen the electric chair for his scheduled execution next month, opting like four other inmates in little more than a year for electrocution over the state's preferred execution method of lethal injection. Nicholas Sutton, 58, is scheduled to be put to death Feb. 20 for the stabbing death of a fellow inmate decades ago while serving a life sentence for his grandmother's slaying. An affidavit signed on Tuesday said he waives the right to be executed by lethal injection and chooses electrocution.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 15:42:20 -0500
  • Impeachment trial fallout: Trump could get his wish — to hurt Biden

    Golocal247.com news

    Details about Hunter Biden could complicate life for Joe Biden — exactly what Trump was trying to do with his Ukraine scheme last summer.  

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 15:20:45 -0500
  • Here’s What It’s Like in Wuhan, the Chinese City at the Center of the Deadly Coronavirus Outbreak

    Golocal247.com news

    Wuhan, China, TIME was repeatedly threatened with arrest while observing scenes outside the market where the virus was first detected.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 04:06:21 -0500
  • Spirit Airlines passenger: Cabin crew didn't take my groping allegation seriously

    Golocal247.com news

    A Michigan college student says she was sexually assaulted on a Spirit Airlines flight, but that flight attendants treated her like an annoyance.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 07:46:34 -0500
  • The nasty spyware likely used to hack Jeff Bezos lets governments secretly access everything in your smartphone, from text messages to the microphone and cameras — here's how it works

    Golocal247.com news

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had his iPhone hacked, enabling hackers to access his private data. Here's how the hacking software linked to Bezos' hack works.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 13:05:04 -0500
  • These 9 Dining Chairs Are Sculptural, Surprising, and Downright Sleek

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

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 08:00:00 -0500
  • Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

    Golocal247.com news

    Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the most effective operatives in the Middle East’s history. He built a sprawling army of proxy militias throughout the region and helped expand Tehran’s dominance in nearby countries.But the dust has now settled, and none of the doomsday scenarios that so many in the media warned about has come to pass. It is true that Iran launched a missile attack into U.S. bases in Iraq, but the attack was merely symbolic. As Iraqi officials revealed the following day, Iran had informed them of an imminent attack on U.S. bases, a message that the Iraqis promptly and predictably passed on to the Americans. No fatalities were recorded, but the Iranian regime still told its followers that dozens if not hundreds of Americans were killed as a result of the retaliation.Indeed, none of the doomsday scenarios were plausible to begin with. Iran has a narrow menu of options in terms of escalation against the U.S. It is not interested in a direct war with the U.S., nor are any of its proxies or allies in the region. The regime faces increasingly crippling sanctions imposed by Washington, and domestic unrest is building up with occasional street protests. Also, its allies in Iraq and Lebanon have been under unprecedented pressure from grassroots protests, persistent since October. In Syria, the currency is collapsing on historic levels as more than one third of the country remains outside the control of the Iranian-backed government. Iran is embroiled in domestic and regional crises, and many of the gains it made in recent years are still tenuous.In the panic that followed the news of Soleimani’s killing, that essential context was overlooked. Pundits and former officials warned of a showdown, between Iran and the U.S., that Tehran would not want. When the confrontation did not pan out, critics still maintained that this was mere luck. One journalist suggested that the war was averted because the mullahs in Iran exercised “more restraint” than the U.S. did.In reality, the alarmism was never warranted. The circumstances around Soleimani’s killing exposed not just Iran’s many vulnerabilities and limited options for escalation against the U.S. but also serious myths that shape much of the American perception of the Iranian regime. Specifically, the idea that Iran can inflict damage on the U.S. is an outdated view about the situation in the region.In 2020, unlike the early years after the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. has little footprint in conflict zones such Iraq and Syria. Iran, on the other hand, has invested heavily in keeping its allies in power, almost all of them now under domestic pressure. In other words, in a reverse of the Iraq War dynamics, the U.S. can mess with Iran in many more ways than Iran can retaliate. That is a new reality to which pundits and policymakers in the U.S. still need to catch up. The policy shift toward Iran under the Trump administration — to increase military, political, and economic pressure to weaken its regional hegemony — is exposing such vulnerabilities and demonstrating that the U.S. can deter Iran with minimal costs.The apocalyptic commentary we witnessed this month has become the default response to provocations from Iran or its allies. Consider, for example, the reactions when President Obama announced he would launch punitive strikes against the Iranian-backed Syrian regime after its use of chemical weapons in 2013. The case in favor of strikes could not have been more compelling: Damascus violated an explicit red line that Obama declared against an internationally forbidden weapon — “a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”Similar scenarios of a “Third World War” were presented. Some even pointed to Syria’s (nonexistent) formidable air defenses. Obama eventually backed down and struck what can be described only as a face-saving agreement with Russia, the regime’s international patron, to end Syria’s use of chemical weapons and dismantle its arsenal. Despite the agreement, such attacks persisted.It was President Trump who launched punitive strikes against the regime of Bashar al-Assad four years later Again, none of the scenarios that many had warned about developed. The Syrians stood by as 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles, launched from the Mediterranean Sea, landed on military bases. Unlike 2013, this time Russia was present on the ground inside Syria, after its military intervention in 2015, so the stakes were even higher for the U.S. in 2017.The point is that the usual pushback against any assertive U.S. policy toward Iran has little basis in reality. It is based largely on exaggeration and fear-mongering that emboldens the regime in Iran and provides it with the space to operate throughout the region with impunity. How else would one explain that Soleimani, who was accused of having American blood on his hands, was making public appearances not far from American forces during the fight against the Islamic State? He organized the Benghazi-style storming of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Just days before he was killed, he had ordered a proxy attack, on a military base housing U.S. forces, that killed an American civilian contractor. Yet he still traveled to Iraq, probably suspecting that the U.S. would not dare to target him.Indeed, nobody had expected the U.S. would carry out such a high-level attack. Under both the Obama and the Trump administrations, the U.S. seemed to have given Iran a free hand in the region — not responding to its provocations as long as Iran acted with plausible deniability. The basis of the U.S. policy became that Iran, not the U.S., had the upper hand. Just in the six months before Soleimani’s killing, Iran was accused of being behind tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf, the downing of a U.S. drone over international waters, and the targeting of Saudi oil facilities, besides the killing of the U.S. contractor and the storming of the U.S. embassy.Iran, then, had reason to feel that it could get comfortable around the U.S. Tehran suspected that the only tools the U.S. had were economic sanctions, which it could endure or circumvent through its proxy and state networks in the region. The new policy, under the current administration, started to deploy other tools, including the frequent targeting of Iranian proxies in places such as Syria — to prevent the building of similar networks as those it established in Iraq — and an extensive and enforced sanctions regime.Those tools started to hurt the Iranian regime and its allies. The increased pressure caused Tehran to act erratically, and the uncharacteristically provocative attacks last year were in large part symptomatic of its anxiety. Then came the killing of Soleimani, which was arguably a strategic, not a tactical, decision by the Trump administration, to reestablish deterrence and disrupt the cycle of escalation and counter-escalation.Despite alarmism, the circumstances around the killing of Soleimani show that the current policy toward Iran is working as intended. The “maximum pressure” approach is tightening the economic screws on Iran and organizing regional efforts to increase pressure on the regime. The intent is not just to force Tehran to “return to the table” to negotiate its nuclear program, as it is often publicly stated, but to reduce Iran’s ability to dominate the areas around it. The pressure is working not because it was not tried before but because it follows numerous challenges — primarily popular protests and the growing nationalist sentiments that are overshadowing the sectarian tensions that once helped the regime — that the Iranian regime is facing at home and in the areas where it has built deep presence.The “maximum pressure” is exacerbating these challenges for Iran. Also, Tehran’s attempts to mobilize Iraqis to end the U.S. presence in their country has so far failed, after Washington insisted that the presence now be more vital, to keep up the pressure against ISIS. Even Iran’s attempt to drive a wedge between the U.S. and its European allies backfired: After Tehran announced that it would no longer comply with the nuclear agreement’s limitations on uranium enrichment, the Europeans put Tehran on notice and threatened to reimpose sanctions.A major part of this effort is to convince the Iranian regime that the old policies that enabled it to fill the void, after the 2003 war in Iraq and the 2011 popular uprisings in the Middle East, are over. In this sense, the U.S. targeting of Soleimani could prove to be a game-changer for Iran’s role in the Middle East, not just because Tehran lost a shrewd operative but because the operation reminded it that it should not get too comfortable with its current behavior in the region. All the U.S. needs to do now is to press on with its policy, calmly and consistently, to limit Iran’s reach.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 06:30:59 -0500
  • Russia, China, and Iran Would Love to Take Out a Nuclear Aircraft Carrier. Here's Why They Can't.

    Golocal247.com news

    The beasts are more survivable than they seem.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 00:30:00 -0500
  • 'The new evidence raises deeply troubling questions': did Arkansas kill an innocent man?

    Golocal247.com news

    Revealed: two years after Ledell Lee was executed, damning evidence emerges that experts say could prove his innocenceThe day before Ledell Lee was executed on 20 April 2017, he talked to the BBC from death row. He said that while he could not prevent the state of Arkansas from killing him, he had a message for his executioners: “My dying words will always be, as it has been: ‘I am an innocent man’.”Almost two years after Lee was strapped to a gurney and injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs, it looks increasingly likely he was telling the truth: he went to his death an innocent man. New evidence has emerged that suggests Lee was not guilty of the brutal murder of a woman in 1993 for which his life was taken.The deceased inmate’s sister Patricia Young lodged a lawsuit on Thursday with the circuit court of Pulaski county, Arkansas, petitioning city authorities and the local police department in Jacksonville to release crime scene materials to her family.The ACLU and the Innocence Project, who are investigating the case on the family’s behalf, believe state-of-the-art forensic examination of the materials, including DNA testing and fingerprint analysis, could definitively prove Arkansas did indeed execute an innocent man.An 81-page filing in the lawsuit provides damning new evidence that key aspects of the prosecution case against Lee were deeply flawed. The complaint includes expert opinion from a number of world-leading specialists who find glaring errors in the way forensic science and other evidence was interpreted.The lawsuit also includes a bombshell affidavit from Lee’s post-conviction attorney who admits to having struggled with substance abuse and addiction throughout the years in which he represented him.Lawyers who prepared the filing, led by Cassandra Stubbs of the ACLU and the Innocence Project’s Nina Morrison, conclude: “It is now clear that the state’s forensic experts from trial misinterpreted the evidence in plain sight, and their flawed opinions were further distorted by the state in its zeal to convict [Lee] of the crime. The new evidence raises deeply troubling questions about the shaky evidentiary pillars on which the state executed Ledell Lee.”Innocence has always been the achilles heel of America’s death penalty: how to justify judicially killing prisoners who may have been wrongfully convicted. The question is far from academic: since 1973 no fewer than 167 death row inmates have been exonerated.The most harrowing question is whether innocent prisoners have been executed before the flawed nature of their convictions emerged. In recent years, there have been several cases that, with near certainty, suggest that innocent men have been put to death.They include Cameron Todd Willingham executed in Texas in 2004 for allegedly having caused a fire that killed his three young daughters. After the execution, further evidence emerged that conclusively showed that he could not have set the fire.The Columbia Human Rights Law Review carried out a groundbreaking investigation in which it concluded Carlos DeLuna was innocent when he was executed – also by Texas – in 1989. The six-year study discovered that the convicted prisoner had almost certainly been confused with another man, a violent criminal who shared the name Carlos.Now Ledell Lee looks as though he may be added to the grim rollcall of the wrongly executed. He relentlessly insisted he was not guilty from the moment he was arrested less than two hours after the brutally beaten body of Debra Reese was discovered in her home in Jacksonville on 9 February 1993.The difficulties with the case against Lee began almost immediately. He was picked up nowhere near the crime scene and was not in possession of any possessions that could be linked to the break-in at Reese’s home.The only evidence against him was inconclusive at best. There were two eyewitnesses, but they gave conflicting reports of the suspect’s identification.> In recent years, there have been several cases that, with near certainty, suggest innocent men have been put to deathThe crime scene was shocking, with blood splattered over the walls and floor. Yet when Lee was arrested on the same day detectives could find no blood on his clothes or body including under his fingernails and nothing was found in a forensic search of his house.Given the paucity of evidence, it is not surprising that it took two trials to find Lee guilty and sentence him to death. The first trial collapsed after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.The ACLU and Innocence Project took up Lee’s case very late in the day having been asked to get involved shortly before his scheduled execution date. What they discovered when they opened the case records astounded even these experienced death penalty lawyers.Very quickly they established there were major problems with the prosecution case against Lee. One area that especially concerned them was the inadequacy of Lee’s legal representation, both during the second trial in which defense attorneys inexplicably failed to call alibi witnesses that could have placed Lee elsewhere at the time of the murder, and in terms of the help he received at the appeal stage of his case.At one post-conviction hearing, a lawyer working for the state of Arkansas approached the judge and raised concerns about Lee’s attorney, Craig Lambert. “Your honor, I don’t do this lightly, but I’m going to ask that the court require him to submit to a drug test,” the counsel said. “He’s just not with us … His speech is slurred.”In an affidavit obtained since Lee’s execution, signed by Lambert in October, the lawyer admits: “I was struggling with substance abuse and addiction in those years. I attended inpatient rehab. Ledell’s case was massive and I wasn’t in the best place personally to do what was necessary.”Partly as a result of poor legal representation, terrible errors were made in Lee’s defense – both at trial and for years afterwards during the appeals process. The complaint goes into detail about these “deeply troubling” shortcomings.One of the key examples relates to the marks found on the victim’s cheek. The state’s experts mistakenly interpreted the marks as having come from a pattern on a rug in Reese’s bedroom where she had been beaten to death with a wooden tire club.In fact, the filing says, the pattern on the body’s cheek did not match that on the rug. Instead it was consistent with the murderer stomping on Reese’s face directly with his shoe.That is critically significant because the shoes that Lee was wearing that day, which the state used during the trial as evidence against him, were incompatible in the composition of their soles with the injury pattern on Reese’s face.To establish this point, an affidavit is provided by Michael Baden, former chief pathologist for New York who is recognized internationally as a leading forensic pathologist. He concludes: “The soles of Mr Lee’s sneakers have a much more closely spaced pattern than was transferred in the cheek imprint.”That inconsistency is just one of many that were uncovered when Baden and four other specialists were invited to review the case.Lee was executed in a flurry. When the state of Arkansas realized its supply of one of its three lethal drugs, the sedative midazolam, was about to expire at the end of 2017 with no hope of replacing it due to a global ban on medicines being sent to the US for use in executions, it went into overdrive.It announced plans to kill eight prisoners in 11 days.The declaration prompted revulsion from around the US and the world and accusations that the state was engaging in conveyor-belt executions. It was in that climate that attempts by the ACLU and the Innocence Project to have materials gathered at the crime scene of Reese’s murder released for DNA testing fell on deaf ears.Though the lawyers presented a strong argument that DNA testing could be crucial in casting doubt on Lee’s conviction and pointing towards the real killer, a federal district court denied the request on grounds that Lee had “simply delayed too long” in asking for the materials.It is too late now for Lee. But his lawyers hope that it is not too late to get to the bottom of the case posthumously.The city of Jacksonville is in possession of a rich array of crime scene materials including “Negroid” hairs collected from Reese’s bedroom and fingernail scrapings likely to contain DNA from the actual killer – Lee or otherwise.“This evidence can now be tested with state-of-the-art methods unavailable at trial, and compared to Mr Lee’s unique DNA profile,” the filing says.After a welter of legal challenges, Arkansas succeeded in killing four prisoners in one week, including the first double execution held in the US in a single day since 2001. The first of the four to die was Ledell Lee.Should Arkansas now agree belatedly to hand over the crime scene materials for testing, he may yet be proven to have been, just as he always said he was, an innocent man.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 10:00:00 -0500
  • 4 killed in plane crash at Southern California airfield

    Golocal247.com news

    Four people were killed Wednesday in the crash of a small airplane at a Southern California airfield, authorities said. The plane went down at Corona Municipal Airport, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, police said. Four fatalities were confirmed, the Corona Fire Department said on Twitter.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 16:03:40 -0500
  • Trump impeachment trial: Republicans block witnesses and evidence while insisting president is 'a man of his word'

    Golocal247.com news

    The Republican-controlled US Senate has voted along party lines to approve the rules of Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial, rejecting Democratic efforts to obtain evidence and ensure witnesses are heard.The third presidential impeachment trial in American history began with a marathon session of nearly 13 hours on Tuesday, as rancorous debate about the terms of proceedings stretched out until nearly 2am in Washington (7am UK time).

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 05:39:44 -0500
  • Presidential candidate Tom Steyer: ‘I’m for reparations’

    Golocal247.com news

    On Yahoo News’ “Hot Mic with Brittany Shepherd,” Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer spoke about race and reparations, saying that if he were elected to office, “I would start a commission on race on day one.”

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 15:33:34 -0500
  • U.S. Secretary of State cautions nations against taking 'easy money' from China

    Golocal247.com news

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a visit to Jamaica on Wednesday, cautioned nations against taking "easy money" from China, warning it could be counterproductive, in a second attack in as many days against China's economic role in the region. On Tuesday, he drew the ire of Chinese officials when he said "flashy" Chinese economic promises often produces debt dependency and erode the sovereignty of borrower nations.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 14:32:14 -0500
  • Residents left in Wuhan — which China quarantined to stop the coronavirus — are desperately stockpiling food and fuel, leaving empty shelves and prices skyrocketing

    Golocal247.com news

    China shut off the city on Thursday. One person wrote on social media: "Right now people are fighting over supplies. Soon they may just be fighting."

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 09:26:51 -0500
  • Regime Critic Says Saudis Tried to Kidnap Him on U.S. Soil

    Golocal247.com news

    A suspected agent of the Saudi government attempted to kidnap a regime critic on American soil, according to the critic and multiple U.S. and foreign sources familiar with the episode. The young Saudi man says the FBI saved him from becoming the next Jamal Khashoggi.Abdulrahman Almutairi is a 27-year-old comedian and former student at the University of San Diego with a big social-media presence. After Almutairi used social media to criticize the powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over the October 2018 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post contributor Khashoggi, an unidentified Saudi man accompanied Almutairi’s father on a flight to collect Almutairi against his will and bring him back to Saudi Arabia, according to The Daily Beast’s sources.  “The Saudi government realized I was a threat,” Almutairi told The Daily Beast, revealing for the first time an ordeal that might have culminated in a whole new crisis: the kidnapping and rendition of a Saudi dissenter on American soil. Only timely intervention from the FBI broke up the plot, two sources say. “If I go back to Saudi Arabia,” Almutairi said, “I’ll be killed in the airport.” Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, has investigated the Khashoggi killing. She drew attention this week by calling for an inquiry into allegations that MBS hacked Jeff Bezos’ phone. Callamard is familiar with Almutairi’s story, although they haven’t spoken, and considers it credible. She told The Daily Beast that it’s part of an ominous trend, particularly now that MBS has skated for Khashoggi’s murder. “There is a pattern of the Saudi authorities, particularly over the last two years, targeting individuals—high profile people with a big Saudi audience,” Callamard said, “either because they’re critical of MBS or the government or not just for what they say but what they don’t say, if they’re insufficiently supportive.”Almutairi has previously spoken about the harassment he received as a critic of the Saudi government, most prominently to PBS’ Nick Shifrin, including a mysterious phone call from a Saudi trying to get Almutairi to come home for a “family reunion.” But he has not, until now, revealed the attempted capture. “I couldn’t afford to speak out earlier, my situation was so intense, and all I wanted was to get out of it,” he explained. But over a year later, Almutairi doesn’t speak with his family, lives for protracted stretches out of his car, and generally fears for his life. On his YouTube channels, which have 200,000 subscribers between them, and his Instagram, where he has 208,000 followers, he’s posting through it. About the only positive thing Almutieri sees emerging from the ordeal was his social-media rebirth as a comedian, something he started as a response to the horrorshow in his mentions. But the harassment may have worked. In the new year, Almutairi told The Daily Beast, he’s going to stop speaking out against the Saudi government. “My criticism against the government won’t do anything. It’ll just turn more people against me,” Almutairi said. “I’m trying not to use the term ‘political dissident.’ I want to influence my country for the better.”That desire prompted Almutairi to cheer when MBS took power. As he saw it, the sclerotic, wealth-soaked royal court finally had a dynamic, young reformer on the rise. MBS was out to fix what was wrong with the country: women forbidden to drive, an economy driven entirely by oil extraction. While Almutairi studied finance and marketing at the University of San Diego, he posted videos on his Snapchat and Twitter accounts boosting MBS to his growing legion of followers.With his expenses paid by the Saudis’ stipend for subjects’ education abroad, Almutairi’s life online was about promoting reform within his home country, the sort of liberalization MBS touted. A frequent topic was the rigidity of the Saudi religious establishment, whose dark portrayal of America didn’t match the place he saw up close. But his growing audience—one of his recent Arabic-language videos has 842,000 views—became a problem for Riyadh. The Real Reasons Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Wanted Khashoggi ‘Dead or Alive’On Oct. 2, 2018, agents of Saudi Arabia murdered and dismembered journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul, a crime the CIA assessed MBS ordered. The brazenness and brutality of the Khashoggi slaying made it one of the biggest stories in the world. Yet for all the damage it momentarily did to the reputation of a prince who melted the heart of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, MBS quickly saw to it that the crime had no lasting impact. The Trump administration, with which he had cultivated close ties, quickly spared him from consequences. On Oct. 11, 2018, barely a week after Khashoggi’s murder, Trump said that sanctioning Saudi weapons purchases from the U.S. would be a self-inflicted economic wound. MBS denied involvement—and still does. And at first Almutairi believed him. “I was in denial,” Almutairi remembered. “MBS would never do an atrocity like that.” But the accruing reports tying the murder closer and closer to MBS prompted him first to break with his political hero, then to post about his disillusionment—and soon after to denounce MBS online. Death threats quickly piled into his mentions and onto his messaging apps. One picture sent to him contained a beheaded body. Another showed a flayed, severed head. “You will eat a bullet,” he said someone texted him, seemingly a reference to MBS’ nickname, the Father of Bullets. “They say I’m supported by the Muslim Brotherhood—I’m openly agnostic!” Almutairi said. More disturbing to him was a different kind of text, one that he still receives. “I get ‘come home’ messages daily,” Almutairi said. Whether the Saudi government is behind them, he can’t know, but his suspicion lingers. Then someone he describes only as a source in Saudi Arabia told him that his life was in danger—and that living in California did not mean he was safe. It prompted Almutairi to call the police during the week of Oct. 25, 2018.  What happened next he would only learn from an FBI official he said he spoke with: Without Almutairi’s knowledge, his father flew to Los Angeles, and he wasn’t alone. Accompanying his father was someone Almutairi does not know.But they never arrived in San Diego. The FBI was waiting for them at LAX. According to two additional sources familiar with the incident, the FBI intercepted both the senior Almutairi and the unidentified Saudi man and sent them back on a subsequent flight. The FBI declined to comment for this story. Almutairi said that the FBI debriefed him after the airport interception. “I was shown a picture of someone who came with my dad, who I didn’t recognize,” he said. Almutairi has no way of verifying it, but he believes the man worked for the Saudi royal court. In July, Middle East Eye’s Dania Akkad first reported that in November 2018, a timeline consistent with Almutairi’s story, the FBI met with at least four Saudi dissidents in the U.S. to warn them of threats to their lives emanating from the kingdom. The dissidents were not named, but one of them, Akkad reported, “runs a popular YouTube channel critical of the Saudi government.”The Saudi embassy in Washington did not respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment by press time.The near-miss was not the end of the harassment. Almutairi deleted his Twitter because of the non-stop threats. As he previously told PBS, he was forced to drop out of school shortly before he was to graduate after the Saudis cut off his scholarship, his $1,800 monthly allowance, and his health insurance. He was without a way to afford his rent, his bills, and his medications. Almutairi took restaurant work, but the low pay required him to visit food pantries. For three weeks he was homeless. “I remember Thanksgiving 2018,” he recalls. “I was homeless, sleeping at the beach. I saw everyone with their families and stuff and it almost killed me, psychologically,” he said. “It’s really hard to process, suffering for what I had said. I wish Saudis would live like Americans. We deserve a better life.” These days, Almutairi doesn’t speak to most of his family, out of fear that he’ll put them in danger. They received messages saying, “you have to get him to stop” making his MBS-critical videos. He is sure that his father was coerced into boarding the plane to Los Angeles. Saudi Crown Prince Appeared to Taunt Jeff Bezos Over Secret Affair Before Enquirer Exposé“Abduction is part and parcel of the way the Saudi government has operated for many years,” said Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur. But until MBS became crown prince two years ago, “most victims were part of the royal family. It appears now that their kidnapping attempts are expanding.” Being a Saudi dissident living in America is no protection, she warned: “Absolutely, they will keep trying to lure people in the United States. The only reason why they haven’t succeeded is because the U.S. intelligence agencies are doing their job.”The impunity with which MBS acts also follows a long pattern. As defense minister, he launched a devastating war in neighboring Yemen—with the active cooperation of the Obama administration—that has decimated the country. He seized power in the kingdom in a move applauded by Friedman and other prominent commentators. On Tuesday, the Guardian reported that before the Khashoggi murder, MBS sent Jeff Bezos a malware-tainted video file over WhatsApp to extract potential blackmail material from the richest man in the world—who happens to own the newspaper that Khashoggi worked for and which has crusaded for accountability on the execution. After the murder, and the Post’s aggressive reporting, MBS messaged Bezos “private and confidential information about Mr. Bezos' personal life that was not available from public sources,” according to U.N. officials. The MBS message came months before the National Enquirer—whose publisher once issued an MBS-boosting magazine—reported that Bezos was having an affair. All that corroborated a March 2019 op-ed published in The Daily Beast from Bezos security aide Gavin de Becker alleging that “the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information.” “At a time when Saudi Arabia was supposedly investigating the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, and prosecuting those it deemed responsible, it was clandestinely waging a massive online campaign against Mr. Bezos and Amazon targeting him principally as the owner of The Washington Post,” Callamard and her U.N. colleague David Kaye said in a Wednesday statement. Saudi Arabia’s U.S. embassy called allegations that the kingdom was behind the hack “absurd.”These days, Almutairi focuses on his two YouTube channels and his Instagram account. “I use comedy to convey positive thoughts and empower young Saudis,” he said. “I think I’m a living example: I was once homeless, now I’m not, and I’m starting two companies in California. My story, especially to people who saw it happening on social media, can be inspiring to a lot of Saudis.” But his vlogs are pivoting away from Saudi Arabian politics in the new year. Without school, Almutairi is focusing on his comedy. In March, he plans on launching a YouTube show called “America on Wheels,” which he envisions as a conversational comedy filmed in his car that introduces a Saudi audience to young Americans and their issues. It sounds like if ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ operated as a tacit rebuke to the Saudi religious establishment. He’s also applying to film school at USC.“My message to the American people,” he said over text, “please don’t brush the Saudi people with the same brush you use with MBS. We have no choice but to nod our heads and agree, he is a dictator.” But even his comedy contains limits set by his ordeal. He recently passed on an offer to tell jokes in Saudi-allied Dubai. “The UAE? Nah, bro,” he said. And while Almutairi may have given up commenting on MBS on social media, that has not left him feeling any safer. Even in sunny California, he constantly wonders what might be coming for him around the next corner, since the threats keep popping up on his phone. Some say things like “we’ll pay someone to kill you. It’ll look like an accident in LA,” Almutairi said. Nonchalantly, he added, “I expect that to happen at any moment.” 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, 23 Jan 2020 19:59:12 -0500
  • Grassley Expands Probe into DoD Contracts Awarded to Stefan Halper over Spying Concerns

    Golocal247.com news

    Senator Chuck Grassley announced an expanded probe Wednesday into the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA) and its awarding of defense contracts to Stefan Halper, in order to see whether ONA illicitly authorized funds for the former professor to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign.Halper, an FBI source who met with and recorded Trump associates Carter Page, Sam Clovis, and George Papadopoulos, according to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December report, has been awarded more than $1 million in contracts by ONA since 2012.Grassley points to several contracts awarded to Halper in a letter to James Baker, the director of ONA, as examples “that clearly indicate weak or non-existent internal controls.”Evaluators raised “several weaknesses,” including a lack of substance, in a 2012 contract proposal by Halper that were ultimately ignored. For a 2015 proposal, Halper listed a Russian intelligence official as an adviser, who was then cited by Christopher Steele as source for his now-infamous dossier.Halper’s last contract, awarded in September 2016, mentions “unknown third parties” paying for Halper’s trip to Japan to interview “former high-level U.S. and foreign government officials,” but Grassley points out that the IG later found none of Halper’s 348 footnotes in the subsequent study cited any interviews.Halper also contacted Papadopoulos in September 2016 and offered $3,000 for him to write a policy paper on the natural-gas market in the Mediterranean.“Given Professor Halper’s intelligence connections and government funding, it is reasonable to ask whether he used any taxpayer money in his attempt to recruit Trump campaign officials as sources,” Grassley hypothesizes.The Iowa Senator concludes his letter by asking for a list of every contract ONA has issued over the last five years to review the consistency of its decision-making.“The fact that taxpayer money was used to support these projects calls into question ONA’s ability to be a proper steward of the people’s money and whether ONA has acted consistent with its mission and purpose,” Grassley writes.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 15:05:27 -0500
  • 26 Coffee Makers for Every Type of Coffee Drinker

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

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 11:57:36 -0500
  • 'His intention was to kill everyone in the home except himself': Utah boy, 16, charged with killing mother, 3 siblings

    Golocal247.com news

    A 16-year-old boy was charged Wednesday after being accused of carrying out what appears to be the worst mass shooting in Utah in 13 years.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 09:50:15 -0500
  • Why France's Nuclear Weapons Still Matter

    Golocal247.com news

    They protect Europe.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 04:50:00 -0500
  • Ghislaine Maxwell: Hackers 'breached' computer belonging to Jeffrey Epstein associate, attorney says

    Golocal247.com news

    Lawyers for the woman accused of procuring underage girls to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein told a judge that hackers “breached” her computer after a court failed to redact her email address in filings it released last year.Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer Ty Gee said in a December letter to Judge Loretta A Preska that, “despite the Second Circuit’s best efforts, it made serious mistakes” when redacting thousands of pages of records associated with a defamation lawsuit filed by one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 14:07:00 -0500
  • Iran Is Left With Few Strategic Options After Trump's Bold Move

    Golocal247.com news

    Scoring legitimate foreign-policy wins has not been easy for U.S. President Donald Trump, Twitter proclamations notwith-standing. But he's just notched his biggest one yet against…

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 05:35:01 -0500
  • City suspends Miami police captain who claimed to be black

    The city of Miami on Wednesday suspended a Hispanic police captain who was strongly condemned after he publicly claimed he was black when fighting accusations that he has derided black people. The Miami Dade Branch of the NAACP had called for Police Capt. Javier Ortiz's resignation earlier this week, saying it was deeply concerned by the comments Ortiz made at a city commission meeting last week. On Wednesday, Miami police spokesman Michael Vega said Ortiz had been relieved of duty pending an investigation.

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 17:32:24 -0500
  • Greta Thunberg fires back after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says she isn't qualified to lecture the US on climate change

    Golocal247.com news

    "Is she the chief economist or who is she? I'm confused," Mnuchin joked about the Swedish teenager's call for America to quit fossil fuels.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 10:00:00 -0500
  • Nigeria Surprised by News of Possible U.S. Travel Restrictions

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s government was surprised by the news that the U.S. is considering travel restrictions on its citizens and the ban would mean officials will have to find new ways to meet with investors, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said.Nigeria is one of seven countries, more than half of which are in Africa, included in a list that may be affected if the Homeland Security Department’s recommendation to expand restrictions is approved, according to a person familiar with the matter. President Donald Trump is reviewing it. The other African states targeted because of security concerns are Eritrea, Sudan and Tanzania.“It will mean restrictions in being able to meet with investors in the U.S. and to be able to meet with Bretton Woods institutions that are in the U.S.,” Ahmed said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “It means we will have to make meeting arrangements alternative to the U.S. because there are options that are open to us,” such as the U.K., she said.Nigeria, which vies with South Africa to be the continent’s biggest economy, is struggling to boost economic growth after a 2016 contraction. The International Monetary Fund projects gross domestic product will expand 2.5% this year. The possible travel restrictions won’t hurt growth, Ahmed said.“We have some very active investors in the Nigerian bond market that are in the U.S. and also some that have taken up our Eurobonds,” Ahmed said. “We connect with them directly and through our advisers such as Standard Chartered and Citibank, who have offices in the U.S.”While Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer, it imports fuel and relies on foreign investment inflows to help prop up the naira.Zainab said she’s met with investors in London to discuss the possibility of issuing naira-denominated bonds on the London Stock Exchange.“We are very positive that we will be able to refinance our debt obligations as well as acquire new financing to fund our major infrastructure projects,” she said.Tanzania’s government hasn’t received confirmation that the country is being considered for a travel ban.“We are also reading these reports from the media,” Emmanuel Buhohela, director of communications at the foreign-affairs ministry, said by phone. “So for now we are still waiting for official communication before we can react.”\--With assistance from Ken Karuri.To contact the reporters on this story: Haslinda Amin in Singapore at hamin1@bloomberg.net;Ruth Olurounbi in Abuja at rolurounbi4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Osae-Brown at aosaebrown2@bloomberg.net, Rene Vollgraaff, Gordon BellFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 05:20:24 -0500
Data by Localeze
Powered by Intelligenx