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Asia steps up checks as China virus kills six, infects more than 300 21 Jan 2020, 7:18 pm
Asian countries on Tuesday ramped up measures to block the spread of a new virus as the death toll in China rose to six and the number of cases surpassed 300, raising concerns in the middle of a major holiday travel rush. Nations across the Asia-Pacific region stepped up checks of passengers at airports to detect the SARS-like coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Fears of a bigger outbreak rose after a prominent expert from China's National Health Commission confirmed late Monday that the virus can be passed between people.
Mexico homicide rate edges up in 2019; rate of rise slows 21 Jan 2020, 6:54 pm
The number of homicides in Mexico rose to 35,588 in 2019, but the rate of annual increase in murders has slowed, according to government figures. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said crime and violence are the toughest challenges he faces. López Obrador said that white collar criminals have done more damage to Mexico than the drug cartels responsible for many of the killings.
Arizona mother admits to killing her 3 young children, police say 21 Jan 2020, 6:35 pm
Zimbabwe Opposition Vows Rolling Protests Over Economy 21 Jan 2020, 6:30 pm
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterZimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change will hold a series of demonstrations this year over the government’s failure to address the deteriorating economy.The southern African nation had the continent’s fastest-shrinking economy last year, after Libya, and its annual inflation rate was outpaced globally only by Venezuela, International Monetary Fund estimates show. Zimbabwe is grappling with shortages of food, fuel and foreign-exchange, while its inability to pay for adequate electricity imports and breakdowns at power plants have led to outages of as long as 18 hours a day.“This year is going to be a year of demonstrations and action,” MDC leader Nelson Chamisa told party supporters in the capital, while outlining their plans for this year.” This year it must be known that demonstrations are coming. It is time to fight for Zimbabwe we all want and have been dreaming of.”Previous protests by anti-government activists have resulted in brutal repression. At least 18 people have been killed in demonstrations since Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power in November 2017.To contact the reporter on this story: Godfrey Marawanyika in Harare at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Gordon Bell at email@example.com, Paul Richardson, Alastair ReedFor 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.
Dutch farm dad 'beat bad spirits out of kids' 21 Jan 2020, 6:09 pm
A Dutchman isolated six of his children in a remote farmhouse from birth and beat them to drive out "bad spirits," prosecutors told a court on Tuesday. Gerrit Jan van D., 67, subjected the youngsters who were found on the farm in the village of Ruinerwold in October to "very serious physical punishment" when he thought they had been made "unclean". One child was tied up by his hands and feet as punishment, while another child was forced to spend an entire summer in a doghouse at the farm in northern Drenthe province, prosecutors said.
Northeastern College Student Deported to Iran Despite Judge’s Order 21 Jan 2020, 5:55 pm
The attorneys for a 24-year-old Iranian national and Northeastern University student who inspired protests at Boston Logan International Airport over the weekend said their client was deported late Monday in spite of a federal court order.Shahab Dehghani was detained Sunday night at about 5 p.m. when he arrived to study economics at the private school on a valid F1 student visa. He was held for secondary questioning by federal agents, and more than 100 people reportedly came out to demonstrate on his behalf outside of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) area of the airport for at least three hours on Monday. Protesters chanted “let Shahab in,” “do the right thing,” “stop deporting students,” and “let him in!”Dehghani was ordered removed from the U.S. without his having access to a lawyer, WBUR reported, but his attorneys, Susan Church and Kerry Doyle, filed an emergency federal petition on his behalf Monday night. The filing claimed CBP agents violated Dehghani’s rights when they detained him at the airport in the first place.U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs granted the order, scheduled a hearing in Boston federal court at 10 a.m. on Tuesday to discuss the matter, and appeared to delay Dehghani’s removal.“It is not a total victory. It is a partial victory,” Church told a crowd of protesters on Monday night, according to MassLive.com.Despite that order, Church said on Twitter Tuesday morning that Shahab Dehghani was “removed from the U.S. at 10:03 p.m.” Monday after agents told “multiple attorneys” that he was taken off the plane about 30 minutes earlier.Church tweeted on Tuesday morning: “THEY LIED.”A CBP spokesperson said in a statement that the agency could not confirm or deny that Dehghani was even in custody, citing the Privacy Act.“Applicants must demonstrate they are admissible into the U.S. by overcoming all grounds of inadmissibility including health-related grounds, criminality, security reasons, public charge, labor certification, illegal entrants and immigration violations, documentation requirements, and miscellaneous grounds,” the statement said.Judge Richard G. Stearns reportedly dismissed the case during a Tuesday morning hearing, declaring the issue moot—since Dehghani had already been deported—and noting that he did not believe he had the authority to order CBP to allow for the student’s return, according to WBUR.During the 10 a.m. hearing in Boston federal court, CBP attorneys also disputed the timeline presented by Dehghani’s attorneys, one of whom said Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey received confirmation that the emergency stay order was granted before the flight took off, WBUR reported. In court, the agency’s attorneys reportedly claimed that Dehghani’s plane left before the order was issued.“We are aware that a Northeastern University student who is an Iranian citizen has been denied entry to the United States,” school spokeswoman Shannon Nargi said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Northeastern welcomes thousands of international students and supports them with an array of resources. We have been in touch with federal officials to learn more about this case and to provide our student with the appropriate assistance to facilitate a successful return to Northeastern.”Dehghani previously attended University of Massachusetts Boston and was in the country for more than two years before he returned to Iran to visit family in December 2018, MassLive.com reported.Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren recently requested more information from CBP about additional security measures that may target Iranian travelers entering the country. The Guardian reported that the U.S. has deported at least 10 Iranian students with valid visas since August—despite the lengthy and intense approval process it takes to acquire that paperwork. Seven of those students had reportedly flown into Logan International Airport in Boston, and some now allege serious infractions by an individual CBP officer at the Boston airport, the newspaper reported.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.
Security guard 'definitely saved lives' by killing shooter at Kansas City bar, police say 21 Jan 2020, 5:39 pm
First flight of Boeing's 777X set for Thursday: sources 21 Jan 2020, 5:31 pm
Following months of delay, Boeing plans the first flight for its new long-range 777X on Thursday, two people with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday. The date for the first flight, a key step before Boeing seeks federal certification on the new plane, could still slip depending on weather, the sources said. Boeing has been under intense scrutiny following the March global grounding of its 737 MAX plane after two deadly crashes.
World needs to prepare for 'millions' of climate refugees: U.N. 21 Jan 2020, 4:27 pm
The world needs to prepare for a surge in refugees with potentially millions of people being driven from their homes by the impact of climate change, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said on Tuesday. Speaking to Reuters at the World Economic Forum, Filippo Grandi said a U.N. ruling this week meant those fleeing as a result of climate change had to be treated by recipient countries as refugees, with broad implications for governments. "The ruling says if you have an immediate threat to your life due to climate change, due to the climate emergency, and if you cross the border and go to another country, you should not be sent back because you would be at risk of your life, just like in a war or in a situation of persecution," Grandi said.
New Hampshire man chokes to death coyote who attacked toddler 21 Jan 2020, 4:17 pm
* Ian O’Reilly says he was forced to act after animal bit child * Police say O’Reilly ‘suffocated the coyote until it succumbed’A New Hampshire man fought and killed a coyote on Monday, police said, bringing a spate of attacks to an end.Ian O’Reilly, from Kensington, choked the coyote to death after it attacked his two-year-old child. The same coyote is believed to have bitten a woman in the buttocks earlier in the day, and attacked a car.The coyote targeted O’Reilly’s family while they were walking on a trail near Kensington. It bit one of O’Reilly’s three children, prompting the father to kick it. O’Reilly then throttled the animal.“There was no interest in it going away,” O’Reilly told Boston 25 News. “[I] ultimately had to make the decision to become the aggressor and jumped on it, attacked it and [got] it to the ground.“When I was able to get on top of it, I put my hand on its snout so it wasn’t able to attack me. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground, so I shoved the face into the snow and then eventually was able [to] put my hand on its snout and expire it through suffocation.“Ultimately one hand on its windpipe and one hand on its snout did the trick.”O’Reilly was reportedly bitten in the arm and chest. His child was wearing a bulky snowsuit and was unharmed.“The coyote attacked a young child, and the child’s dad went into protection mode and suffocated the coyote until it succumbed,” police said.New Hampshire’s fish and game department was testing the coyote for rabies, according to 25 News. O’Reilly received shots for the virus.Police believe the same coyote earlier attacked a car in the same vicinity, before targeting Kensington resident Pat Lee and her dogs. The coyote bit one of the dogs and bit Lee in the buttocks.“Thank God the plumber was here, because the plumber was standing at the door screaming, ‘Get in! Get in!’” Lee told NBC Boston. The coyote managed to get into Lee’s home.“I was running behind the dogs to get them in, and just as I was here, literally, the coyote bit me. In the butt.”Coyote attacks are rare. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “more people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year than are bitten by coyotes”.The Kensington police chief, Scott Cain, said O’Reilly may have saved others from being attacked by the coyote.“The chances are it was sick and the pack kicked it out of the pack,” Cain said.
Trump, GOP allies reportedly have plans to make sure John Bolton doesn't testify in the impeachment trial 21 Jan 2020, 1:55 pm
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has said he is willing to testify at President Trump's Senate impeachment trial, and "Trump's legal defense team and Senate GOP allies are quietly gaming out contingency plans" to make sure that doesn't happen, The Washington Post reports.Under rules proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate won't vote on whether to allow testimony from new witnesses or other new evidence until after House impeachment managers and Trump's team lay out their arguments and senators ask questions, and four Republicans would have to join all 47 Democrats to approve witnesses. If 51 senators allow subpoenaing witnesses, "McConnell is expected to ensure that those individuals are questioned in a closed-door session rather than a public setting," the Post reports, and Bolton's deposition could be moved to "a classified setting because of national security concerns, ensuring that it is not public.""But that proposal, discussed among some Senate Republicans in recent days, is seen as a final tool against Bolton becoming an explosive figure in the trial," the Post reports. "First, Republicans involved in the discussions said, would come a fierce battle in the courts," with Trump invoking executive privilege to keep Bolton from talking then asking the courts for an injunction if Bolton "refuses to go along with their instructions."Republicans are also warning Democrats that if they win on Bolton's testimony, Trump's team will subpoena Hunter Biden — though Senate Democrats seem pretty comfortable with that trade, or perhaps calling that bluff. Nobody's sure if Bolton would help or hurt Trump, but Republicans are not eager to find out. At the same time, a CNN-SSRS poll released Monday found that 59 percent of American adults and a 48 percent plurality of Republicans want the Senate trial to include testimony from witnesses not interviewed by the House.More stories from theweek.com House declares Trump's impeachment lawyer Pat Cipollone a 'material fact witness' in trial Why phase 1 of the U.S.-China trade deal 'may be doomed from the start' The strongest case for Joe Biden
Planned Parenthood endorses challenger to Sen. Susan Collins 21 Jan 2020, 1:00 pm
Planned Parenthood on Tuesday endorsed a Democratic challenger to Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, saying Collins “turned her back” on women and citing her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court as well as other judicial nominees who oppose abortion. Sara Gideon, speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, welcomed the endorsement from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Taiwan president complains to Pope Francis about Chinese pressure 21 Jan 2020, 11:58 am
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has written to Pope Francis to complain about Chinese pressure on the island Beijing claims as its own, saying China seeks to threaten its democracy and freedom. The Vatican is one of just 15 countries that has diplomatic ties with Taiwan and the only one in Europe.
Meet the General Who Ran Soleimani’s Spies, Guns and Assassins 21 Jan 2020, 11:51 am
They're the Quds Force officers who tracked and killed Iraqis working with the U.S.-led coalition, hunted those deemed hostile to Iranian influence through a council of assassins, and smuggled the spies, money, weapons, and secrets into Iraq that sowed chaos across the country during the American occupation. Qassem Soleimani first gained the attention of Western media through his role in instigating a campaign of covert violence against the U.S. in Iraq which cost the lives of over 600 American troops. But underneath the now famous Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps icon, other officers managed the war that first made Soleimani notorious. For a period during the mid-2000s, one of those officers was Brigadier General Ahmed Foruzandeh, who rose to command the Ramazan Corps, part of the Guard’s elite Quds Force, after cutting his teeth in the unit running guerrilla warfare operations during the Iran-Iraq war.‘OK, Now What?’: Inside Team Trump’s Scramble to Sell the Soleimani Hit to America“Although Qassem Soleimani was the architect of that broader strategy, it was his lesser known lieutenants who ran and oversaw the operations,” Dr. Afshon Ostovar, a scholar at the Naval Postgraduate School, said. “Foruzandeh was one of the top Quds Force operatives in the field in Iraq, yet his name was hardly known at the time.” Declassified documents obtained by The Daily Beast through the Freedom of Information Act offer new details of Foruzandeh’s campaign of violence in Iraq during the latter 2000s. They show how Foruzandeh and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) funneled guns, money, and spies into Iraq and assassinated both Americans and Iraqis. And they offer hints that the man who helped Iran kill hundreds of Americans throughout the Iraq war may not have actually retired years ago as he let on, but continued to consult for his former boss long after the war ended.Iranian and American media alike have treated Foruzandeh’s old boss, the former Quds Force commander Soleimani, with something approaching hagiography. In profiles and obituaries, he’s cast as a legendary “shadow commander” possessed of superhuman abilities and cunning, a judgment not entirely supported by Soleimani’s colleagues. By contrast, declassified documents obtained by The Daily Beast and other sources paint a more prosaic picture of Foruzandeh. Like a number of Quds Force personnel, Foruzandeh’s career in Iraq drew on nothing more mystical than relationships and experience. His first brush with the world of covert operations in the Iran-Iraq war met with middling success and the guerrilla warfare effort he supported barely moved the needle in the conflict. But by the time the U.S. showed up on Iran’s doorstep, Foruzandeh had been carrying out guerrilla warfare and covert operations across the Iran-Iraq border for nearly 20 years with some of the same people and organizations. “They clearly have, one, home court advantage. Two, these guys have been doing special operations in the region for their entire adult life and they’re veterans of the brutal Iran-Iraq war,” Doug Wise, a former CIA officer and station chief in Baghdad, told The Daily Beast of Iranian Quds Force officers who worked on Iraq. “These guys are worthy adversaries. They’re not 10 feet tall. They have human and physical limitations but extraordinary experience in conducting the operations that they were required to conduct,” Wise said. * * *“Big picture,” Col. Donald Bacon, then the chief of special operations and intelligence information for the coalition, said in a 2007 press conference, “the Ramazan Corps is the organization that does operations here in Iraq to—they use it to—they're the ones who transit in the weapons, the funding and help coordinate Iraqi militia extremists into Iran to get them training and then get them back into Iraq.”Ramazan was the Quds Force unit in charge of causing chaos in Iraq and, at least for a time, Foruzandeh was its commander. The unit, which dated back to the Iran-Iraq war, divided its forces between a handful of sub-commands along the Iraqi border. Foruzandeh had worked in Fajr command, based in Ahwaz, Iran, which handled operations in Basra and southern Iraq, working his way up to deputy commander of Ramazan.By 2007, as violence in Iraq peaked, intelligence reports surveyed Iranian covert operations in Iraq as the U.S. turned its attention away from the Sunni jihadist insurgency and towards the violence instigated by Iran and its proxies. The documents include raw reporting marked as "not finally evaluated intelligence" from sources whose motivations are described as "based on favorable experiences with U.S. forces and desire to rid Iraq of destructive foreign influences" but they track broadly with what U.S. officials have said about Ramazan Corps and its personnel.Taken together, they show a sprawling campaign of covert violence with Foruzandeh and the Ramazan Corps in charge.The documents spend considerable space detailing the elaborate process by which the Iranian-overseen “Golden Death Squad” targeted, approved, and carried out assassinations against Iraqis they viewed as obstacles. The unit, the report wrote, “consists of Iranian intelligence leadership that provide guidance and funding to Iraqis that are recruited from [Jaish al-Mahdi], Badr Corps, the Al-Fadilah Party, and other Shia Iraqi parties and militias that conduct assassination operations against former Ba'ath party members, Iraqis that are working with the [Coalition Forces], and Iraqis that are not supporting Iranian influence in Iraq.”Iranian officers shuttled Iraqi members of the assassination teams to Ahwaz, Iran, the headquarters of Ramazan’s Fajr command, for training. The 10-day long course included instruction from Iranian officers on “information collection to support the targeting of coalition forces in Iraq, assassinations, and the use of indirect fire systems such as Katyusha rockets and mortars.” Iran also trained its proxies in the use of “what is described as very sophisticated explosives that can penetrate [Coalition Forces'] armor,” an apparent reference to the notorious Iranian-made explosively formed projectiles which killed and maimed hundreds of American troops. When it came time to decide who would be killed, Quds Force officers set up a process for adjudicating assassination targets, giving Iraqi allies a role in the process, according to the documents. “Iraqis that are agents of the Iranians are allowed to produce lists of Iraqis that are to be assassinated,” it notes. “Most of these Iraqis that are authorized to make decisions regarding who is to be killed by the Golden Death Squad are members of the Iraqi government and security forces.” Meetings of the hit squad reportedly took place at the Basra governor’s office where members of Basra police intelligence would "routinely attend.”Iranian intelligence officers also nominated their own targets for assassination. Their names were handed to a member of the Iranian-backed Badr militia. The Iranian officer who passed the targets along—his name is redacted in the report—is described as “a Persian Iranian that is fluent in Iraqi Arabic and has a southern Iraqi accent due to the years he has spent in Iraq."Those slated for assassination included not just former Baathists but Iraqis who worked with the U.S.-backed coalition. The documents recount how one Quds Force officer, assigned to Ramazan’s Fajr command in southern Iraq, ran an Iraqi agent who photographed coalition informants for the IRGC. The unnamed Quds Force officer then “passe[d] the pictures to Iraqis that he tasks and funds to kill those identified by [redacted's] reporting and pictures."In at least one case, Foruzandeh reportedly intervened to help one of his militia allies after coalition officials arrested them. Mehdi Abdmehd al-Khalisi allegedly ran the Muntada al-Wilaya militia, a small, Iranian-backed Shiite militia implicated in the murder of a number of former Baathist officials and an attack on coalition troops. When coalition officials arrested al-Khalisi in 2005, senior Iraqi officials began pressuring the coalition to release him. A classified cable leaked by WikiLeaks show that informants told the U.S. that al-Khalisi had been communicating with Foruzandeh about attacks on British forces in Iraq’s Maysan governorate via encrypted telegrams as early as 2003. After his arrest, the cable says that an informant of “unknown reliability” reported that Foruzandeh “has authorized an expenditure of up to $500,000 for operations to secure Mr. al-Khalisi's release, and that senior [Iraqi Transitional Government] officials have received telephone calls from the Brigadier requesting assistance.” Along with the assassinations came Iranian weapons and trainers. Reporting by the Long War Journal first sketched out Ramazan’s “rat lines” in Iraq and documents obtained by The Daily Beast note that the unit oversaw a “complex smuggling apparatus from Ahwaz, Iran into Iraq" that included "weapons, information, financial support, and Iranian intelligence officers." The money, guns, and Iranian personnel began their journey in Ahwaz and were handed off to smugglers at the border with Iraq.Iranian intelligence officers would vet smugglers for loyalty and to ensure that they had a "pre-existing relationship with the [Iraqi border police] because of their tribal relationship"—a relationship that nonetheless "usually involves a pre-arranged bribe." Once across the border, smugglers toting money, guns, and Iranian personnel were “typically met by a reception element that represents a Shia militia group that the operation support package was built for."In the ports of southern Iraq, Ramazan agents smuggled weapons via hidden compartments in the fuel tanks of fishing boats, according to the documents. As violent as Foruzandeh’s tenure in occupation-era Iraq war was, he wasn’t entirely averse to covert diplomacy. Ahmed Chalabi, the exiled Iraqi lobbyist who helped push the Bush administration to war in Iraq, met with Foruzandeh in the spring of 2004, according to a 2008 biography of Chalabi by journalist and former Daily Beast senior correspondent Aram Roston. At the time, Chalabi had transitioned from pro-war lobbyist to an Iraqi member of parliament and was seeking to accommodate himself to Iran’s newfound influence in Iranian politics. Some time after the meeting, the U.S. learned that Iranian intelligence had suddenly realized American spies were reading their cable traffic and had broken their codes. A few months later, American intelligence officials told The New York Times they believed Chalabi had walked into the Iranian embassy in Baghdad and blown the operation to the station chief of Iranian intelligence at the embassy. Chalabi denied any involvement in the leak but the incident led the Bush administration to end its relationship with him.* * *Foruzandeh’s father worked for the Abadan oil company and when he left the company, his family of 13 sons and daughters moved to Khorramshahr, just across the border from Basra in Iraq. His son Ahmed was an early supporter of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, a stance which earned him a stint in prison at university—thanks to the ruling Shah’s secret police—and the revolutionary bonafides that came with it when the Shah’s government was ousted.In the early days of the Islamic Revolution, Foruzandeh worked with the IRGC to identify and arrest Arab dissidents in Khorramshahr opposed to the new government. His knowledge of the area, proven commitment to the regime, and background in underground work made him a natural fit for intelligence when the Iran-Iraq war started.“After Iraq's invasion, he was the intelligence chief of the Khorramshahr unit that later played a key role in re-taking the city from the Baathists in 1982,” Amir Toumaj, an Iran researcher who’s written extensively on the Quds Force, explained of Foruzandeh. “His biography states that he started developing a relationship with Hassan Bagheri around the time of Khorramshahr's fall and sent him reports,” Toumaj says. Bagheri, the founder of the Islamic Republic’s intelligence service, was killed during the war but went on to become one of Iran’s most famous “martyrs.” His brother, Mohammad, is now Iran’s highest-ranking military officer and it was those kinds of connections that would help pave Foruzandeh’s ascent to the highest ranks of the IRGC.Trump, Iran, and Where ‘The Forever War’ Was Always HeadedLater in the war, Foruzandeh left his position in Khorramshahr’s 22nd Badr Brigade and joined the Ramazan Corps. The unit was designed to work with dissident groups in Iraq and carry out guerrilla operations behind enemy lines while the otherwise static style of trench warfare that characterized the Iran-Iraq conflict played out. At Ramazan’s Fajr headquarters, where Foruzandeh first worked, the unit carried out operations with Iraqi Shiite groups like the Badr Brigade, a group of exiled dissidents and former prisoners of war. The militia was originally “conceived by the Iranians as an adjunct to the IRGC-QF Ramazan Corps,” according to a 2005 State Department cable, and drew support from their political arm, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. During the Iran-Iraq war, radio broadcasts from Tehran hailed operations by the “Ramazan Headquarters” which claimed assassination attempts with “Iraqi mujahidin” on Saddam’s interior minister Samir al-Shaykhali in Baghdad, the “revolutionary execution” of a Ba’ath Party official in Baghdad’s Mansur neighborhood, and having set fire to one of Saddam’s Baghdad palaces "used for pleasure by Ba'ath party officials and senior officers of that regime.”Ramazan’s Fajr headquarters and the Badr Brigade didn’t do much to change the tide of the war. It ended in a bloody stalemate in 1988, more of exhaustion than because of guerrilla daring. One of the Ramazan Corps’s most valuable relationships actually lay farther north with Kurdish forces from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. The group carried out strikes deep into Iraqi Kurdish territory with Ramazan’s backing, including a 1986 raid on Iraqi oil infrastructure in Kirkuk (later memorialized in a cheesy Iranian action flick, Kirkuk Operation).But the relationships forged by Ramazan with Iraqi Shia militants would prove useful to both the Revolutionary Guards and Iran years down the road when groups like Badr took on an important role in Iraqi politics and security. When the war ended, both Ramazan Corps and Foruzandeh remained focused on Iraq, particularly during the Shia uprising against Saddam at the end of the Persian Gulf War. One Iranian news account put Foruzandeh in charge of working with Iranian-backed militias to support the uprising “in order to speed up the support of the Iraqi Mujahideen” because his unit, Ramazan’s Fajr headquarters, was closest to the revolt in Basra.There’s not much evidence about how Foruzandeh spent his time in the interim between America’s first two wars in Iraq. The most evidence available is a fragmentary report from Saddam-era intelligence documents captured by the U.S. after the war that shows Foruzandeh running an agent inside a camp for the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, an Iranian dissident cult group which fought on behalf of Iraq during the war and carried out a series of terrorist attacks in Iran.* * *Not many senior Ramazan Corps veterans appear to have retired. Iraj Masjedi, another Quds Force Iraq veteran, took over as Iran’s ambassador in Baghdad in 2017. Abdul Reza Shahlai, who served in Iraq during the occupation alongside Foruzandeh, is now at 63 years old reportedly the top Quds Force officer in Yemen and was unsuccessfully targeted in a U.S. airstrike there the same night that special operations forces killed Soleimani.After the U.S. wound down its occupation in Iraq, Foruzandeh, gray-haired and portly, gave every impression of having retired and contented himself with the hobbies of old age, despite a U.S. sanctions designation on him during the war. He told an Iranian news outlet that he’d retired from the Quds Force in 2008, and was working on an oral history project about his hometown. In public, he spent his spent time shuffling between memorial ceremonies for fallen comrades. It doesn’t appear to be true.Another declassified intelligence document obtained by The Daily Beast offers hints that Foruzandeh may not have retired after all. The report, an account of senior Iranian officials’ participation in a museum project "documenting lessons learned from the Iran-Iraq war," suggests he kept at least a consulting role in Quds Force operations. In describing the background of officials present at the meeting, the report says Foruzandeh still dabbled in "management of personnel and logistic support to IRGC-QF external activities." Iran’s Khorasan province “has been recently added to his portfolio." Iran’s Khorasan province borders northwest Afghanistan and by 2013, the Obama administration had already been arguing for years that Quds Force officers were secretly supporting the Taliban in order to weaken U.S. and NATO forces in the country. There are some reasons to be skeptical of the declassified report. The sources claim that Foruzandeh was appointed a director of Iran’s Iran-Iraq war museum, but he’s not listed by the museum as an official or referred to as such in news accounts. It’s also dated around the same time Foruzandeh gave an interview to an Iranian news outlet announcing that he was working on a history project about his hometown’s role in the Iran-Iraq war.Still, other evidence suggests Foruzandeh was still in the irregular warfare business.In 2014, one of Foruzandeh’s closest colleagues in the Quds Force, fellow brigadier general and Ramazan Corps veteran Hamid Taghavi, was killed by ISIS in Iraq. The death came as a surprise, not least because Taghavi was one of the highest-ranking IRGC officers killed in Iraq since the Iran-Iraq war. Like Foruzandeh, Taghavi was also supposed to have left active duty. Instead, he was in Iraq supporting a Shiite militia loyal to Iran, Sayara al-Khorasani, and organizing Iran’s fight against ISIS.“Commander Taghavi was retired. No one thought he’d go to Iraq and be able to play a role in the mobilization and organization of the [Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units militia],” Foruzandeh told a meeting of Ahwaz city officials after his death. Taghavi’s death hit Foruzandeh hard and he would break down in tears recounting his comrade’s life when talking to reporters. In one interview, Foruzandeh suggested he’d been in contact with Taghavi by phone shortly before his death and offered advice for his work standing up pro-Iranian militias after ISIS took Mosul“He came to the place where we were stationed,” Foruzandeh said without elaborating. “We told him about the situation in Iraq, the characteristics of the conflict, the various Iraqi groups, and the challenges that existed. The Iraqi forces had deficiencies that needed to be addressed.” Taghavi was concerned about Iranian-backed militias’ performance during operations in Jurf al-Sakhar, an Iraqi town captured by ISIS and taken back during a brutal operation coordinated by the Quds Force. “He believed that unless these forces received better training they would suffer severe casualties. The casualties these forces suffered were generally due to a lack of proper military training. They didn’t know how to move, what to do when they’re under fire from the enemy, how to provide cover when attacking, or even how to clear traps and contaminants from an infected area,” Foruzandeh recalled.One of the last public glimpses of Foruzandeh comes from an unlikely source: Facebook. Foruzandeh doesn’t appear to have a profile, but his acquaintances identified him in pictures during a 2016 visit to meet with Iraqi officials from Maysan Province. The photos show a grandfatherly Quds Force officer with his trademark scowl described as an “advisor” to Iran’s Supreme Leader, a tailored visiting dignitary in a place where decades before he was once a spry, hunted guerrilla in hand-me-down fatigues.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.
Virus outbreak prompts Chinese travel firms to offer free cancellations 21 Jan 2020, 10:59 am
SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Chinese travel booking platforms from Trip.com to Alibaba Group's Fliggy said on Tuesday they would offer free cancellations on bookings made for Wuhan amid mounting fears over a viral outbreak in the central Chinese city. The companies, which also include Meituan Dianping and Qunar.com, said in separate but similar statements that the policy would be extended to users who had been put under quarantined or diagnosed with the new coronavirus. As of Tuesday, nearly 300 people had been diagnosed globally, with all but a handful in China, and most of them in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people.
Forget North Korea or Pakistan: This U.S. Ally Has a Nuclear Arsenal That Could Kill Billions 21 Jan 2020, 9:55 am
The Navy Has a Plan to Stop Ship-Killer Missiles 21 Jan 2020, 9:28 am
S. Korea naval unit to expand operations to Strait of Hormuz 21 Jan 2020, 8:52 am
A South Korean anti-piracy unit has temporarily expanded its mission to the Strait of Hormuz, a vital global oil route at the center of soaring tensions between Iran and the United States. South Korea’s Defense Ministry announced the expansion Tuesday, saying it was meant to help ensure the safe passage of South Korean vessels and nationals through the waterway. South Korea has conducted anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden since 2009 and is expanding to the strait that connects the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf.
Experts: Iran Could Be a Nuclear Armed State in Just 1 Year 21 Jan 2020, 8:00 am
What is coronavirus, the mystery illness sweeping through China? 21 Jan 2020, 7:32 am
Intelligence officials: New ISIS leader is one of its founding members 21 Jan 2020, 6:37 am
The Islamic State's new leader is Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi, one of the terrorist organization's founding members, intelligence officials told The Guardian.Last October, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid in Syria, and officials said Salbi replaced him just hours after his death. Born to an Iraqi Turkmen family, Salbi has a background as an Islamic scholar, and came up with the ISIS religious rulings authorizing the enslavement of Iraq's Yazidi minority. Salbi met Baghdadi in 2004, when both were detained by U.S. forces at Camp Bucca in Iraq.There aren't many founding members of ISIS left, and the group doesn't have nearly as many fighters as it did during its peak in the mid-2010s. ISIS no longer controls vast swaths of Iraq and Syria, but they are still behind assassinations and roadside bombings in northern Iraq, a senior Kurdish official told The Guardian. There are rural networks that "remain very much intact," the official said. "After all, ISIS members in Iraq still receive monthly salaries and training in remote mountainous areas. That network allows the organization to endure, even when militarily defeated."Salbi's whereabouts are unknown, but intelligence officials believe it's likely he is near Mosul, Iraq. There is a $5 million bounty on his head.More stories from theweek.com House declares Trump's impeachment lawyer Pat Cipollone a 'material fact witness' in trial Why phase 1 of the U.S.-China trade deal 'may be doomed from the start' The strongest case for Joe Biden
Photos of starving lions in Sudan spark campaign to save them 21 Jan 2020, 5:35 am
UK to introduce tougher jail terms for convicted terrorists after London Bridge attack 21 Jan 2020, 2:12 am
Britain will introduce tougher jail sentences for convicted terrorists and will end early release as part of a series of measures to strengthen its response to terrorism, the government said on Tuesday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to make changes after an attack near London Bridge in November in which Usman Khan, a convicted terrorist who had been released early from prison, killed two people. Khan had been sentenced to a minimum of eight years in prison in 2012 with a requirement that the parole board assess his danger to the public before release.
Giuliani associate in campaign cash probe seeks Barr recusal 21 Jan 2020, 1:25 am
An associate of Rudy Giuliani charged with illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. political campaigns has asked Attorney General William Barr to recuse himself in the case and appoint a special prosecutor. The request is made in a letter filed Monday in the docket of the federal campaign finance violation case brought by New York prosecutors against Lev Parnas. The letter signed by defense lawyer Joseph Bondy came a day before the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump was scheduled to start.
Sweden Readies for Diplomatic Crisis With China Over Free Press 21 Jan 2020, 1:00 am
(Bloomberg) -- Sweden’s government has demanded a meeting with the ambassador from China after he lambasted Swedish media.Ambassador Gui Congyou caused a diplomatic furore over the weekend after giving an interview to Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT, in which he said that some local media representatives “have a habit of criticizing, accusing and smearing China.” He then went on to compare the relationship between Swedish media and China to one in which “a 48kg weight boxer keeps challenging an 86kg weight boxer to a fight.”Three parties in Sweden’s parliament have now called for Gui Congyou to be thrown out of the Nordic country, adding to tensions ahead of a meeting scheduled to take place with the ambassador at the foreign ministry in Stockholm on Tuesday.Sweden’s foreign minister, Ann Linde, has already ruled out the option of expelling Gui Congyou. But she also made clear Sweden won’t accept veiled threats from China. Relations between the two countries have soured recently over jailed Chinese-born Swedish publisher Gui Minhai, who was honored last year by the Swedish chapter of PEN International with its annual Tucholsky Award.Gui Minhai, who has written several books that are critical of China’s leadership, has been detained since late 2015 by Chinese authorities, who accuse him of crimes including “operating an illegal business.” Gui Congyou says Minhai is a “lie-fabricator” who “committed serious offenses in both China and Sweden.” He also said Swedish media “is full of lies” about the case and that the Tucholsky Award, which was handed out by Sweden’s minister of culture, would result in Chinese “countermeasures.”The spat comes amid a more assertive diplomatic stance from China, which dominates global export markets and is one of Sweden’s most important trade partners. In neighboring Norway, the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 to Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo led to a deep-freeze of diplomatic relations that lasted more than half a decade and hurt trade. In 2018, Sweden exported goods and services to China worth 67 billion kronor ($7 billion), making it the Nordic country’s eighth-largest export market.Gui Congyou, who was appointed ambassador to Sweden in 2017, has repeatedly angered lawmakers in the country with his remarks over the years. Commenting on Swedish media’s coverage of Gui Minhai, Gui Congyou in December cited a Chinese proverb: “We treat our friends with fine wine, but we have shotguns for our enemies.”The ambassador’s latest remarks prompted the nationalist Sweden Democrats as well as the Christian Democrats and the Left Party to demand that he be thrown out.To contact the reporter on this story: Niclas Rolander in Stockholm at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Hanfi Brögger at email@example.comFor 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.
Panama begins exhumation of victims from 1989 US invasion 21 Jan 2020, 12:53 am
Forensic workers took preliminary steps Monday for digging up the remains of some victims of the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, an effort that has lifted the hopes of Panamanians who had relatives die or disappear and have lived with unanswered questions about their fate for 30 years. Authorities gave the approval for exhumation of the 19 bodies buried in a Panama City cemetery after a truth commission set up three years ago documented about 20 disappearances from the U.S. military action to topple strongman Manuel Noriega. Prosecutor Maribel Caballero told reporters the remains will be compared to a database of DNA from relatives in 14 cases.
Migrants tear-gassed as they try to storm into Mexico 21 Jan 2020, 12:21 am
Hundreds of Central Americans from a new migrant caravan tried to storm into Mexico Monday by fording the river that divides the country from Guatemala, but National Guardsmen fired tear gas trying to force them back.
‘Sorry for Lying to You for 13 Years’: Iranian State TV Host Turns on Regime after Ukrainian Jet Downing 20 Jan 2020, 10:14 pm
A number of Iranian TV hosts and other public personalities have denounced the regime in the wake of Iran's missile strike on a Ukrainian passenger jet that killed 176 people after the military mistook the jet for an enemy target."Apologies for lying to you for 13 years," state TV host of "Good Morning Iran" Gelareh Jabbari posted on Instagram last Monday. "It was very hard for me to believe our people have been killed, forgive me for believing this late."The post, which was seen by NBC News, has since been deleted.Taraneh Alidoosti, one of Iran's most popular actors and a star of the Oscar-winning 2016 movie The Salesman, also criticized the regime in a post to her 5.8 million Instagram followers."We are not citizens, we are captives, millions of captives," Alidoosti wrote. That post has also been deleted."The Islamic Republic is facing the worst legitimacy crisis in its 40-year history, and the pressures are mounting from every angle," Afshin Shahi, associate professor of Middle East politics at Bradford University, England, told NBC. "The gap between the state and society has widened to an extreme extent."Iran admitted to accidentally shooting down the plane after several days of official denials. U.S., Canadian and European intelligence had already indicated the plane was shot down in a missile strike.Several hours earlier, Iran launched 15 ballistic missiles at U.S. positions in Iraq, in retaliation for the U.S. killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. The Iranian military later said the strikes were not intended to kill U.S. troops.However, the Pentagon later acknowledged that 11 Americans were injured in the strikes, and were being treated for concussive symptoms.
‘A Defining Moment.’ An Indian State’s Decision to Challenge the Country's Controversial Citizenship Law Signals a Growing Divide 20 Jan 2020, 9:47 pm
Kellyanne Conway Claims Martin Luther King Would Be Against Trump Impeachment 20 Jan 2020, 9:19 pm
Kellyanne Conway on Monday responded to a question on how the president is observing Martin Luther King Day by claiming the civil-rights leader would oppose the impeachment of President Donald Trump.During a press gathering at the White House, NBC News correspondent Geoff Bennett asked the senior Trump aide how the president was observing Martin Luther King Day, prompting Conway to first note that Trump was preparing for his trip to Davos before saying the president “agrees with many of the things that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for.”From there, it only got more bizarre.Adding that the president and Dr. King would see eye-to-eye on “unity and equality,” Conway complained that it’s not the president who is “trying to tear the country apart through an impeachment process and a lack of substance that really is very shameful at this point.”“I’ve held my opinion on it for a very long time, but when you see the articles of impeachment that came out, I don’t think it was Dr. King’s vision to have Americans dragged through a process where the president is not going to be removed from office, is not being charged bribery, extortion, high crimes and misdemeanors,” she continued.After declaring that anyone who cares for the phrase “and justice for all” should appreciate that the president has a “full-throttle defense” when it comes to impeachment, Conway concluded by linking herself with MLK.“I, this morning, was reading some of the lesser-known passages by Dr. King and I appreciate the fact that we as a nation respect him by giving him his own day,” she proclaimed.“I’m happy to share a birthday with this day,” Conway concluded.Kellyanne Conway Melts Down Under Grilling by Fox NewsRead 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.
After Jeffrey Epstein suicide, Bureau of Prisons tells guards: Stop surfing the web and watch inmates 20 Jan 2020, 8:37 pm
The Royal Navy’s New Aircraft Carriers Are Eating the Fleet 20 Jan 2020, 8:00 pm
You Should Get an Electric Fireplace 20 Jan 2020, 7:00 pm
China's Navy Warships Are Now Armed With Land-Attack Missiles 20 Jan 2020, 6:20 pm
Leopard runs into house before being captured in south India 20 Jan 2020, 4:15 pm
A leopard that ran into a house and sparked a frantic search and a frenzy of attention in southern India on Monday has been caught and tranquilized. The big cat emerged from the Kamdanam forest and ran into a house in Shadnagar town in Telangana state, said Dr. Mohammad Abdul Hakeem, a wildlife official. Deadly conflict between humans and animals has increased in recent years in India largely due to shrinking forest habitats and urban expansion.
Biden Warns Media against Shopping ‘Conclusively Debunked’ Ukraine Corruption Allegations During Impeachment Trial 20 Jan 2020, 4:02 pm
Ahead of Tuesday’s Senate trial on impeachment, Joe Biden’s campaign is cautioning media outlets against “spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory” regarding a conflict of interest between the former vice president’s policy work in Ukraine and his son Hunter's role on the board of Burisma.“It is not sufficient to say the allegations are 'unsubstantiated' or that 'no evidence has emerged to support them,’” the memo reads. “Not only is there 'no evidence' for Republicans' main argument against the Vice President — there is a mountain of evidence that actively debunks it. And it is malpractice to ignore that truth."Joe Biden has been insistent that there was no unethical behavior committed by his son while he was serving as point man for Ukraine relations in the Obama White House, despite countering claims of alleged corruption by President Trump and Republican allies.Last month, he told Axios he would not look into the matter further because “I trust my son,” but in an interview with the New York Times editorial board released last week, Biden said he “didn’t realize” Hunter Biden had served on the board of Burisma “until after he had been on the board.”“He has come forward and said it was a mistake on his part to be on the board,” Biden added on his son’s role. An October Reuters report stated that Hunter Biden was hired “as a helpful non-executive director with a powerful name” by Burisma owner and Ukrainian politician Mykola Zlochevsky, who was then being scrutinized over allegations of corruption.In its memo, the Biden campaign states that any reporting suggesting that "Biden engaged in wrongdoing when he executed official United States policy to remove a corrupt prosecutor from office” amounts to "spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory."“To fail to make clear that the conspiracy theory and false accusations about Joe Biden have been comprehensively disproven, to artificially prop-up these egregious lies based on the ‘principle’ that if partisans make accusations, they have to be treated as legitimate regardless of the facts, is to make you an enabler of misinformation,” the memo threatens.The former vice president and his son could be called by Republicans as witnesses in the upcoming trial. Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said that the Bidens should be called if the upper chamber votes to hear witnesses.“If the president is being accused of withholding foreign aid, and his argument is, ‘Well, we were studying corruption, and we wanted to know about corruption in Ukraine,’ and I think the Bidens are as corrupt as the day is long,” Paul argued. “No young man who is the son of a politician gets $50,000 a month who has no experience, working for a Ukrainian oligarch. You know, for goodness sakes — it smells to high heaven. It smells like corruption.”
The US Air Force recently acquired a new $64 million Gulfstream private jet for VIP government officials — see inside 20 Jan 2020, 3:53 pm
'I stayed alive to tell' - Auschwitz's dwindling survivors recount horrors of Nazi death camp 20 Jan 2020, 3:14 pm
A strip of skin tattooed with the Auschwitz death camp number 99288 sits in a silver frame on a shelf in Avraham Harshalom's living room. As the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation on Jan 27, 1945, nears, Harshalom, 95, is very clear about why he kept it. Harshalom is one of some 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today.
Erdogan says Somalia has invited Turkey to explore for oil in its seas: NTV 20 Jan 2020, 2:54 pm
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Somalia had invited Turkey to explore for oil in its seas, after Ankara signed a maritime agreement with Libya last year, broadcaster NTV reported. Turkey has been a major source of aid to Somalia following a famine in 2011 as Ankara seeks to increase its influence in the Horn of Africa to counter Gulf rivals like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Just as Australia's deadly fires begin to subside, it's being hit with more apocalyptic weather. Videos show enormous dust storms and golf-ball-sized hail battering cars and buildings 20 Jan 2020, 2:15 pm
Photos surface showing convicted Nazi guard Demjanjuk at Sobibor 20 Jan 2020, 1:36 pm
New photos have emerged which for the first time show convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk at the Sobibor death camp, a Berlin archive confirmed Monday, although he always denied ever being there. Ukrainian-American Demjanjuk was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of nearly 30,000 Jews at Sobibor by a German court in 2011. According to the Berlin-based Topography of Terror archive, photos of Demjanjuk are among a newly discovered collection of more than 350 snaps which give "detailed insight" into the camp in German-occupied Poland.
A Drexel University professor has been charged with stealing $185,000 in government grant money to spend on Philadelphia strip clubs and iTunes 20 Jan 2020, 12:30 pm
Warren, Klobuchar Get Dual New York Times Nod: Campaign Update 20 Jan 2020, 6:12 am
(Bloomberg) -- The New York Times endorsed both Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying, “May the best woman win.”The newspaper revealed its pick on its television show, “The Weekly” and ran video clips of the interviews that Warren, Klobuchar, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang and Cory Booker gave to the paper’s editorial board. Booker dropped out of the race since his New York Times interview.Editorial board members said they were impressed by Warren’s emphasis on policy and said Klobuchar “could unite the party and perhaps the nation.”Warren has 14% support from Democratic voters in the RealClearPolitics polling average, while Klobuchar has lagged at 3%.Warren Says Senators to Get Say in Judge Picks (6:14 p.m.)Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren criticized Congressional Republicans for ignoring the tradition that allows senators to approve or veto a judge from their home state, saying that if elected president she wouldn’t allow them to play “dirty” to block her nominees.“I’m not going to be the Democrat who says, ‘oh, when Democrats are in the White House we’ll all play by the nice rules,’ and when Republicans are in the White House we all play by the dirty rules. I’m not playing that game again.” Warren said at a Citizens United Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday.The “blue slip” tradition gets its name from the color of a document that senators would sign in order to approve judicial nominees from the state they represent. Traditionally, if a senator withheld a blue slip, it would mean he or she was rejecting the selection of a judge and by doing so ending their hopes of being a nominee.Warren accused Republicans of abusing the tradition during the Obama administration, and ignoring it under Trump, so that Democrats who might object to a judicial nominee from their home state don’t get heard. While Warren didn’t explicitly say how she would handle the issue if elected president, she hinted that she would be willing to honor them.“But I will give them the chance to, at least, join us in having a government that works again and a judicial appointment process that works again,” Warren said. “We can’t work to make our judiciary more politicized. That cannot be the right answer.”Biden is Fund-Raising off Sanders’ Attacks (5:01 p.m.)Joe Biden’s campaign is accusing Bernie Sanders of engaging in “smears” against the former vice president as it tries to drum up campaign cash.In a fund-raising email Sunday signed by Biden, the candidate expresses alarm about Democrats attacking each other and dismisses efforts by the Sanders campaign to mischaracterize comments he made about spending negotiations with former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.“As Democrats I thought we all knew this election was too important to attack other Democrats,” Biden says in the message. “But Bernie Sanders and his campaign don’t care about that. They’ve decided to unleash a barrage of negative attacks lying about and distorting my record.”He specifically calls out Sanders’ staff and allies’ propagation on social media of “a deceptively edited video and saying I agreed with Paul Ryan about wanting to cut Social Security.” The clip omits context from which it’s clear that Biden was mocking the former House speaker’s views.Sanders and his team have ramped up attacks on Biden’s record on Social Security — which does include votes and statements that suggested cuts as part of bigger deals — as they seek to pull older voters away from Biden. The former vice president has pledged during this campaign to increase spending on Social Security. -- Jennifer EpsteinSanders Says Gender Still An Issue in 2020 (3:30 p.m.)Bernie Sanders again denied telling Elizabeth Warren that a woman can’t be elected president, but said he believes gender is among a range of issues that can affect a candidate’s level of acceptance among some voters.“It is hard for me to imagine how anybody in the year 2020 would not believe that a woman could become the president of the United States,” Sanders said Sunday on New Hampshire Public Radio after saying he didn’t want to get into “a private conversation” from 2018.Sanders said that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the popular vote against Donald Trump in 2016, and said “the media has blown” up his alleged comments to Warren in a private conversation about their political ambitions. He has denied saying a woman couldn’t be elected in 2020, but Warren has insisted he did.The Vermont senator said that a generation ago, most people would have said it was doubtful an African American could be elected president, as Barack Obama was in 2008 and 2012. “The world has changed,” he said.“There ain’t no perfect candidate out there,” Sanders said. “Everybody brings some negatives.” For example, both his own advanced age and Pete Buttigieg’s young age could play into some voters’ calculations, he said.“There are a lot of people who say I like Bernie, he’s a nice guy, but he’s 78 years of age,” he said. “If you’re looking at Buttigieg, he’s a young guy. People will say he’s too young to be president.” -- Emma KineryCOMING UP:Top-tier Democratic presidential candidates will be in Columbia, South Carolina, on Monday for events to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holidayThe candidates will debate again in New Hampshire on Feb. 7.The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3. The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11. Nevada holds its caucuses on Feb. 22 and South Carolina has a primary on Feb. 29.(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)(An earlier version corrected a reference to Sanders’ comments.)\--With assistance from Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, Emma Kinery and Jennifer Epstein.To contact the reporter on this story: Wendy Benjaminson in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at email@example.com, Derek WallbankFor 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.
'I Dare You to Mock Me.' Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger Defends Joe Biden Against Attacks on His Speech in New York Times Op-Ed 19 Jan 2020, 11:22 pm
Report Warned of Threat to U.S. Troops in Germany: Newsweek 19 Jan 2020, 11:00 pm
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. received intelligence about a potentially imminent attack being planned against military personnel stationed in Germany, Newsweek reported, citing a memo it saw.The 66th Military Intelligence Brigade received third party information stating that a possible attack could occur against soldiers at either Tower Barracks in Grafenwohr or Tower Barracks, Dulmen; the exact location, date and time of possible attack was unknown Information was marked unclassified and from a senior U.S. intelligence official “The source of information stated the attack would be carried out by an unknown Jordanian extremist currently located in Germany near an unknown military base,” the report saidU.S. Army Europe confirmed to Newsweek that a potential threat was identified and investigated last night “German and US officials were consulted and no imminent threat was found to exit”To view the source of this information click hereTo contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Crooks in Miami at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sebastian Tong at email@example.comFor 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.
SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test 19 Jan 2020, 10:43 pm
SpaceX completed the last big test of its crew capsule before launching astronauts in the next few months, mimicking an emergency escape shortly after liftoff Sunday. “I'm super fired up,” Elon Musk, the company's founder and chief executive, told reporters. NASA astronauts have not launched from the U.S. since the space shuttle program ended in 2011.
Republican senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Things happen' 19 Jan 2020, 10:42 pm
Bloomberg pledges $70 billion to bolster black America in new plan 19 Jan 2020, 9:20 pm
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce on Sunday his presidential campaign’s new plan aimed at bolstering economic opportunity for black Americans, promising to triple their income over the next decade, but stopping short of promising reparations.