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Oliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s Godfather 20 Jul 2019, 5:13 am

Oliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s GodfatherAlexey Nikolsky/AFP/GettyFilmmaker and conspiracy theorist Oliver Stone has made no secret of his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but now he has taken it to a whole new level by trying to make him his 22-year-old daughter’s godfather. “Does she want to become an Orthodox Christian?” Putin asked when Stone floated the idea during a sit-down in the Kremlin. “We’ll make her that [Orthodox],” Stone replied, according to a transcript of the interview put out by the Kremlin Friday. Putin appeared to wriggle his way out of the proposal (“You have to ask her,” he said) before Stone went on to complain about “American culture,” taking particular issue with what he described as a focus on gender identity and people labeling themselves as “transgender” and “cisgender.” Stone quickly steered the conversation toward a controversial 2013 Russian law banning “homosexual propaganda” among minors, a law which experts say has prompted a surge of homophobic violence in the country. “It seems like maybe that’s a sensible law,” Stone said. The interview, transcripts of which were released Friday, took place in mid-June, shortly before Stone announced the upcoming premiere of his new documentary Revealing Ukraine, which purports to “investigate” the “ongoing Ukrainian crisis” but seems instead to serve as a promotional spot for pro-Russian Ukrainian politician and Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk. The “documentary” has been hyped up by Russian state media, where it premiered on Friday.  It was also due to air on Ukraine’s 112 TV channel, which Medvedchuk reportedly took control of late last year, but the station said it was forced to cancel the broadcast after protests. Stone has claimed his dabblings in Ukraine offer viewers a new perspective on the 2014 Maidan revolution and war in Donbass that he says “Western media has largely ignored,” but that “perspective” has relied solely on claims fed to him by pro-Russia politicians, Putin allies, and Putin himself. In his sit-down with the Russian president, Stone vacillated between spouting off common Kremlin propaganda on Ukraine and fawning over Putin as a “peacemaker.” After echoing the Kremlin conspiracy theory that the pro-Russian leaders in Kyiv accused of gunning down innocent protesters in the 2014 revolution were actually framed in some vast conspiracy that may or may not have involved former U.S. President Barack Obama, and that Ukraine, not Russia was to blame for interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Stone expressed concerns about Putin’s emotional well-being. “You sound very depressed, much more depressed than last time,” he said, later adding, “I am very worried about you.” The two ended the interview by taking a parting picture together. Oliver Stone’s Latest Piece of Pro-Putin Propaganda May Be His Most Shameless Move YetRead 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.


Hong Kong protesters use signals, Post-its to hone skills 20 Jul 2019, 2:54 am

Hong Kong protesters use signals, Post-its to hone skillsHong Kong's youth are no rookies when it comes to protests. Using a range of new tactics, they have helped rally hundreds of thousands of fellow Hong Kong residents to take to the streets over the past month. The Hong Kong-based web forum LIHKG and Telegram, the encrypted messaging app, have served as crucial organizing platforms for the largely leaderless protests.


US to send asylum seekers back to dangerous part of Mexico 20 Jul 2019, 2:14 am

US to send asylum seekers back to dangerous part of MexicoThe U.S. government on Friday expanded its requirement that asylum seekers wait outside the country to a part of the Texas Rio Grande Valley across from one of Mexico's most dangerous cities. The Department of Homeland Security said that it would implement its Migrant Protection Protocols in Brownsville, Texas, across the border from Matamoros, Mexico. DHS says it anticipates the first asylum seekers will be sent back to Mexico starting Friday.


Saudi king approves hosting U.S. troops to enhance regional security: SPA 20 Jul 2019, 12:42 am

Saudi king approves hosting U.S. troops to enhance regional security: SPASaudi Arabia's King Salman approved hosting U.S. forces in the country to boost regional security and stability, the state news agency (SPA) reported on Friday. The gesture comes amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran in the Gulf that have impacted global oil markets. On Friday, Iran said it had seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, but denied Washington's assertion that the U.S. Navy had downed an Iranian drone nearby earlier this week.


'Clearly a racist act': After biracial boy dragged by school bus, school settles lawsuit 20 Jul 2019, 12:02 am

'Clearly a racist act': After biracial boy dragged by school bus, school settles lawsuitThe teen's mother sued the school district in May, alleging a bus driver intentionally closed the door on her 13-year-old biracial son's backpack.


Man arrested after allegedly raping 4-year-old girl in McDonald's play area bathroom 19 Jul 2019, 9:34 pm

Man arrested after allegedly raping 4-year-old girl in McDonald's play area bathroomOklahoma authorities are investigating after a man allegedly raped a 4-year-old girl inside the bathroom of a McDonald's in Midwest City.


Lawsuit: North Dakota officers used 'violence' on protester 19 Jul 2019, 9:08 pm

Lawsuit: North Dakota officers used 'violence' on protesterMarcus Mitchell, 24, filed the lawsuit Thursday against Morton County, the city of Bismarck and state Highway Patrol officers. Highway Patrol spokesman Wade Kadrmas declined comment, citing pending litigation. A Morton County official didn't immediately respond to the Bismarck Tribune's request for comment Thursday.


U.S. intelligence chief creates election security position 19 Jul 2019, 8:37 pm

U.S. intelligence chief creates election security positionDirector of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who has drawn criticism from President Donald Trump for assessments that countered his policies, said on Friday he was creating a new position to focus solely on U.S. election security. "Election security is an enduring challenge and a top priority for the IC (international community)," Coats said in a statement. Coats said he had tapped Shelby Pierson, the DNI's crisis manager for election security during the 2018 congressional elections, for the job.


‘I do not have 2-3 months off’: Teachers on summer break are working, a lot 19 Jul 2019, 7:53 pm

‘I do not have 2-3 months off’: Teachers on summer break are working, a lotTeachers are told their low pay is offset by their summers off. The problem? They’re actually working, a lot – from second jobs to lesson planning


Correction: Puerto Rico-Protests-Miranda story 19 Jul 2019, 7:05 pm

Correction: Puerto Rico-Protests-Miranda storyIn a story July 17 about a New York City protest against Puerto Rico's governor, The Associated Press misidentified the status of Puerto Rico. NEW YORK (AP) — "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has joined protests in New York demanding the resignation of Puerto Rico's governor. Miranda led about 200 people, many from Puerto Rico, at a rally in Manhattan's Union Square on Wednesday.


Fox News Host to Geraldo Rivera: I Can Tell You to Go Back to Where You Came From 19 Jul 2019, 7:00 pm

Fox News Host to Geraldo Rivera: I Can Tell You to Go Back to Where You Came FromDefending Donald Trump’s repeated racist taunts at Democratic congresswomen of color, Fox News host Pete Hegseth told correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera on Friday morning that it would be perfectly fine for him to utilize the president’s “go back to where you came from” message on him.A day after Trump sorta disavowed the racist “send her back!” chant his rally crowd launched at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rivera appeared on Fox & Friends and said he was “glad the president has said” he didn’t like the chants. At the same time, Rivera noted that the president’s original tweets targeting the “Squad” tapped into an “old racist trope,” something the longtime Trump pal had criticized the president for days earlier.“Geraldo, but you, like many, have accused him of racism,” Hegseth replied. “But if you go back and look at that tweet, he’s not talking about race, he’s talking about whether or not you love this country and appreciate it. And if you don’t appreciate it and don’t love it, and don’t want to work to make it better, then maybe you could consider going somewhere else. There’s plenty of countries on Earth.”How the Ilhan Omar Marriage Smear Went From Fever Swamp to TrumpRivera, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, shot back at his colleague, yelling “what the hell” before pointing out that all four congresswomen—Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Omar—are citizens of the United States. Hegseth, meanwhile, said he would have no problem if someone personally told him he could love it or leave it.“Intolerable—you cannot say that,” Rivera responded.“You could totally say it,” Hegseth, an informal adviser to Trump, asserted.“You can’t say it to me,” Rivera fired back.“Well, I could say it to you,” the Fox & Friends host countered.Rivera went on to recount the number of “street fights” he had in his younger years because he’s Puerto Rican, claiming he routinely heard people telling him to go back to where he came from even though he was born in New York. Hegseth brushed that off while continuing to insist that Trump is not referencing race but instead the lawmakers’ “principles” and “lack of gratitude.”“A lot of people aren’t grateful to be here,” Rivera declared. “Gratitude is not a requirement of citizenship.”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.


Ramush Haradinaj, Kosovo's 'Rambo' ex-PM and Serbian antagonist 19 Jul 2019, 6:50 pm

Ramush Haradinaj, Kosovo's 'Rambo' ex-PM and Serbian antagonistRamush Haradinaj, who resigned as Kosovo's prime minister on Friday, is hailed as a hero at home -- where he is nicknamed "Rambo" -- but considered a war criminal by Belgrade, which has long sought to see him behind bars. The controversial 51-year-old, who was a wartime commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), stepped down after being summoned as a suspect by a war crimes court in the Hague. It is the second time he has resigned after being called before a war crimes court over crimes allegedly committed by the ethnic Albanian KLA separatists during the 1998-99 war.


US weather: Potentially deadly heat wave set to break records 19 Jul 2019, 6:32 pm

US weather: Potentially deadly heat wave set to break recordsThe hottest weather in years is stifling two-thirds of the United States, stretching from Texas and Oklahoma northeastward to Maine. The National Weather Service is using strong language to describe the hazards posed by this event.The Weather Service forecast office in Chicago, for example, is calling this “one of the hotter and more humid air masses since 2012.”By the time this event ends by Tuesday, 86 per cent of the Lower 48 states will have experienced high temperatures of at least 90 degrees (32C), and close to 50 per cent will have seen temperatures reach or exceed 95 degrees (35C).On Friday morning, forecasters at the Weather Service forecast office in Philadelphia wrote that this heat wave would be “prolonged, dangerous, and potentially deadly.” Warning of a heat index as high as 115 degrees (46C) on Saturday, forecasters noted: “Heat related illnesses and death can occur in minutes on days such as these in cases of over- exertion or entrapments in hot vehicles. Because of this, extreme caution should be exercised over the weekend with regards to the heat.”Expansive areas of high pressure, with one located over the central states and another out in the western Atlantic will yield near record warmth for multiple days.The heat wave, which comes in the midst of what may turn out to be the hottest month Earth has recorded since instrument records began in the late 19th century, poses a public health threat to tens of millions. In a typical year, heat is the top weather-related killer in the US, beating out tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other weather hazards.Because this event is occurring at the height of summer, it’s difficult to set temperature many all-time hot temperature records. However, the Weather Service still anticipates many records to fall, especially for warm overnight temperatures.This heat wave stands out for the high humidity that is accompanying it, as a vast heat dome helps drive Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean moisture northward.Dew point temperatures, which are a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air, have climbed well into the oppressive humidity category. The high dew points will also prevent overnight low temperatures from falling significantly overnight.Already, in Chicago on Friday morning, the temperature had not fallen below 81 degrees (27C) for the low, which – if it holds through midnight – would break the daily record warm overnight minimum temperature, which was 79 degrees (24C), set in 2011.Such high overnight lows will increase the risk to public health from this hot weather. Heat-related illnesses increase when the human body is not given time to cool off overnight. Heat stress and poor air quality can exacerbate other illnesses and even lead to heat stroke, which can be deadly.The groups most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses include the elderly, chronically ill, children and outdoor workers. Pets are also vulnerable, particularly if they are left in areas without air conditioning and proper hydration.During the day, the humidity levels will combine with air temperatures near the century mark to drive heat index values – which is how hot it feels to the human body – as high as 110 to 115 degrees (43C to 46C), particularly along the East Coast, according to Weather Service forecasts.Along the northern periphery of the heat dome will be what meteorologists refer to as the “Ring of Fire.” This is the battle zone between the heat wave air mass and cooler air to the north. In this area, strong winds in the upper atmosphere can spark severe thunderstorms, including complexes of storms that cause wind damage for hundreds of miles, known as a derecho.The Weather Service is forecasting such an event today across the Great Lakes, for example, with more storms along the heat dome’s periphery throughout the weekend.As the climate warms because of human activities, numerous studies have shown that heat waves such as this one are becoming more common and intense, as well as longer-lasting. It’s one of the most robust conclusions of climate science, since as you increase the global average temperature, the odds of hot extremes increase even faster.According to NOAA data, summer nights have warmed at nearly twice the rate as summer days in the United States, making heat waves a more formidable threat to public health.Climate change attribution studies have shown that global warming has dramatically increased the likelihood of extreme heat events. In fact, one study published in 2019 found the record-breaking summer heat wave in Japan during 2018 “could not have happened without human-induced global warming.”In addition, the National Climate Assessment, published by the Donald Trump administration last year found heat waves are on the increase in the United States and have been since the 1960, though the 1930s still stand out as having the most extreme heat events on record in the US, due to weather variability and land use practices at the time.Washington Post


Five guys arrested for fighting at Five Guys burgers in Florida 19 Jul 2019, 6:09 pm

Five guys arrested for fighting at Five Guys burgers in FloridaAn appropriate number of guys were arrested when a fight broke out at a FiveGuys restaurant in Florida on Wednesday


Brazil's Petrobras refuses to refuel Iran ships due to US sanctions 19 Jul 2019, 6:03 pm

Brazil's Petrobras refuses to refuel Iran ships due to US sanctionsUS-listed Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras said Friday it will not refuel two Iranian vessels that have been stuck for weeks at a Brazilian port for fear of violating American sanctions. Washington has imposed a slate of sanctions on Tehran and companies with ties to the Islamic republic since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark nuclear pact last year. The ships Bavand and Termeh, which reportedly belong to Iranian company Sapid Shipping, arrived at Paranagua port in the southern state of Parana early last month, an official at the port told AFP.


Wasp spray leads to 3 deaths in West Virginia after being used as alternative meth 19 Jul 2019, 5:34 pm

Wasp spray leads to 3 deaths in West Virginia after being used as alternative methWest Virginia state police are cautioning residents against using wasp sprayas an alternative form of methamphetamine after three people purportedlyoverdosed


Panic as strong quake shakes Athens 19 Jul 2019, 5:10 pm

Panic as strong quake shakes AthensA strong 5.1-magnitude earthquake jolted Athens on Friday, knocking out phone connections, damaging buildings and causing power outages, as panicked residents rushed into the streets. State TV ERT reported that at least two people were lightly hurt -- a pregnant tourist and a young boy -- and at least two abandoned buildings in the capital collapsed, while several more suffered damage. The epicentre of the shallow quake was northwest of Athens, close to where a 5.9-magnitude quake in September 1999 left 143 people dead in and around the capital.


CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Vietnam says Chinese vessel violated its sovereignty in South China Sea 19 Jul 2019, 4:49 pm

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Vietnam says Chinese vessel violated its sovereignty in South China SeaVietnam on Friday accused a Chinese oil survey vessel and its escorts of violating its sovereignty and demanded that China remove the ships from Vietnamese waters. Vietnam and China have for years long been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich stretch of waters in the South China Sea.


D-Day flag that flew at Normandy landing gifted to US 75 years later. Trump accepts flag from Netherlands PM 19 Jul 2019, 4:48 pm

D-Day flag that flew at Normandy landing gifted to US 75 years later. Trump accepts flag from Netherlands PMThe flag, pierced by German bullet holes, flew aboard one of the landing crafts troops used to storm the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.


Ukraine's president says he backs prisoner swap with Russia 19 Jul 2019, 3:29 pm

Ukraine's president says he backs prisoner swap with RussiaUkraine's president on Friday outlined the details of an impending prisoner swap with Russia, saying that Kiev is willing to release a jailed Russian journalist in exchange for a Ukrainian film director. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's statement comes at the end of the week of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev. The flurry of activity around imprisoned Russians and Ukrainians follows last week's first telephone call between Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Father charged with murder after driving two sons with severe autism off California pier 19 Jul 2019, 3:23 pm

Father charged with murder after driving two sons with severe autism off California pierThe father had purchased $6 million in insurance policies to cover his family in the event of an accidental death prior to the incident.


Confused by the Mid-Engined Chevy C8 Corvette? Here's What "Mid-Engined" Means and Why It Matters 19 Jul 2019, 3:08 pm

Confused by the Mid-Engined Chevy C8 Corvette? Here's What "Mid-Engined" Means and Why It MattersBeing mid-engined will improve the Corvette's acceleration, braking, and handling. But it also sends a message to the world.


UPDATE 1-China's intelligence law looms over EU 5G safeguards -official 19 Jul 2019, 1:50 pm

UPDATE 1-China's intelligence law looms over EU 5G safeguards -officialThe European Union cannot ignore China's National Intelligence Law, which requires Chinese citizens to support state information-gathering, as Brussels seeks rules for super-fast mobile networks, a senior EU official said on Friday. EU governments are debating ways to protect next-generation mobile networks from any possible Chinese interference, caught between a U.S. demand they shun China's Huawei and growing Sino-European business ties.


Hong Kong Protesters Who Stormed Legco Seek Asylum in Taiwan: Report 19 Jul 2019, 12:27 pm

Hong Kong Protesters Who Stormed Legco Seek Asylum in Taiwan: Report(Bloomberg) -- Dozens of Hong Kong protesters involved in the ransacking of the city’s Legislative Council this month have arrived in Taiwan to seek asylum, the Apple Daily newspaper reported.About 30 protesters have already landed in Taiwan, while as many as 30 others -- and possibly more -- are planning to try soon, the Hong Kong newspaper said, citing unidentified people who assisted them.The fleeing activists were part of the group that smashed into the legislature on July 1, the paper said. The people who assisted the protesters told the paper they had been in contact with Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which handles the island’s relations with Beijing, to seek help.The council hasn’t received any formal asylum applications from Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency, its deputy minister Chiu Chui-cheng said in a text message. If Taiwan receives any applications, authorities will handle them appropriately based on existing regulations and the principle of protecting human rights, Chiu added.Read more: Pain From Hong Kong Protests Spreads as Luxury Names Get HitA flight to Taiwan by Hong Kong asylum seekers would be fraught with geopolitical risk. It threatens to raise tensions between the administration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen, a China critic who’s up for re-election in January, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has already faced embarrassment over the global attention paid to Hong Kong’s anti-government protests.Hong Kong’s historic demonstrations over legislation that would allow extraditions to the mainland for the first time have resonated widely in democratically run Taiwan, which China considers a wayward province.Seeking RefugeThe Taiwan Association for Human Rights, a top local non-governmental organization, wouldn’t comment on the case. “We cannot divulge any information regarding any individual case,” said Secretary-General, Chiu E-ling. “If there are individuals who approach us for help, we’ll interview these people and help them get in touch with government officials if that is what they wish.”Earlier: China Drafting Urgent Plan to Resolve Hong Kong Chaos, SCMP SaysProtesters used a metal cart as a battering ram to break their way into the legislative building on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return from British rule, spray-painting slogans on its chamber’s walls and draping a Union Jack-emblazoned colonial flag across the dais.At the time, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam condemned the “extreme use of violence and vandalism” and supported the police’s decision to leave it undefended in the face of a small group of protesters.Emily Leung, a spokeswoman for Lam, referred queries on the report to the Hong Kong police, who declined to comment on Friday.who didn’t immediately respond to a call and an email Friday for comment.(Updates with police comment in final paragraph.)\--With assistance from Ina Zhou, Kari Lindberg and Debby Wu.To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Adela Lin in Taipei at alin95@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


'My entire world was gone': floods devastate northern Pakistan 19 Jul 2019, 12:15 pm

'My entire world was gone': floods devastate northern PakistanNow only jagged rocks and a few damaged homes remain after torrential rains wreaked havoc on the picturesque mountain village in the Laswa Valley. More than 270 people have been killed in recent days across South Asia as monsoon rains deluged large swathes of the subcontinent, flooding waterways and destroying communities. "I was holding the hand of my mother trying to save her, but unfortunately I lost her hand and she was swept away by the floodwater," says Amin Butt, who was visiting his family in Kashmir.


‘LGBT-Free Zone’ Push in Poland Draws Fire From U.S. Ambassador 19 Jul 2019, 11:56 am

‘LGBT-Free Zone’ Push in Poland Draws Fire From U.S. Ambassador(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. ambassador to Poland joined a litany of criticism against “hatred and intolerance” by supporters of the conservative government over a magazine’s plan to distribute “LGBT-free zone” stickers.The question over gay rights is becoming a polarizing issue before fall general elections, underscoring a departure by the ruling Law & Justice Party from the European Union’s liberal, multicultural mainstream. Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has warned that the advancement of gay rights is a “grave danger” for Poland’s families and the future of the bloc.His supporters have embraced that message, with about 30 cities, mostly in the former communist country’s poorer eastern regions, adopting declarations saying they’re “free from LGBT ideology” and opposing “social engineering that’s foreign to Polish culture and natural order.” The pro-government Gazeta Polska weekly is now planning to distribute the stickers to its readers.“I’m concerned and disappointed that some groups use stickers to promote hatred and intolerance,” U.S. Ambassador in Poland Georgette Mosbacher said in a Twitter post Friday.“I’m not sure this is a matter U.S. ambassador should raise, but I wouldn’t put this sticker on my door,” Cabinet spokesman Piotr Muller told Polsat News television.A day earlier, Warsaw Deputy Mayor Pawel Rabiej notified prosecutors that the magazine was propagating discriminatory behavior similar to that used by German Fascists, whose World War II invasion of Poland killed millions.“This is very dangerous,” Rabiej said by phone. “Before the Holocaust and the genocide of the Jews, in the 1930s, sexual minorities were persecuted, which not everyone remembers, and calling to create zones free of any group brings us directly back to those times.”Rabiej, one of staunchly Catholic Poland’s few openly gay politicians, backed giving adoption rights to same-sex couples earlier this year. Kaczynski responded by saying gay people weren’t fighting for tolerance but seeking to change the Polish way of life.“Hands off our children,” Kaczynski told a party’s convention in March. His prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, had repeatedly said that his goal is to “re-Christianize Europe.”Rights activists also slammed Law & Justice in May after authorities detained a woman who allegedly had images of an icon of the Virgin Mary with a rainbow-colored halo resembling the symbol of the LGBT community.To contact the reporter on this story: Marek Strzelecki in Warsaw at mstrzelecki1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at adudik@bloomberg.net, Michael WinfreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Squeezed by sanctions, Iranians seek day jobs in Kurdish Iraq 19 Jul 2019, 11:51 am

Squeezed by sanctions, Iranians seek day jobs in Kurdish IraqWhen the car pulled up to the curb in Iraq's Arbil, a half-dozen Iranian labourers swarmed around it. Squeezed by US sanctions on Tehran, they were hunting for work across the border. Mostly Kurds themselves, they have sought day jobs in construction and other menial labour in Iraq's northern Kurdish region to make up for the deteriorating economic situation at home.


13 Philadelphia police officers to be fired following Facebook post investigation 19 Jul 2019, 11:27 am

13 Philadelphia police officers to be fired following Facebook post investigationThirteen Philadelphia police officers will be fired following an investigation into racist and offensive Facebook posts, Commissioner Richard Ross said.


Journalist reporting on immigration released from ‘inhumane’ US migrant detention centre after 15 months 19 Jul 2019, 11:22 am

Journalist reporting on immigration released from ‘inhumane’ US migrant detention centre after 15 monthsThere were bugs, and the showers were cold. Air conditioning was not available, but the heat was turned on inexplicably.If you didn’t have family in the United States to send money for food, you would go hungry.Those are just some of the conditions Manuel Duran described after he was released from a US immigration detention centre.As a journalist in Memphis, Tennessee, Mr Duran had been reporting on immigration enforcement officials and sordid conditions for more than a decade by the time they took him into custody last year.Now, he says he’s experienced the neglect himself.“I’ve seen the cruelty of the mass detention of immigrants firsthand,” Mr Duran told reporters in Spanish on Wednesday, “and it is unnecessary and inhumane.”Mr Duran, a native of El Salvador, had been working for the Spanish-language news outlet Memphis Noticias.After being released last week from 15 months in detention, Mr Duran, 43, decried what he called the brutal treatment of immigrants by Donald Trump’s administration.Detention centres have faced severe overcrowding in the past several months, prompting outrage and calls for change.Unlike many reporters who focus on immigration, Mr Duran has lived through the detention conditions he covers.Migrants did not get enough food at any of the four facilities where Mr Duran was held, he said at the news conference on Wednesday.They had to buy rations with money sent by their families, and if they didn’t have relatives in the United States, the migrants would go hungry.The holding facilities were infested with cockroaches and spiders, Mr Duran said. At Etowah County Detention Centre in Alabama, he said he had to bathe with cold water from hoses for two months.The air conditioner was being repaired for most of the spring, Mr Duran said, and the heat was turned on at one point, making it difficult to sleep.“I’ve seen the disastrous effect of Trump’s anti-immigrant policy,” Mr Duran said. “I’ve seen working men, businessmen, who have lived their whole lives in this country and who haven’t committed crimes crying and longing to reunite with their families.”Mr Duran alleged that ICE had singled him out for detention because he was a journalist from El Salvador.His attorneys at the Southern Poverty Law Centre also argued in a court document that law enforcement had arrested and detained Mr Duran in an attempt to suppress his reporting critical of immigration enforcement.“In the US, we are made to believe that freedom of the press is valued, but I can tell you all that under the Trump administration, this isn’t true,” Mr Duran said.He was released from detention on bond on 11 July while the Board of Immigration Appeals considers whether to grant him asylum because journalists face dangerous conditions in El Salvador, his attorneys said.Gracie Willis, a staff attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Centre, said Mr Duran decided to speak to reporters about his experience in detention because he considers journalism a form of advocacy.“I think for him, it was important for him to speak to the press, who are his brothers and sisters in his vocation – to inform them about the things that he saw,” Ms Willis said.On 3 April 2018, Mr Duran was reporting on a protest of local police helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when Memphis police arrested him while they were trying to clear people from the street, according to Mr Duran’s attorneys.Mr Duran was charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of a highway, the lawyers wrote in the court document, but the charges were dropped two days later.Instead of releasing Mr Duran from jail, his attorneys said he was turned over to ICE and brought on an eight-hour bus ride to the LaSalle detention centre in Jena, Louisiana – without access to a bathroom and with his wrists, ankles and waist in shackles.Mr Duran migrated to the United States in 2006, when his television reporting in El Salvador subjected him to death threats, his attorneys wrote.He missed an immigration court hearing the next year because he was not told about it, according to his lawyers, causing a judge to issue a removal order for him.ICE on Thursday did not respond to a request for information about his case and for a response to his criticisms of the detention centres.Mauricio Calvo, the executive director of advocacy group Latino Memphis, said many other immigrants face the same conditions that Mr Duran described.Attorneys from Latino Memphis, an organisation that provides services and advocates for policies that benefit Latinos, were part of Mr Duran’s legal team.“This guy had a lot of support because he’s a journalist and all these different things,” Mr Calvo said, “but we have 500 cases at Latino Memphis, and most people cannot get the attention that Manuel did.”Mr Duran is not the first foreign-born journalist to be detained by ICE.Emilio Gutiérrez Soto, a Mexican reporter, migrated to the United States in 2008 after he says soldiers broke into his home and took his identity documents.He and his son Oscar were denied asylum in 2017 and temporarily detained. Their immigration cases are ongoing.Washington Post


How Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution Was Resurrected—and Betrayed 19 Jul 2019, 10:45 am

How Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution Was Resurrected—and BetrayedCourtesy Bill GentileBill Gentile covered the Central American wars of the 1980s that haunt the United States to this day. In the first chapter of this series he wrote about the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. In the second, he looked at the U.S.-backed counter-revolution. Here he looks at what has become of the region, and of journalism.* * *Return Trips* * *MANAGUA, Nicaragua—Journalists follow the news. So when peace came to Central America at the beginning of the 1990s, I knew it was time for me to leave. The story there that had dominated front pages and nightly news for more than a decade dissipated almost overnight. In any case, I was ready to expand my work from Latin America and the Caribbean to more distant frontiers and Claudia, my Nicaraguan wife, was glad to escape the pressure cooker of a country mired in perpetual crisis. So we moved to Miami, a blend of developed and developing countries, where I still could cover major national and international stories, where my experience in conflict reporting and fluency in Spanish would be assets, and from where I could cover not just the region but stories far beyond.Central America’s Wars of the ’80s Still Haunt the U.S.It was a difficult transition. The logistics made sense, but the profession itself faced growing threats. By the end of the 1980s and especially at the beginning of the 1990s, the craft of photojournalism was contracting. Digital photography was becoming accessible to everyone; social media began to compete with the old mainstream operations, and 24/7 cable meant legacy outlets like Newsweek, my employer, became the platforms of old news before they even hit the stands.A peasant walks past a cotton plantation in western Nicaragua.Courtesy Bill GentileI moved to Philadelphia and began working for Video News International (VNI), the first company in the nation to use the new digital “prosumer” cameras to generate television content. Claudia and I separated and eventually divorced. When VNI fell apart, I turned to freelancing with video. By the year 2000 I had begun teaching as my main gig and freelancing as much as time and energy would allow.But Nicaragua never left me. And I never left Nicaragua.* * *‘The World Stopped Watching’* * *White Pine Pictures is a Canadian documentary film production company whose members in 1986 produced The World Is Watching, about the coverage of the Contra War in Nicaragua by Western media. I was one of the featured journalists. In 2002, some 16 years later, White Pine contacted me to ask whether I would be willing to return to Nicaragua to film a sequel.“Absolutely.”I proposed we scan a handful of images from my book, Nicaragua, and publish them in the country’s newspapers. We’d ask people to contact our producer in Managua if anyone recognized the people in the pictures, then we’d follow up on their stories since the Sandinista victory on July 19, 1979. A peasant man and daughter make adobe blocks for building their new home.Courtesy Bill GentileIt worked. Sandinista soldiers. Contra fighters. Peasants. Workers. Our producer’s phone rang off the hook. And in the end? I found myself trying to explain how terrible those days had been, in large part because they failed to advance the Sandinistas’ plan for a more equitable Nicaragua than the one they inherited from the Somoza dictatorship.‘Terrible and Glorious Days’ Covering the Contra War of the 1980sCalling their sequel The World Stopped Watching, the White Pine filmmakers produced a documentary explaining how the absence of international media loosens the restraints on the bad guys, who can do whatever they want because we, the international observers and watchdogs, are not around to hold them accountable. And that’s exactly what has happened.At their electoral defeat in 1990, the Sandinista government accepted the process and, with no small amount of urging by former President Jimmy Carter, handed over power to a new government. It was the first time in Nicaragua’s history that a sitting government peacefully handed over power as the result of a legitimate, internationally recognized election.At a news conference recognizing their landslide loss, Sandinista leaders, including ousted President Daniel Ortega, showed up with pallid, drawn faces. Most of the international press corps was stunned by the results as well.A mural of famed guerrilla fighter and liberator Augusto Cesar Sandino in the northern mountains.Courtesy Bill Gentile“El cuadro esta pintado,” one high-ranking Sandinista official declared just days before the vote. “The painting is finished,” he said, assuring me with blind confidence that the Sandinistas would crush the opposition. The result was a measure of how deeply the Sandinista leadership was disconnected from the people.But at a rally not long after the vote, Ortega promised his followers that, “We will rule from below.” In other words, the highly organized Sandinista party would flex its muscles and get its way no matter who was president.* * *Malign Neglect* * *Anthony Quainton is Distinguished Diplomat in Residence in the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, D.C. He spent 38 years in the U.S. foreign services as a diplomat in Nicaragua, Peru, Kuwait and the Central African Republic. He also served as Coordinator of the Office for Combating Terrorism. At a recent conference, Quainton delivered a keynote speech titled, “Managua and Washington in the Early Sandinista Revolution,” calling his his assignment in Nicaragua in the early 1980s “Mission Impossible.”He argued that had the United States made a major and long-term commitment to the social and economic development of the region and backed off its support for corrupt regimes, “some of the problems we are now encountering might have been avoided or at least ameliorated. Unfortunately when the Sandinistas were eventually voted out of power in 1990, the United States largely lost interest in the region. We are reaping the whirlwind of that neglect in the refugee and gang crises we are now facing,” he said.“Opportunities to create a more stable Central America existed four decades ago,” said Quainton. “They were lost. Both sides could not see beyond their ideologies. Neither could escape from its history. The Sandinistas believed that they were a vanguard party and that history had entrusted them a revolutionary mission. … They could not escape from the troubled history of Yankee intervention. We could not escape from Vietnam and the experiences of the Cold War. Bridging the historical, ideological and emotional divide between us was more than I or my colleagues could do. Try as we could, the Mission was always impossible.”Quainton’s argument is balanced and cogent, but it presumes there was some kind of parity in 1979 between a little country devastated by earthquakes and wars with no tradition of good governance, and a stable, global, functional democracy and superpower some 200 years old. Prior to 1979 much of the Sandinista leadership lived in La Montaña and in clandestine cells. They had little or no institutional foundation to build on. No Harvard or Oxford background to draw from. No Jefferson, Washington or Lincoln to emulate.A young woman washes clothes in Lake Managua, which borders the capital, Managua.Courtesy Bill GentileInstead, they were forced to cope with political, economic and military aggression by the single most powerful nation on the planet. To justify that action, Ronald Reagan warned a group of conservative supporters that defeat of the contras would create "a privileged sanctuary for terrorists and subversives just two days' driving time from Harlingen, Texas." He warned that “feet people” trudging north would be “swarming into our country” to escape communism.But if, as the Trump administration claims, Central Americans are now headed north in huge numbers, it’s because of the complete failure to address their hopes, their needs, and their safety.* * *Rule and Ruin* * *Yet none of this justifies what Sandinista rule has become.Today, most of the original Sandinista leadership has abandoned the Ortega regime, viewing it as a betrayal of the organization’s original promises to the Nicaraguan people. Daniel Ortega has been president, once again, for the past 10 years. His wife, Rosario Murillo, is vice president.Facing Down the Death Squads of NicaraguaDuring anti-government protests in the spring of 2018, Sandinista police and Sandinista-backed armed thugs killed an estimated 300 people. Media outlets are constantly harassed and shut down. Even international non-governmental organizations whose only agenda is to help the poor and underprivileged have abandoned the country because of government restrictions and intervention. Nicaragua continues to be rated as the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.So where do journalists and journalism fit into all this? How do we see our role? Four decades after my first arrival in Managua, have I helped bring about positive change? Did I do any good here?I certainly hope so. I hope the images I created and published via UPI, Newsweek magazine, my Nicaragua book and other outlets, have contributed to the visual record of that time and that place in history. It’s important to remember that, at the time when I was covering the region, there was no Facebook, no Google, no Instagram, no email. There was no internet! Television was limited to ABC, CBS and NBC. CNN was just beginning. Fox did not exist. So most of the world relied on a handful of magazines including Newsweek, Time and U.S. News & World Report, Life and National Geographic, for its visual explanation of the globe. Major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post published only black and white pictures back then.A tiny handful of women and men, including myself, were privileged to be part of a small cadre of photojournalists entrusted with the mission of providing the world with a visual explanation of itself. And we did so sometimes despite great peril.But there is another dimension to what we do, perhaps more important than our impact on the wider world. And that is the mere act of practicing our craft defines and validates us. Like La Montaña for the guerrillas, journalism is the anvil upon which we test, forge and mold ourselves into what we aspire to be.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.


The Navy's 6th Generation Fighter Could Put the F-35 in a Museum 19 Jul 2019, 9:47 am

The Navy's 6th Generation Fighter Could Put the F-35 in a MuseumNew much-longer range sensors and weapons, incorporating emerging iterations of AI, are expected to make warfare more disaggregated, and much less of a linear force on force type of engagement. Such a phenomenon, driven by new technology, underscores warfare reliance upon sensors and information networks. All of this, naturally, requires the expansive "embedded ISR" discussed by the paper. Network reliant warfare is of course potentially much more effective in improving targeting and reducing sensor-to-shooter time over long distances, yet it brings a significant need to organize and optimize the vast, yet crucial, flow of information.The Navy is currently analyzing air frames, targeting systems, AI-enabled sensors, new weapons and engine technologies to engineer a new 6th-Generation fighter to fly alongside the F-35 and ultimately replace the F/A-18.(This first appeared earlier in the year.)The Navy program, called Next-Generation Air Dominance, has moved beyond a purely conceptual phase and begun exploration of prototype systems and airframes as it pursues a new, carrier-launched 6th-Gen fighter to emerge in 2030 and beyond, service officials explained.“Some important areas of consideration include derivative and developmental air vehicle designs, advanced engines, propulsion, weapons, mission systems, electronic warfare and other emerging technologies,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Chatmas told Warrior earlier this year.A formal Analysis of Alternatives, expected to complete this year, is weighing the advantages of leveraging nearer-term existing technologies such as new variants or upgrades to cutting edge weapons, sensors and stealth configurations - or allowing more time for leap-ahead developmental systems to emerge.


Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate Hitler 19 Jul 2019, 8:28 am

Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate HitlerGermany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazis — who were stigmatized for decades as traitors — as pillars of the country's modern democracy amid growing concerns about the resurgence of the far-right. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will speak Saturday at an annual swearing-in ceremony for some 400 troops before addressing a memorial event, paid tribute ahead of the anniversary to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators and highlighted their importance to modern Germany. Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, during a meeting at his headquarters in East Prussia.


New Hampshire lawmaker Werner Horn: 'Owning slaves doesn't make you racist' 19 Jul 2019, 6:13 am

New Hampshire lawmaker Werner Horn: 'Owning slaves doesn't make you racist'A New Hampshire lawmaker came under fire this week for claiming American slavery was based on economics, not racism.


Great Barrier Reef agency breaks with Australia gvt in climate warning 19 Jul 2019, 4:12 am

Great Barrier Reef agency breaks with Australia gvt in climate warningThe agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef broke ranks with Australia's conservative government to call for the "strongest and fastest possible action" against climate change to save the world heritage marine wonder. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, a government body, said in a study released this week that an urgent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, both nationally and globally, was needed to protect the future of the reef. Rising sea temperatures linked to climate change have killed off large areas of coral in the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) reef, a UN-listed World Heritage site, that suffered back-to-back coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017.


The Secret Powers of the F-22 and F-35 That Keeps Enemy Fighters Away 19 Jul 2019, 3:00 am

The Secret Powers of the F-22 and F-35 That Keeps Enemy Fighters AwayCurrently, the U.S. Navy has three squadrons tasked to simulate adversary aircraft: the units are equipped with F-5 or F/A-18 fighters, while the service Topgun school uses both F/A-18s and F-16s. The USMC has one “red air” squadron of F-5s and the USAF two aggressor squadrons of F-16.As reported by Seapower Magazine, Jeffrey Parker, a former U.S. Air Force (USAF) fighter pilot and CEO of Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) told that the F-35 is easily able to counter the adversary services aircraft thrown at it in numbers. For this reason, the adversary services industry is struggling to come up with a realistic threat aircraft to challenge fifth-generation fighters.“Nothing gets close to these things [the F-35s],” said Jeffrey Parker. “I’ve flown against the [Marine] F-35Bs down at [Marine Corps Air Station] Beaufort [S.C.] It’s an impressive airplane. Even in the hands of students, it’s a very capable fighter.”(This first appeared in June 2019.)Moreover, he added that the U.S. Navy, USAF and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) need “increased adversary services aircraft” to reduce the airframe fatigue of their front-line fighters and their limited flight hours in the adversary role.


'Uncomfortable:' Reaction to Greenville Trump rally pours in from across NC 19 Jul 2019, 1:09 am

'Uncomfortable:' Reaction to Greenville Trump rally pours in from across NCChants of 'send her back' aimed at controversial Congresswoman Ilhan Omar reverberated across the political sphere.


Navy warship sunk by German sub in WWII finally located 19 Jul 2019, 12:15 am

Navy warship sunk by German sub in WWII finally locatedA private dive team has located the last U.S. Navy warship to be sunk by a German submarine in World War II, just a few miles (kilometers) off the coast of Maine. The sinking of the USS Eagle PE-56 on April 23, 1945, was originally blamed on a boiler explosion. The patrol boat's precise location remained a mystery — until now.


AOC to DHS chief: Border agents shared 'images of my violent rape' in secret Facebook group 19 Jul 2019, 12:02 am

AOC to DHS chief: Border agents shared 'images of my violent rape' in secret Facebook groupRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the whereabouts of Border Patrol agents who threatened her in a secret Facebook group.


‘I am disgusted’: New Yorkers react to Trump telling congresswomen to ‘go back’ to their countries 18 Jul 2019, 10:14 pm

‘I am disgusted’: New Yorkers react to Trump telling congresswomen to ‘go back’ to their countriesNew Yorkers, like much of the country, have some strong opinions about the latest controversy engulfing President Trump. “I am disgusted at the Republicans,” said Randi, of Manhattan. “I can’t believe no one stands up to him. I thought of myself as independent, and I’m forced into being a Democrat.”


California city set to ban gendered words like 'manhole' and 'manpower' 18 Jul 2019, 9:54 pm

California city set to ban gendered words like 'manhole' and 'manpower'The City Council in Berkeley, Calif., votes to remove gender-specific words from its municipal code.


Jon Stewart Eviscerates Rand Paul for Blocking 9/11 Victim Funding: ‘It’s an Abomination’ 18 Jul 2019, 9:41 pm

Jon Stewart Eviscerates Rand Paul for Blocking 9/11 Victim Funding: ‘It’s an Abomination’One month ago, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart went on Fox News to shame Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to protect 9/11 first responders. Wednesday afternoon, he was back on that network to give the other Republican senator from Kentucky a piece of his mind. In an interview with Bret Baier, Stewart immediately took aim at Rand Paul who, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), blocked a Senate bill that would extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, making the case that it should be offset by other spending cuts.  Responding directly to Paul, Stewart called his objection “absolutely outrageous,” adding, “Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling.” Jon Stewart Fires Back at Mitch McConnell on ‘Colbert’: Stop ‘Jacking Around’ 9/11 First RespondersStewart went on to condemn Paul for supporting President Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut that “added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit” and now trying to “balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community.” “Bret, this is about what kind of society we have,” a clearly furious Stewart continued. “At some point, we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us, and at this moment in time maybe cannot stand up for themselves due to their illnesses and their injuries. And what Rand Paul did today on the floor of the Senate was outrageous.” “He is a guy who put us in hundreds of billions of dollars in debt,” he said of Paul. “And now he’s going to tell us that a billion dollars a year over 10 years is just too much for us to handle? You know, there are some things that they have no trouble putting on the credit card, but somehow when it comes to the 9/11 first responder community—the cops, the firefighters, the construction workers, the volunteers, the survivors—all of a sudden we’ve got to go through this.” Appearing next to Stewart was 9/11 first responder and activist John Feal, who thanked the host and Fox News as a whole for being so “generous” with their time on this issue before calling Senators Paul and Lee “bottom-feeders” who “lack humanity” and “lack leadership.”Stewart said survivors like Feal and others shouldn’t have to “drag themselves back to Washington, put their hats in their hands and beg for something that this country should have done 14 years ago,” adding, “It’s an abomination.” 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.


Satellite images ‘show US military buildup in Saudi Arabia’ amid Iran tensions 18 Jul 2019, 8:04 pm

Satellite images ‘show US military buildup in Saudi Arabia’ amid Iran tensionsThe United States is preparing to send hundreds of troops to Saudi Arabia where satellite images appear to show a build up of American forces on the ground. Up to 500 soldiers are to be sent to the Prince Sultan Airbase in the desert to the east of the capital Riyadh, two officials told CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity. Preparations are also reportedly underway for a large missile installation from which Patriot surface-to-air missiles can be launched to protect the base from incoming threats. The moves would likely strengthen the US' controversial relationship with Saudi Arabia, while also responding to rising tensions with Iran which escalated dramatically in recent months. After the US unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal last year and reimposed tight sanctions, Iran announced in July that it had surpassed limits on enriched uranium imposed in the agreement. The country insists it is not trying to build nuclear weapons.A standoff has also ensued in the Gulf, with sabotage attacks on foreign tankers, blamed on Iran by the US. In the latest incident Tehran said it had seized a foreign-owned vessel suspected of being used for oil smuggling out of the country/ The Trump administration has long sought to base troops in the remote region, but the decision to send them to Saudi Arabia comes amid outrage over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A United Nations report concluded his death at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul was "an extrajudicial execution" sanctioned Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.The Trump administration has also been criticised for its response to the murder.Despite these issues, the US has said it is committed to helping protect Saudi Arabia from Iranian aggression, and last month said 1,000 troops were being sent to the middle east, but did not say which countries they were going to.Photographs taken by high-resolution commercial satellites, captured by satellite imagery company Planet Labs, show a deployment of US troops and support personnel who arrived at the air base in mid-June, according to Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, who has studied the new images.Pictures of the site taken in late June and early July show preparations being made for the arrival of troops, Mr Lewis told CNN.“A small encampment and construction equipment appeared at the end of a runway by June 27, suggesting that improvements are already underway. The encampment to the east of the runway is typical of Air Force engineering squadrons deployed overseas,” he said. The US is reportedly hoping to be able to fly stealth, fifth-generation F-22 jets and other fighter planes from the base.Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told the New York Times there was “no official announcement” of the deployment to the Middle East but said the American military “continually works to manage our force posture in the region.”Amid rising tensions between Iran and the US last month, Mr Trump said he was not seeking war with the country but warned, if pushed, the country would face “obliteration like you’ve never seen before”.


Cyprus detains 12 Israeli men over allegations of gang rape of British teenager 18 Jul 2019, 6:58 pm

Cyprus detains 12 Israeli men over allegations of gang rape of British teenagerTwelve Israeli tourists were remanded in custody for eight days by a court in Cyprus for the alleged gang rape of a 19-year-old British woman at a popular holiday resort on the island. The Israelis were arrested on Wednesday after the British teenager told police that she had been raped at the hotel where she was staying in the beach resort of Ayia Napa. Doctors who treated the woman said they found bruises and scratches on her body. The suspects, aged 16 to 18, were staying in the same hotel. The young men covered their faces with their t-shirts as they arrived handcuffed at the court in the nearby town of Paralimni, in the southeast of Cyprus. One broke down in tears. Some were accompanied by their parents. The hearing was held behind closed doors because some of the suspects are minors. The suspects covered their faces as they arrived at court Credit: Petros Karadjis/AP A judge accepted a request by Cypriot police to remand the men in custody for eight days while an investigation is launched into the rape allegation. They have not yet been charged with any offence. Three of the men allegedly raped the British tourist while others filmed the attack on their mobile phones, local media reports said. Ioannis Habaris, a lawyer representing four of the suspects, told The Associated Press it was unclear exactly how many of the men were implicated in the alleged rape. He said there was "some evidence" the British woman was involved in a "relationship" with one of the suspects. Tourists on a beach on the outskirts of the resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus Credit: Amir Makar/AFP Nir Yaslovitzh, an Israeli lawyer representing three other suspects, said the 12 teenagers had arrived in Ayia Napa in three separate groups. Some were having a holiday prior to being drafted into the Israeli army for compulsory military service. He said police were trying to flush out the perpetrators among the group by arresting all 12 and having them detained. "I think it's a trick," Mr Yaslovitzh told AP. "They want to know how my clients will (react)." The Foreign Office said British authorities were "supporting a British woman who was assaulted in Cyprus and are in contact with local police". Cyprus’s sandy beaches, bars and nightclubs attract around 1.3 million British tourists a year. Ayia Napa has a reputation for being a party town, with booze cruises and pub crawls.


France turns down citizenship for immigrant nurse because she 'works too much' 18 Jul 2019, 3:27 pm

France turns down citizenship for immigrant nurse because she 'works too much'France has rejected an immigrant nurse’s application for citizenship on the grounds that she was working too many hours a week in breach of the statutory 35-hour week and strict limits on overtime. The nurse, whose name and nationality have not been made public, holds three jobs and averages 59 hours a week, which the authorities said placed her “in violation of regulations on working time in France”. The 35-hour rule introduced under a Socialist government in 2000 gave France one of the world’s shortest working weeks, but it has since been loosened and employees may be permitted to work up to 48 hours a week including overtime.  The Préfecture in Val-de Marne, near Paris, said in a letter to the nurse that it was “postponing” her naturalisation application for two years. The letter was posted on social media by one of her friends, Nicolas Delage. “I find this scandalous,” Mr Delage told the online newspaper 20 Minutes. “One reason for granting [French] nationality is work. She is not stealing anyone’s work.” Sanjay Navy, a lawyer, said immigrants were often denied naturalisation for working too many hours. “I’ve seen similar cases before this. This is not an isolated decision.” Mr Navy said he had seen a number of naturalisation applications by security guards turned down because they had multiple employers and worked too many hours. According to the most recent official figures, some 63,000 immigrants were granted French citizenship in 2017. The French are bitterly divided over the 35-hour week, which became a campaign issue in the 2017 presidential election. The unsuccessful conservative candidate, François Fillon, promised to abolish it, arguing that it caused economic stagnation. Emmanuel Macron, the victorious centrist, has stopped short of scrapping it but has introduced greater flexibility for companies to negotiate longer hours with staff. An economy ministry report in April which revealed that more than 300,000 civil servants work less than 35 hours a week caused outrage among private-sector employees, many of whom say they regularly work longer hours to achieve their targets. A baker in northern France was fined €3,000 (£2,700) last year for breaching legal limits on work hours by opening his bakery seven days a week. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.


U.S. amphibious group patrols Arabian Sea as Iran tensions simmer 18 Jul 2019, 1:14 pm

U.S. amphibious group patrols Arabian Sea as Iran tensions simmerAt a thumbs-up sign from a sailor, a U.S. Harrier fighter jet takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer in the Arabian Sea as an oil tanker passes, a nautical mile away. The patrol is "standard" but the situation - growing tension between the United States and Iran - is not. "We want to make sure that we assure allies in the region and to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce," says Colonel Fridrik Fridrikson, commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.


Marine Corps Tells Rep. Duncan Hunter He Can’t Use Trademarked Corps Material for His Campaign 18 Jul 2019, 11:32 am

Marine Corps Tells Rep. Duncan Hunter He Can’t Use Trademarked Corps Material for His Campaign"It is personally disappointing to Congressman Hunter that he is now being told that he cannot use this motto or image that thousands of Marines like Congressman Hunter, who went to war under this banner, have used for tattoos, coins, and multiple other items of personal sentiment," Harrison told Task & Purpose.Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has been told to stop using the Marine Corps' emblem and the 1st Marine Division's motto in his campaign literature, Corps officials confirmed.The Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office has sent Hunter, a Marine veteran, a cease and desist letter telling him to quit using the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem along with the phrase, "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy," on a fundraising mailer that accuses his political opponent of having links to terrorism, NBC News first reported on Wednesday."Please be advised that you are more than welcome to simply and accurately state that you are a Marine Corps veteran, or provide other information about your service that is based on fact," according to the letter, which NBC News posted online. "As an alternative, we do offer a 'Marine Veteran' logo (Attachment B) for use by Marines to indicate their pride in service."Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Joseph Butterfield confirmed the Corps had "taken appropriate action" to address the campaign mailers cited in the NBC story.


The U.S. Marine Corps Has Lost More Than 25,000 Marines to Misconduct 18 Jul 2019, 9:42 am

The U.S. Marine Corps Has Lost More Than 25,000 Marines to MisconductThe Marine Corps has lost more than 25,000 Marines to misconduct over the past decade, according to Commandant Gen. David Berger.In his 2019 Commandant's Planning Guidance, Berger said that the Corps "continued loss of 8,000 Marines per year to non-EAS attrition is unacceptable," using an acronym to describe the end of active service in an enlistment.A total of 25,336 Marines were booted from the Corps between 2009 and 2019; 11,765 were for drug and alcohol offenses, while 13,571 were over unspecified misconduct."This must change," Berger wrote, noting that the cost to replace that many Marines was in excess of $1 billion.Interestingly, that number should be even higher, as its section on drug use reveals. Since Oct. 2017, 2,410 Marines tested positive for illegal drug use, but only 1,175, or 48.8%, had been separated. "I am deeply troubled by the continued retention of Marines failing to adhere to our standards related to drug use.""We are an elite institution of warriors, and will remain so on my watch," Berger wrote. "It is our shared responsibility to ensure the continued health of our collective soul and identity."Toward the end of the 26-page document, which largely focused on changes Berger intended to implement as the top Marine officer, the new commandant talked about misconduct in the force and what he called "destructive" behavior.Of sexual assault, for example, Berger said that despite the Corps' efforts, "the continued rise in reporting leads me to conclude that we still do not fully understand the scope and scale of this issue, or that we can say with any confident that the measures we have taken to date are preventing sexual assaults."


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