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FEATURE-Chinese raids hit North Korean defectors' "Underground Railroad" 16 Jun 2019, 7:04 pm
A decade after leaving her family behind to flee North Korea, the defector was overwhelmed with excitement when she spoke to her 22-year-old son on the phone for the first time in May after he too escaped into China. While speaking to him again on the phone days later, however, she listened in horror as the safe house where her son and four other North Korean escapees were hiding was raided by Chinese authorities. The woman, now living in South Korea, said she heard rumours her son is being held in a Chinese prison near the North Korean border, but has had no official news of his whereabouts.
View Photos of the 2020 BMW X3 M 16 Jun 2019, 6:01 pm
Home intruder suspect thwarted by 11-year-old with machete arrested, police say 16 Jun 2019, 5:22 pm
Young bear was fed by humans and had many 'fans.' Officials say they had to kill it 16 Jun 2019, 5:13 pm
Israel moves to name Golan settlement after Trump 16 Jun 2019, 4:43 pm
Now it is the namesake of a tiny Israeli settlement in the Israel-controlled Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet convened in this hamlet Sunday to inaugurate a new settlement named after President Donald Trump in a gesture of appreciation for the U.S. leader's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the territory.
Deutsche Bank to set up 50 billion euro bad bank: FT 16 Jun 2019, 4:15 pm
With the creation of the bad bank, Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing is shifting the German lender away from investment banking and focusing on transaction banking and private wealth management, the newspaper said. The bank is planning cuts at its U.S. equities business, including prime brokerage and equity derivatives, to win over shareholders unhappy about its performance, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in May. "As we said at the AGM on May 23, Deutsche Bank is working on measures to accelerate its transformation so as to improve its sustainable profitability.
As Battle for Tripoli Rages, Libyan Premier Demands New Dialogue 16 Jun 2019, 2:11 pm
Fayez Al-Sarraj, in a press briefing Sunday in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, proposed the conference be held with the help of the United Nations and that it decide on a road map for elections to take place in 2019. Sarraj’s overture came after the UN’s Libya envoy, Ghassan Salame, said Security Council members that include the U.S., Russia and France now agree that the violence that’s killed more than 600 people and displaced tens of thousands since April must stop. Haftar’s Libyan National Army launched its offensive after securing the country’s east and south.
Ex-Tehran mayor to face trial over wife's killing 16 Jun 2019, 1:55 pm
Former Tehran mayor and prominent reformist Mohammad Ali Najafi will stand trial next month on charges of murdering his wife, the government-run Iran newspaper said Sunday. Najafi, 67, turned himself in and confessed to shooting his second wife Mitra Ostad on May 28 at their home in northern Tehran, according to Iranian media. "On July 1, the first trial session of Mohammad Ali Najafi, former Tehran mayor, will be held at Tehran's Criminal Court," the Iran daily reported.
Jon Stewart Shames Mitch McConnell for Failing 9/11 First Responders on ‘Fox News Sunday’ 16 Jun 2019, 1:50 pm
“We don’t want to be here,” Jon Stewart told the handful of lawmakers who showed up to watch him plea for an extension of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund last week. The former host of The Daily Show likely didn’t want to be on Fox News Sunday this Father’s Day either, but there he was making his case to Chris Wallace.Given the subject matter, it was an understandably serious interview. However, there was one fleeting moment of levity when Wallace noted that even if the Democratic-led House passes the full bill extending health care funding through the lives of the 9/11 first responders, then it will have to go to the Senate. Making a fearful expression, Stewart exclaimed, “The Senate!” Samantha Bee Reveals She Was ‘Never in Contention’ to Replace Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’: ‘It Was Awful’The comedian smiled as Wallace deduced that the “certain someone” Stewart criticized in his congressional testimony was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Have you had problems with Senator McConnell?” the Fox host asked. “Yes,” Stewart replied. “I mean, not me personally, but in terms of getting the 9/11 bills passed, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this since 2010.” He said it’s the “cynicism displayed by Washington” that causes him to get so “emotional” about this particular issue. “They asked Mitch McConnell about the testimony after it was done,” Stewart continued, “and he said, ‘Gosh’—I think he used the word ‘gosh’—‘Gosh, we haven’t looked at that in a while but we will look at it and I’m sure we’ll deal with it as compassionately as we have in the past.’” “But I want to make it clear that this has never been dealt with compassionately by Senator McConnell,” he said. “He has always held out until the very last minute and only then, under intense lobbying and public shaming has he even deigned to move on it.” Noting that the 9/11 first responder funding is “not a Republican-Democrat issue,” Stewart added later, “Not all Republicans oppose this, but everyone who has opposed it is a Republican. And it’s unacceptable.” He ultimately resisted the urge to do his impression of McConnell as a turtle. Jon Stewart Rips Congress During House Hearing on 9/11 Victims Fund, Gets Standing OvationRead 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.
Trump Faces Many ‘Uncomfortable’ Voters in 2020 Race 16 Jun 2019, 1:09 pm
A flurry of opinion polls on Sunday also showed that a majority of voters think the Trump administration has gone too far on its immigration enforcement efforts, and that economic optimism has slipped from the high levels seen shortly before Trump’s inauguration in 2017. In an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, some 52% reported being very uncomfortable about Trump and an additional 10% had some reservations. The negative response about Trump was up 3 percentage points from a poll conducted in late April and early May.
Saudi crown prince accuses rival Iran of tanker attacks 16 Jun 2019, 12:08 pm
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in remarks published Sunday that the kingdom will not hesitate to confront Iranian threats to its security. Tensions in the Persian Gulf have escalated since the U.S. sent an aircraft carrier strike group and other military assets to the region in what it says is defensive posturing against alleged Iranian threats. The crisis takes root in the Trump Administration's decision to re-impose punishing economic sanctions on Tehran and its oil exports, after unilaterally withdrawing the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
QUIZ: Could You Still Pass a Basic Driver's-Ed Test? 16 Jun 2019, 12:01 pm
'Is this another mass shooting?' Panic at Corona, Calif., Costco as off-duty cop kills man 16 Jun 2019, 11:36 am
Here's the secret for living longer and loving retirement 16 Jun 2019, 11:35 am
Iran threatens to scale back commitment to Nuclear Deal 16 Jun 2019, 11:34 am
Iran has vowed to scale back its nuclear commitments as regional tensions flared over last week’s tanker attack, with both the US and UK pointing the finger at Tehran. The semi-official Tasneem news agency said Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation would on Monday announce the measures Tehran has taken to dial back its international obligations under the terms of the now-crumbling 2015 nuclear deal. Those measures include moves to increase both stocks of enriched uranium and the production of heavy water at the Arak nuclear complex, a site Iran has barred international watchdogs from visiting since 2008. Both measures would nullify some of the key tenets of the nuclear accord, which offered economic incentives in exchange for the cessation of activities that might lead Tehran to build a nuclear weapons capability. The announcement was foreshadowed last month when Iran threatened to walk back its nuclear commitments if the international community failed to contain the impact of US sanctions applied by Washington after it pulled out of the deal. But the accelerated timing appears to be a consequence of last Thursday’s tanker attack and its fallout. Tehran denies any role in the explosions that ripped through two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, damaging the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous and the Norwegian-operated Front Altair. The US military on Friday released video footage it said showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an "unexploded limpet mine" from the Kokuka Courageous, which was carrying highly flammable methanol when it was hit by two blasts. According to the ship’s owner, crew on board noticed a “flying object” before the second blast. Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, blamed Iran, citing “intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.” US President Donald Trump said the attack had “Iran written all over it”. Iran nuclear deal | Key details The speaker of Iran’s parliament hit back on Sunday, saying that Washington could be to blame for the “suspicious” attacks. Meanwhile the US’s top Middle East ally Saudi Arabia used an op-ed column to call on the international community to take a “decisive stance” against what Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman termed “expansionism” by his regional arch-rival. “We will not hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, our sovereignty and our vital interests,” the crown prince and kingdom’s day-to-day leader wrote. But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was in Iran meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei when the tankers were attacked, is understood to want more evidence. Mr Abe was in Tehran on an unprecedented goodwill mission, aimed at defusing tensions between Washington and the Islamic Republic. At a glance | US sanctions against Iran An official with Japan’s Foreign Ministry said the prime minister disputed Mr Pompeo’s assessment that only Iran could have carried out the attack, noting that the US and Israel also possessed the required capabilities. “Japan adamantly condemns the act that threatened a Japanese ship, no matter who attacked,” Mr Abe said, reiterating that Japan urged “all related countries” to avoid an accidental confrontation in the region. But yesterday’s announcement from Iran’s nuclear agency has raised both the tensions and the stakes of regional confrontation. Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, warned there was a "great risk" of escalation in the region. "Both sides in this dispute think that the other side wouldn't want a war,” he said.
Intel launches project to help Israeli tech start-ups 16 Jun 2019, 11:29 am
Intel Corp launched a project on Sunday to help start-ups in Israel develop technologies in artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems, and said it planned to bring the scheme to other countries as well. The 20-week program, called Ignite, will offer business and technical support to up to 15 start-ups, the California-based company said, adding it would not take equity stakes in the start-ups now, but might do so eventually. Intel is one of the biggest employers and exporters in Israel, where many of its new technologies are developed, and this year said it was investing 40 billion shekels ($11 billion) to expand its manufacturing operations there.
Off-Duty LAPD Cop Holding Child Shot California Costco Shopper Following Argument 16 Jun 2019, 10:10 am
Mike Blake/ReutersNew details have emerged in the deadly shooting Friday night inside a Southern California Costco. Police now say an unnamed off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer shot and killed 32-year-old Kenneth French while holding his own child in his arms after French allegedly attacked him in an unprovoked incident near the Corona, California, store’s freezer section, according to NBC News. Two of French’s family members were also injured in the shooting.Los Angeles Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said Sunday it will be up to LAPD Chief Michel Moore whether to put the unidentified officer on leave. The police have made no statements about his condition or his status with the department after the shooting.The LAPD is conducting an internal investigation into the shooting while Corona police and the Riverside County district attorney’s office conduct a criminal probe. According to a preliminary investigation, the officer fired his weapon six times after French allegedly “assaulted” him “without provocation” as the officer held his child, Corona police said Saturday.French was the lone person killed in the incident and the officer’s gun is the only weapon involved in the shooting, according to Tobias Kouroubacalis with the Corona Police Dept. Several people, including the LAPD off-duty officer, were hospitalized with injuries. The officer’s child was unharmed. Initial reports suggested that French had opened fire inside the store, but police have now clarified that the gun involved in the incident belonged to the police officer, Corona police said.It is unclear if the off-duty LAPD officer fired his own weapon or his department-issued gun, and why.The LAPD allows off-duty officers to carry concealed weapons as long as they are authorized for on-duty use, according to the police manual, the Associated Press reported.“The Department has initiated an Administrative Investigation and is working with the Corona Police Department to learn more about the incident,” Los Angeles police said in a statement published by CNN.“From my understanding, from some people we talked to, there was apparently an argument inside,” Lt. Jeff Edwards of the Corona police department told reporters. “Some type of argument and ensued into a gun shot.”Most of the injuries occurred when shoppers scrambled to leave the store and became stuck when the emergency doors were blocked, according to local news reports. Shoppers described scenes of panicked chaos as they fled the store. Customer Nikki Tate described to NBC how she hid her young daughter when shooting erupted. “I crawled around to where she was and it was hysteria,” she said. “I didn’t know if this was another mass shooting.”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.
Awesome new Bluetooth earbuds with fast charging and HD sound are down to $13 today 16 Jun 2019, 9:02 am
Our readers love Ghostek's wireless over-ear headphones because they offer killer sound quality that rivals Beats by Dr. Dre for a small fraction of the price. Well, if you thought Ghostek's over-ear headphones were a great value, wait until you see the company's Father's Day 2019 sale on its brand new Ghostek Rush Series Wireless Sport Earbuds. These excellent new earphones have great features like fast 1.5-hour charging and HD sound quality, and they retail for $25. They're down to $19 right now on Amazon though, and an extra 30% coupon you can clip on the Amazon page slashes the price all the way down to $13.29!Here are some more details from the product page: * GHOSTEK RUSH HANDSFREE BLUETOOTH EARBUDS - BLACK/GRAPHITE * Premium HD Sound Quality Equipped with True Wireless Bluetooth 4.1Technology Powerfully Water Resistant (IP4X Protection) Connect Your Device in Seconds with our Simple, One-Step Pairing System Answer Calls with the Touch of a Button Smart Grip Ear Tip Ensures a Comfortable Fit in Every Ear Ghostek's Limited 1-Year Warranty
Father's Day 2019: Paganism, roses and how the campaign to celebrate dads was won 16 Jun 2019, 8:56 am
Father's Day, the official calendar date to honour our wonderful dads and celebrate fatherhood, is here. Recognised each June, the day sees children around the world present their dads with cards and gifts as a thank you for all they do. But when did the first observance of Father's Day take place and who helped establish the annual celebration of paternal figures? From the history behind the celebration, to the more recent commercialisation, here is everything you need to know about Father's Day. When is Father's Day 2019? Father’s Day is held every year on the third Sunday of June; this year Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 16 in the UK. Typically, fathers are showered with cards and presents on Father’s Day, with some families celebrating together by going on days out. Younger children also tend to make handmade gifts for their fathers at school and extracurricular clubs, including drawings, paintings or cards. As society and family structures have changed, some people now celebrate their stepfathers on Father’s Day. In recent years there have been calls for a Stepfather's Day, however no such day has been officially discussed or introduced. Father's Day falls on June 16 this year Credit: E+ The history of Father's Day The first events in recognition of fatherhood took place in the US and followed Anna Jarvis' first celebration of Mother's Day in 1908, as well as the earlier observations of Mothering Sunday in the UK. Grace Golden Clayton, from Fairmont, West Virginia, was the woman behind the first event to celebrate fathers in 1908. Just over a year prior to this event, the Monongah Mining Disaster took place in December 1907, with the explosion killing 361 men. Of these fatalities, 250 were fathers. In honour of the one thousand children who lost their fathers, Clayton encouraged her pastor, Rev. Robert Thomas Webb, to hold a service at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South. Clayton missed her own father terribly, after he passed away in 1896, so she chose to honour the lives lost on July 5, 1908, the closest date to his birthday. While Clayton was responsible for the first recognition of fatherhood and the paternal bond, her work didn't directly encourage the creation of Father's Day. The memorial service was never promoted outside the town of Fairmont and the service was overshadowed by the significant Independence Day celebrations held a day beforehand. Yet the idea was also picked up on in the following year, when Sonora Smart Dodd started her quest to honour fathers in the same way as mothers. Dodd, born in Arkansas in 1882, was one of six children and at the age of seven, she moved to Washington with her family. When she was 16 years old, her mother, Ellen Victoria Cheek Smart, died after giving birth to her sixth child, leaving her father, William Jackson Smart, a farmer and Civil War veteran, as a single parent. After listening to a Mother's Day sermon at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909, Dodd felt that fathers deserved equal recognition. With the local YMCA and the Ministerial Association of Spokane, Dodd began a campaign to have the day officially recognised. The first such 'Father’s Day' was held at the YMCA in Spokane on June 19, 1910, with a number of towns and cities across America later following suit. Support for Father’s Day quickly increased throughout the US and in 1924 President Calvin Coolidge pressured state governments to mark the celebration. President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honouring fathers in 1966, making the third Sunday in June Father’s Day. Six years later President Richard Nixon signed it into law, establishing the day as a national holiday – though in the UK it does not enjoy this status. The move came after a campaign by a number of public figures, including Senator Margaret Chase Smith, who in 1957 wrote to Congress: “Either we honour both our parents, mother and father, or let us desist from honouring either one. “But to single out just one of our two parents and omit the other is the most grievous insult imaginable.” Dodd's message later spread to other countries across the globe and it is thought that Britain began celebrating Father's Day after World War II. Today, the celebration of fathers has become an important commercial event for high street shops and online retailers, with promotions for the best gifts and cards appearing in the build up to the day each year. Father’s Day around the world While in the UK fathers can expect, at best, breakfast in bed and handmade card and, at worst, the day to be completely ignored, elsewhere the festival is done a little differently. In Germany, Father’s Day is called Vatertag with it also being referred to as Männertag, which means men’s day. The celebration falls on the Thursday 40 days after Easter. In certain regions it is traditional for groups of men to go into the woods with a wagon of beer, wines and meats. Heavy drinking is common and, according to official statistics, traffic-related accidents spike on this day. In Australia, Father’s Day falls on the first Sunday of September, which is their first Sunday of Spring, while in Croatia, they observe Roman Catholic tradition and celebrate fathers on March 19, Saint Joseph’s Day. In China, Father’s Day used to be celebrated on August 8 as the Chinese for eight is “ba”, while a colloquial word for father is “ba-ba” – so the eighth day of the eighth month sounds similar to “daddy”. The day has since been moved to the third Sunday of June, in line with the UK and US. In France, the day was introduced in 1949 for commercial reasons by lighter manufacturer Flaminaire. Inspired by the US' day of celebration, they created a new advert with the slogan 'Nos papas nous l'ont dit, pour la fête des pères, ils désirent tous un Flaminaire' ('Our fathers told us, for father's day, they all want a Flaminaire'). Three years later an official decree was made to recognise the day. Most countries celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June including the UK, USA, Mexico, Ireland, France, Greece, China and Japan. However not all countries celebrate it then. In Brazil, Father’s Day falls on the second Sunday of August and this day was chosen in honour of Saint Joachim, the patron saint of fathers. According to Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox traditions, Joachim was the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The ultimate films on fatherhood Father's Day tales and traditions Some pagans suggest that Father's Day is closely linked to the Pagan Sun worship, because the sun is thought to be the father of the universe and the celebration of dads falls closely to the summer solstice. Roses are the official flower of Father's Day, with people previously wearing them to church on this date. While this tradition is rarely seen today, sons and daughters used to wear either a red rose in admiration of a living father or a white rose in memory of a deceased father. Sonora Smart Dodd, the founder of Father's Day, selected this flower and it is said that during the early celebrations, she handed out roses to home-bound fathers, while on a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city. Father's Day gifts and presents From cutesy cards, socks and ties to luxurious watches and fantastic car experiences, Britons present their paternal figures with an array of unique gifts on Father's Day. But, demand for the perfect Father's Day present has led to the increasing commercialisation of the day, with retailers competing to offer the best gifts and consumers heading to their high street shops and online retailers. According to MuchNeeded, Father's Day is a popular shopping day in both the UK and US, with 75 per cent of men expected to celebrate the occasion this year. While Britons and Americans spend a significant amount on Father's Day each year, on average it only accounts for half the spending around Mother's Day. Is it Father's Day, Fathers' Day or Fathers Day? Ah, the age old question. The answer? Many say Father's Day is the correct version. Mother's Day (which has the apostrophe before the 's') set the precedent while Father's Day was still gaining popularity. Anna Jarvis trademarked the term 'Mother's Day' – with the apostrophe before the 's' – in 1912, saying the word should 'be a singular possessive, for each family to honour its own mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world'. President Woodrow Wilson used this spelling when he formalised Mother's Day in 1914; this means the correct version of the word is spelled with the apostrophe before the 's'. Father's Day has followed suit, with cards on both sides of the pond including the apostrophe in the same place.
Israeli PM's wife sentenced for misusing state funds 16 Jun 2019, 8:32 am
A Jerusalem magistrate court on Sunday sentenced Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to pay a fine of more than $15,000 for misusing state funds. The sentencing comes after she agreed to a plea bargain that ended the years-long saga of just one of the high-profile corruption cases involving the prime minister's family. The court ruling settled allegations that Sara Netanyahu had misused some $100,000 in state money on lavish meals.
Field fires in Syria's Hasakeh kill 10: monitor 16 Jun 2019, 7:57 am
Fires engulfing vital wheat fields across Syria's northeast have killed at least 10 people, a war monitor said Sunday, as Kurdish authorities claim the blazes were set deliberately. Kurdish authorities and the Damascus regime are competing to buy up this year's harvest as fires -- some claimed by the Islamic State group -- continue to scorch crops in the country's breadbasket. The victims included civilians and members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who died while trying to extinguish the blazes since Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - Xinhua 16 Jun 2019, 5:58 am
China's investigation into FedEx Corp over misdirected mail should not be regarded as retaliation against the U.S. company, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, amid worsening relations between China and the United States. The inquiry was aimed at sending a message that any economic entity in China should abide by the country's laws and regulations, it said in a commentary. "China is willing to share the opportunities in its courier market with foreign investors.
U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months 16 Jun 2019, 5:56 am
The U.S. Navy expects additional U.S. and international orders for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in coming months, which should extend production by two years to late 2025, a senior U.S. Navy official told Reuters. The P-8, based on Boeing's 737-800 airframe, conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, and also carries electronic support measures, torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons. It is already operated by the U.S. Navy, Australia and India, and has been ordered by Britain, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea.
Saudi Arabia committed to Aramco IPO: crown prince 16 Jun 2019, 3:53 am
Saudi Arabia remains committed to selling shares in national oil conglomerate Aramco through an initial public offering but only at the right time, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said. "We are committed to the IPO of Saudi Aramco based on appropriate conditions and at the right time," Prince Mohammed told the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in an interview published on Sunday. Saudi Arabia plans to sell up to five percent of the world's largest energy firm and hopes to raise up to $100 billion.
Huge Hong Kong rally kicks off as public anger boils 16 Jun 2019, 3:39 am
Tens of thousands of people rallied in central Hong Kong on Sunday as public anger seethed following unprecedented clashes between protesters and police over an extradition law, despite a climbdown by the city's embattled leader. Protesters chanted "Scrap the evil law!" as they marched through the streets to pile more pressure on chief executive Carrie Lam, who paused work on the hugely divisive bill Saturday after days of mounting pressure, saying she had misjudged the public mood. Crowds of black-clad protesters were marching from a park on the main island to the city's parliament -- a repeat of a massive demonstration a week earlier that organisers said more than a million people attended.
British envoy denies Iran summons over tanker attacks claim 16 Jun 2019, 3:28 am
Britain's ambassador to Iran on Sunday denied he was summoned by the Iranian foreign ministry after London accused Tehran of "almost certainly" being responsible for tanker attacks in the Gulf. "I asked for an urgent meeting with the Foreign Ministry yesterday and it was granted. Of course if formally summoned I would always respond, as would all Ambassadors," Macaire wrote.
New Zealand cancels tsunami alert after powerful quake 16 Jun 2019, 1:50 am
After initially forecasting "a threat to beach, harbour, estuary and small boat activities", New Zealand's Civil Defence organisation gave the all-clear eight minutes later. The earthquake was give a preliminary magnitude of 7.4, but later downgraded to 7.2 by the US Geological Survey. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also lifted its tsunami warning for parts of the South Pacific but said "minor sea level fluctuations may occur in some coastal areas near the earthquake".
Pope Francis’ Arch Nemesis Comes Out of Hiding to Slam Him on Predator Priests 15 Jun 2019, 10:37 pm
Franco Origlia/GettyROME—There are few scandals in the sordid history of the American Catholic church more painful than the saga of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a high-ranking prince of the church who fell from grace amid a slew of lies and cover-ups. McCarrick was forced to resign and later defrocked after credible allegations that he sexually abused a boy from the age of 11 until the young man was 29, starting long before the Boston Spotlight probe and Pennsylvania Grand Jury report came to define priests behaving badly.It was well known in certain Catholic circles that the cardinal liked to entertain six or more seminarians in his five-bedroom New Jersey beach house with the assumption that the odd man out would share his bed. Unlike in Boston and Pennsylvania, where the local dioceses were easy to blame for bad management, McCarrick was a man of the popes, which makes him an easy target for those who oppose the direction of the church. Both John Paul II and Francis relied on him as a chief fundraiser and were, it seems, willing to look beyond the rumors. McCarrick’s fall from grace shook the very foundations of the Roman Curia. While McCarrick’s sins and crimes are by now established, there is still mystery surrounding what his bosses—both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis– knew and, perhaps more importantly, when they knew it. But there is even more mystery why those who are so ardently against Francis see him as their poster priest of bad behavior.Enter Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a traditional conservative Italian cleric supported by American Cardinal Raymond Burke and Francis-foe Steve Bannon—both of whom have been vocal critics of Francis’ policies on everything from immigration to gay Catholics and who have embraced the McCarrick fiasco as a way to pin all the church's problems on this pope.Bannon, whose own dreams to open an alt-right Catholic institution run by the Burke-sponsored Dignitatis Humanae Institute in Italy recently were thwarted, told The Daily Beast that Viganò was heroic and that Francis was the enemy. “Francis is a big problem for the church and his liberals will ultimately destroy it,” Bannon said. “His open border policy on immigration won’t help, either.”It is little wonder that Matteo Salvini, the hard-line far-right Bannon protégé is also a Pope Francis hater, even bragging last week that he has never asked for an audience with the pontiff. Viganò was the apostolic nuncio, or ambassador, to the United States from 2011 to 2016. He was a harsh foe of Francis long before he was elected as pope in 2013 and one of the first to speak out when he was coronated. He was the one who set up the ill-conceived handshake with same-sex marriage opponent Kim Davis on Francis’s first visit to America. He was also the one who penned a lengthy testimonial last July in which he claimed that Francis knew all about McCarrick’s illegal behavior but covered it up. And for that, suggested Viganò, the pope ought to do the church a favor and resign. A month later, Viganò had gone into self-imposed exile.The Plot to Bring Down Pope FrancisThis week, he surfaced again, this time on the pages of The Washington Post whose reporters interviewed him from his still-undisclosed location through a series of emails. The fruit of that labor is an 8,000-word tome that doubles down on the allegations against the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. “The signs I see are truly ominous,” Viganò wrote. “Not only is Pope Francis doing close to nothing to punish those who have committed abuse, he is doing absolutely nothing to expose and bring to justice those who have, for decades, facilitated and covered up the abusers.”Viganò calls the pope’s February summit on abuse a farce, blaming the Vatican’s gay mafia for the real crimes of clerical sex abuse. “An especially serious problem is that the summit focused exclusively on the abuse of minors,” he wrote, acknowledging that yes, those crimes are truly horrific. “Indeed, if the problem of homosexuality in the priesthood were honestly acknowledged and properly addressed, the problem of sexual abuse would be far less severe.”McCarrick, he has long asserted, should have been made an example of years ago as an abuser who indiscriminately abused both young boys and adults. Viganò believes that Francis knew that and chose to elevate the American cardinal, who was a skilled diplomat who helped him broker a deal with China over its underground church. “McCarrick’s degradation from office was, as far as it goes, a just punishment, but there is no legitimate reason why it was not exacted more than five years earlier, and after a proper trial with a judicial procedure,” Viganò wrote in the Post. “Those with authority to act [i.e. Pope Francis] knew everything they needed to know by June of 2013.” Viganò’s return comes at a time when battle lines have never been so clear between the more liberal faction of the church that supports Francis and the traditional conservatives who support the likes of Burke and Viganò. Even the timing of the release of a harsh Vatican document against what it calls gender theory—“nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants”—is curious. A Vatican insider confided to The Daily Beast that the timing, during the height of Pride month, was meant to push the pope into a corner, either in defending the document or defending transgender people. In the end, he did neither. That Viganò finally gave permission to The Washington Post to publish its scoop after weeks of negotiations (Vigano's letters are dated May 2), is another example of the systematic criticism meant to embarrass the pontiff. “We are in a truly dark moment for the universal Church: The Supreme Pontiff is now blatantly lying to the whole world to cover up his wicked deeds!” Viganò claims. “But the truth will eventually come out, about McCarrick and all the other coverups, as it already has in the case of Cardinal [Donald] Wuerl, who also “knew nothing” and had “a lapse of memory.”Wuerl, another American cardinal from Francis’ inner circle who, like McCarrick, brought millions in donations from wealthy American Catholics to Rome, is the disgraced head of the powerful Washington, D.C., diocese. Francis was forced under pressure to accept his resignation last October after Viganò claimed he knew and covered up for McCarrick with the help of both Francis and John Paul II of McCarrick’s crimes proved too credible to ignore. To those against the pope, Wuerl and McCarrick are emblematic in what is fast becoming a troubling legacy for the popular pope many thought could do no wrong after he was elected. For those who support this pope, they are just ammunition used against the most liberal pope in modern history. Either Vigano is the pawn or the errant clerics are in what is fast becoming a schism that may soon be hard to close.“Pope Francis needs to reconcile himself with God, and the entire Church, since he covered up for McCarrick, refuses to admit it, and is now covering up for several other people,” charges Viganò. “I pray for his conversion every day. Nothing would make me happier than for Pope Francis to acknowledge and end the cover-ups, and to confirm his brothers in the faith.”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.
Activists push Sunday protest despite Hong Kong bill delay 15 Jun 2019, 9:04 pm
Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong are planning a mass protest Sunday even after the territory's embattled leader Carrie Lam sought to quell public anger by shelving an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted apprehension about relations with mainland China. Over the past week, hundreds of thousands marched to demand Lam drop the legislation, which many fear would undermine freedoms enjoyed by this former British colony but not elsewhere in China. The battle over the proposal to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance to allow some suspects to face trial in mainland Chinese courts has evolved into Hong Kong's most severe political test since the Communist Party-ruled mainland took control in 1997 with a promise not to interfere with the city's civil liberties and courts.
A nationwide Target register outage is now over and closed stores have reopened 15 Jun 2019, 6:06 pm
New York-area airport briefly closed after plane lands on flat tires 15 Jun 2019, 3:55 pm
The busy Newark airport serving the New York area was briefly closed Saturday after a United Airlines flight experienced multiple flat tires upon landing and skidded partly off the runway, the airline and Federal Aviation Administration said. No major injuries were reported in the incident at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from New York. The FAA said United Airlines flight 627, arriving from Denver, landed at 1 pm (1700 GMT) before skidding off the left side of a runway, with its main landing gear getting stuck in a grassy area.
Buttigieg: Justice Dept. should decide any Trump charges post-2020 15 Jun 2019, 2:13 pm
Trapped teenager rescued from mountainside after mother used Find My Friends app to locate her 15 Jun 2019, 12:57 pm
A teenager left trapped underneath her car for seven hours after crashing down a mountainside was rescued after her mother used the Find My Friends app to find her. Catrina Cramer Alexander said she used the feature on her mobile phone when her 17-year-old daughter, Macy Smith, uncharacteristically missed a curfew and didn’t respond to texts or calls. "The lack of response was out of character for her," Ms Alexander told North Carolina’s TV channel WFMY. When she looked on the app it showed her daughter had been in the same location for “far too long”, she said. "I can't explain watching the GPS on my phone with my dot for my phone getting close to hers and then suddenly seeing the tire tracks," Ms Alexander said. She found Macy pinned underneath her car down a 25-foot embankment in Pilot Mountain.“I will never forget the sound of my family calling out my name when they found me,” Macy said in a Facebook post. “I hydroplaned at 4.00pm and ran in between two trees down an embankment, flipped my car three times, and landed in my back seat with my arm pinned in between the car and the ground.“I searched for my phone to call for help but the only thing in sight was my bible. I held on to my bible and prayed harder than I had ever prayed before.”Paramedics arrived to rush Macy to hospital. The 17-year-old said she fractured her neck and suffered severe nerve damage in her left arm. “We are celebrating every minute and every milestone,” Macy said.
Moving past tragedy, family celebrates two dads on Father's Day 15 Jun 2019, 12:19 pm
Southwest passenger 'bombarded by inappropriate photos' from stranger on her flight 15 Jun 2019, 10:18 am
Turkey slams southern EU nations on drilling bid off Cyprus 15 Jun 2019, 9:22 am
Turkey on Saturday criticized southern European Union nations for urging the EU to consider action against Turkey over its bid to drill for gas in waters where Cyprus has exclusive economic rights. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that a declaration issued by the leaders of France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Malta shows the EU cannot be a "neutral and trusted actor" to resolve the dispute over divided Cyprus.
10 deals you don’t want to miss on Saturday: $15 Wi-Fi extender, $13 LED smart bulbs, $79 soundbar, more 15 Jun 2019, 7:36 am
It might be the weekend, but killer daily deals never take a break. Highlights from Saturday's roundup include TP-Link's best-selling Wi-Fi range extender for just $14.99, an Anker 10W fast wireless charging pad for $9.99, multicolor LED smart bulbs for $13 that are just as good as $50 Philips Hue bulbs, a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker with 24,000 5-star ratings for just $22, an excellent compact Vizio sound bar for $78.99, PlayStation Plus 12-month digital codes for $39.99 instead of $60, a 4K TV with built-in Fire TV software for $199.99, $50 off the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, $50 off the best wireless noise-cancelling headphones on the planet, a killer deal on Dewalt power tools, and more. Check out all of today's best bargains below.
Donald Trump says he will not fire Kellyanne Conway over ‘repeated violations’ of ethics laws 15 Jun 2019, 7:12 am
Donald Trump has said he will not fire White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, despite a US government oversight agency saying she should be dismissed for engaging in banned political activity while in office.Ms Conway has violated the Hatch Act “on numerous occasions”, according to the independent Office of Special Counsel (OSC).The act bans federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of their work. The OSC said failure to punish her violations will send a message to other federal employees they need not abide by the act’s rules and restrictions.The repeated violations cited by the OSC relate to several comments made by Ms Conway during the 2017 Alabama special Senate election. The US Office of Special Counsel said Ms Conway had violated the act by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”In the election, Democratic candidate Doug Jones defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore by a 21,924 votes – a 1.7 per cent margin. Mr Jones is the first Democrat to win a US Senate seat in Alabama since 1992.Speaking to Fox News on Friday about the OSC’s recommendation Ms Conway should be fired, Mr Trump said: “Well I got briefed on it yesterday, and it looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech, and that’s just not fair.”He added: “No, I’m not going to fire her,” Ms Conway was "a terrific person" and "tremendous spokeswoman," he said. "She’s been loyal, she’s just a great person.”Mr Trump said Ms Conway’s remarks had merely been the result of her being asked questions by interviewers during the election.“You ask a person a question, and every time you’re supposed to say, ‘I can’t answer, I can’t answer?” Mr Trump said. “She’s got to have the right of responding to questions.”In the OSC’s statement about its judgement of Ms Conway’s behaviour, it said: “Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system – the rule of law.”The agency also detailed an episode in which Ms Conway appeared to knowingly choose to disregard the restrictions of the Hatch Act.According to the OSC, she said: “If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work,” and “let me know when the jail sentence starts”.The president is the only figure with the power to heed the official advice and fire the White House counsellor.
Four Democratic 2020 candidates court South Carolina's black voters 15 Jun 2019, 6:07 am
Four of the two dozen Democrats vying for their party's 2020 U.S. presidential nomination appeared at a Black Economic Alliance forum in Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday, with an eye on the key role black voters will play in the early-voting state. South Carolina will host the fourth nominating contest next year, after Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and it is the first state where a significant proportion of the Democratic electorate - about 60 percent - is black. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, former U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke and U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren attended Saturday's forum, which was organized by the Black Economic Alliance.
How the AH-64 Apache Became the Ultimate Attack Helicopter 15 Jun 2019, 6:00 am
Early in the morning of January 17, 1991, eight sleek helicopters bristling with missiles swooped low over the sands of the An Nafud desert in as they soared towards the border separating Saudi Arabia from Iraq.At 2:30 a.m., the choppers fanned out and set to work in teams of two. Rocket motors flashed as Hellfire missiles streaked towards two Iraqi radars powerful enough to potentially pick up the faint signature of a stealth plane.Minutes after the radars had been reduced to rubble, Nighthawk stealth jets soared through the twenty-mile-wide radar gap, headed for Baghdad. But the Army’s Apache attack helicopter aviators they had struck first to “kick down the door” for the Nighthawks.Nearly three decades later, the Apache’s status as the world’s premier attack helicopter remains largely unchallenged, and the type continues to see extensive action in the Middle East and in demand in countries as diverse as the UK, Egypt, India and Taiwan. Undeniably, the threats faced by the $35 million armored attack helicopter, which can pack as many as sixteen tank-busting missiles under its stub wings.
HK VP9: The 9mm Pistol That Is Better Than a Glock 19? 15 Jun 2019, 5:30 am
If there’s anything you need to know about the company Heckler & Koch, it’s that they are pretty much synonymous with quality firearms that are in service with military, law enforcement units, and civilians all over the world.And if you know anything about Heckler & Koch, then you should have heard about the HK VP9 9mm pistol, which was first released to the general market in 2014.Today, the HK VP9 competes with other handguns such as the CZ P10C, Glock 19, and the Walther PPQ. So yes, it is ‘just another striker fired 9mm pistol’ on the market.But nonetheless, in many ways the HK VP9 is a very unique offering, and we’ll cover the reasons why in this review.History of the HK VP9
Report: Marine and Navy F-35 Pilots Need to Ration Afterburners at High Altitudes 15 Jun 2019, 4:47 am
After eighteen years of troubled and controversial development, the Lockheed F-35 Lightning stealth fighter may soon enter mass production, many of its bugs having been expensively squashed after delivery of an initial four-hundred “low-rate-of-initial-production” aircraft.However, a June 2019 scoop by Defense News journalists Valerie Insinna, David Larter and Aaron Mehta has revealed thirteen serious Category-1 flaws remain.As reported by Insinna and Larter, on two occasions late in 2011 an F-35B and F-35C flying near their maximum service ceiling of 50,000 feet damaged themselves using their afterburners to attain speeds of Mach 1.3 and 1.4.Remarkably, these eight-year-old incidents had not been previously reported to the public, despite numerous critical reports by the Government Accountability Office and Department of Testing & Evaluation.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made up to $135m last year while working in the White House 15 Jun 2019, 3:41 am
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $135m (£107m) last year while working as aides to Donald Trump, financial disclosures released by the White House have revealed.Ms Trump's stake in her family's Washington DC hotel made her $3.95m (£3.1m). Down the street from the Oval Office, it is currently at the centre of two federal lawsuits claiming Trump is violating the constitution’s ban on foreign government payments to the president.A personal business selling handbags, shoes and accessories, generated at least $1m (£794,000) in revenue for Ms Trump in 2018.The US president's daughter was also given a $263,500 (£209,212) book advance for Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, which was published in 2017 and which a New York Times review called “witlessly derivative”.Her husband Mr Kushner took in hundreds of thousands of dollars from his holdings of New York City apartments. He also owns a stake in the real estate investment firm Cadre worth at least $25m (£19.8m).The historic Puck Building in the Soho neighbourhood of Manhattan, owned by the Kushner family, generated as much as $6m (£4.7m)in rent. A former warehouse-turned-luxury-apartment building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn brought in more than $350,000 (£277,900) in sale proceeds and rent.Former and current tenants in the building filed a lawsuit against Kushner Companies, alleging it used noisy, dusty construction to make living conditions unbearable in an effort to push them out so their apartments could be sold. The company has said the suit is without merit.Cadre has also drawn conflict-of-interest questions. It launched a fund to take advantage of large tax breaks by investing in downtrodden areas. It has also received $90m (£71m) in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle since Mr Kushner entered the White House.The disclosures were released by the White House and filed with the US Office of Government Ethics.Last month John Kelly, the president’s former chief of staff, said the President’s family was an “influence” that frequently needed to be “dealt with”.Mr Kelly said in an interview with Bloomberg Television's, The David Rubenstein Show, that he had been forced to remove some “very disruptive” officials “to staff a president the way I think a president should be staffed”.He also said he was taken aback by the “intense personal ambition” some staffers displayed.
Media attacks Sarah Sanders after she announces her departure 15 Jun 2019, 12:46 am
3rd NYPD officer commits suicide in last 9 days 15 Jun 2019, 12:27 am
Glock Guns Made in the USA? Yes, This Is Happening. 14 Jun 2019, 11:30 pm
This year Sig Sauer, Inc. appears to be on track to supersede its German counterpart, Sig Sauer GmbH. Pistols that were previously only made in Germany are now being made in the United States. Some may wonder, will Glock head in the same direction in the future? Some Glock models are now being produced in the United States, although the majority of Glocks are still made in Austria.Like Sig Sauer, Inc., Glock, Inc. started as the distributor of Glock pistols in the United States. However, in the 2010s, Glock wanted to break into the market for .380 Auto compact pistols. Glock had made .380 pistols for the European market before, but due to the BATFE’s “point system” that determines which pistols can be imported, the earlier .380 Glocks could not be imported into the United States.However, pistols made in the United States are not subject to the same restrictions, so Glock began setting up to build pistols in the United States. In 2014 their efforts reached fruition, and the Glock 42, a .380, 6-round subcompact Glock, was released onto the U.S. market.As of 2019, the facility expanded from producing the Glock 42. It currently produces models in the most common calibers for the U.S. market, though models in rarer calibers are still primarily made in Austria.So what is the difference between the pistols?
Yankees' Judge hitless in rehab debut; Stanton homers 14 Jun 2019, 10:37 pm
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge began a rehab stint by going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday night. Judge has been sidelined since suffering a strained left oblique against the Kansas City Royals on April 20. Judge is batting .288 with five homers and 11 RBIs in 20 games with the Yankees this season.
Nissan considers giving Renault some seats on oversight committees - source 14 Jun 2019, 10:12 pm
Nissan Motor Co is considering giving its alliance partner Renault SA some seats on planned oversight committees after the French automaker expressed discontent with the envisioned governance reform, a source said. The two-decade-old partnership of Nissan and Renault was plunged into a crisis earlier this week, as the French automaker's demand for a greater say in Nissan's new governance system drew rare public censure by the Japanese firm. Renault, which owns 43.4% of the Japanese firm, signaled it would block Nissan from formally adopting an overhauled governance structure at a June 25 shareholder meeting - unless Renault received representation on new Nissan committees.