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South China Sea Watch: China holds drills amid new tensions 27 Sep 2020, 11:42 pm
A look at developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple territorial disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. China is holding new military exercises in the South China Sea amid an uptick in tensions between the Asian giant and its Southeast Asian neighbors and the U.S. The Maritime Safety Administration issued a pair of announcements blocking off seas around the area of the exercises running Sunday through Monday but gave no additional details.
Mexico official: definitive COVID-19 toll will take 2 years 27 Sep 2020, 9:54 pm
Mexico’s top coronavirus official said Sunday that definitive data on the country's death toll from COVID-19 won’t be available for “a couple of years.” The statement by Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell is likely to revive debate about Mexico’s death toll, currently at 76,430, the fourth-highest in the world. Mexico does very little testing, and many people die without a test.
The South African cleric taking on the church over a rapist priest 27 Sep 2020, 8:58 pm
Meng Wanzhou: The PowerPoint that sparked an international row 27 Sep 2020, 7:56 pm
California wine country wildfire forces evacuation of hospital, hundreds of homes 27 Sep 2020, 5:46 pm
A wind-driven wildfire erupted on Sunday in the heart of northern California's Napa Valley wine country to spread across nearly 2,000 acres (809 hectares), forcing the evacuation of a hospital and hundreds of homes, authorities said. Fire crews were out in force, scrambling to fend off flames threatening neighborhoods and vineyards at the northern end of the famed wine-growing valley and surrounding hillsides, about 75 miles (120 km) north of San Francisco. The blaze, dubbed the Glass Fire, broke out before dawn near Calistoga and raced toward the adjacent communities of Deer Park and St. Helena, with flames reaching within a mile of the Adventist Health St. Helena hospital.
Niagara Falls: Free admission and other things you may not know about this tourist spot 27 Sep 2020, 5:31 pm
Pelosi expresses hope that deal can be made with White House on COVID-19 relief 27 Sep 2020, 4:30 pm
Anti-English sentiment on rise in Scotland, Rennie tells Lib Dems 27 Sep 2020, 4:08 pm
English people in Scotland are being made to feel like “strangers in their own homes” as a result of rising nationalist bigotry, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has warned. Willie Rennie, in his speech to his party’s virtual conference on Sunday, said that the pandemic was being used by some to “spread hate” and said he felt “uncomfortable” with “the growing anti-English sentiment in Scotland”. He highlighted border protests in the summer in which masked demonstrators waved banners urging motorists crossing the border into Scotland to stay away.
100 Arrested During Unauthorized and 'Unruly' Car Rally in Maryland 27 Sep 2020, 3:43 pm
'Lawful but awful': US self-defense laws questioned after Breonna Taylor’s death 27 Sep 2020, 3:23 pm
Russian dissident Navalny recovering faster than expected 27 Sep 2020, 3:23 pm
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is recovering from the suspected assassination attempt last month faster than expected, one of his aides said Sunday. Navalny, who collapsed on a plane from Siberia to Moscow on Aug. 20 and spent nearly three weeks in a coma, was discharged last week from the Berlin hospital where he was being treated. “He is doing much better, I would say unexpectedly better," Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s chief of staff, told German broadcaster RTL.
Supreme Court battle: Biden slams Trump's nominee Amy Coney Barrett 27 Sep 2020, 1:49 pm
No more temperature checks? CDC changing COVID-19 screenings for international air passengers 27 Sep 2020, 1:38 pm
Lawyer says officer thought Blake was trying to kidnap child 27 Sep 2020, 1:11 pm
The Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times last month told investigators he thought Blake was trying to abduct one of his own children and that he opened fire because Blake started turning toward the officer while holding a knife, the officer’s lawyer contends. Sheskey saw Blake put a child in the SUV as he arrived, but he didn’t know that two other children were also in the back seat, Matthews said.
Man convicted of collecting urine from boys now faces child porn charges, Ohio cops say 27 Sep 2020, 12:59 pm
Three Florida police officers fall ill after 'potential poisoning' on night out 27 Sep 2020, 12:54 pm
South African defence minister's pay docked over use of air force plane 27 Sep 2020, 12:20 pm
Transcript: Don McGahn on "Face the Nation" 27 Sep 2020, 12:05 pm
California law requires prisons to house transgender inmates by gender identity 27 Sep 2020, 11:34 am
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law on Saturday that requires California to house transgender inmates in prisons based on their gender identity, only if the state does not have “management or security concerns.”
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin backs Supreme Court delay tactics since 'we don't do anything around here anyway' 27 Sep 2020, 11:27 am
While Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee reportedly do not intend to boycott the confirmation hearing for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, the party's senators will likely do whatever they can to slow the process, Politico reports.Some of the tactics available for Democrats, who believe Republicans set a precedent for blocking Supreme Court nominations in the lead up to a presidential election in 2016, that Politico lists include: invoking the "two-hour" rule — which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has already done — slowing down legislative business, objecting to recess, denying a quorum, raising points of order, enlisting the aid of the Democratic-controlled House, and delaying the final committee vote. Politico goes into more detail about each tactic here.Politico also reports that there is broad, overwhelming support for pulling out all the stops among Democrats, including those, like Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who face tough re-elections and may get pulled off the campaign trail during a potentially lengthy process, as well as typically more conservative lawmakers like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.).Jones accused Republicans of a "power grab," so even though Democrats don't have the votes to block the confirmation, "you do what you can to call attention to it." As Manchin put it, since "we don't do anything around here anyway, we've got plenty of time to do meetings." Read more at Politico.More stories from theweek.com Report: Financial records appear to show Ivanka Trump got 'consulting fees' to reduce father's tax bill 5 outrageously funny cartoons about Trump's election scheming Report: Trump's tax write-offs range from Trump Jr.'s Russia-related legal fees to Apprentice haircuts
Two People Injured After Driver Speeds Into Southern California Protest 27 Sep 2020, 11:16 am
Army Leaders Want to Keep Pace with Diversity in Changing US Population 27 Sep 2020, 10:44 am
China's Xi says 'happiness' in Xinjiang on the rise, will keep teaching 'correct' outlook 27 Sep 2020, 8:56 am
Chinese President Xi Jinping said levels of happiness among all ethnic groups in the western region of Xinjiang are rising and that China plans to keep teaching its residents a "correct" outlook on China, Xinhua news agency reported late on Saturday. China has come under scrutiny over its treatment of Uighur Muslims and claims of alleged forced-labour abuses in Xinjiang, where the United Nations cites credible reports as saying one million Muslims held in camps have been put to work.
Large majority of Swiss reject bid to rein in immigration from EU, says exit poll 27 Sep 2020, 7:10 am
Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected a Eurosceptic party’s attempt to restrict immigration from the EU in a referendum yesterday (on Sunday) seen as a key test of attitudes towards foreigners. The Swiss People’s Party (SVP) called the referendum on scrapping a mutual free movement agreement with the EU. Echoing some of the arguments for Brexit, the Right-wing populist party pushed to take back control of immigration, which it said had become “uncontrolled and excessive”. Switzerland’s population of about 8.2 million includes some 1.4 million EU citizens. About half a million Swiss nationals live in the EU. The SVP, Switzerland’s largest parliamentary party, proposed to give Swiss nationals preferential access to jobs and welfare benefits over citizens of the 27-nation bloc that surrounds the prosperous Alpine country, which is not an EU member-state. Its proposal was defeated 63 per cent to 37 per cent, according to projections by the SRF broadcaster, based on partial results. The initiative was opposed by the government, business leaders and all other political parties out of fear that it would jeopardise Switzerland’s close ties with the EU. The SVP had painted a bleak picture of older Swiss workers being replaced by younger immigrants. It blamed foreigners, who make up a quarter of the country’s population, for rising housing costs and overcrowded schools and public transport.
Angry about Breonna Taylor? Do what Barack Obama said in 2016: 'Don't boo. Vote' 27 Sep 2020, 6:00 am
With Breonna Taylor protests, COVID-19 and record homicides, Louisville police are in crisis 27 Sep 2020, 6:00 am
Police clash with Portland protesters and press; more than 20 arrested 27 Sep 2020, 5:44 am
Police clashed with anti-racism protesters and pushed back members of the press in downtown Portland, Oregon into early Sunday morning, making more than 20 arrests. The violence followed a relatively peaceful rally by the right-wing Proud Boys group and counter protests by anti-fascist and Black Lives Matter activists on Saturday. Videos published online showed police pushing protesters and photographers to the ground and jabbing them with batons as officers drove them out of an area near Portland's federal courthouse.
Steve Bannon’s Dodgy Nonprofit Teamed Up With Company Linked to Accused Gold Scammers 27 Sep 2020, 5:11 am
When former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s nonprofit sought to restore an American golden age, it turned to a company with connections to a consortium that allegedly strip-mined the retirement accounts of elderly conservatives, The Daily Beast has discovered.Bannon’s “economic nationalist” group Citizens of the American Republic hired the Wyoming-based firm Platinum Advertising Corporation in 2018 to handle its “websites/social media,” Internal Revenue Service records show. A tangle of corporate and legal documents ties Platinum Advertising to TMTE Inc.—a precious metal dealer accused on Friday of fraudulently extracting $185 million from senior citizens by selling them overpriced bullion.The massive joint action the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission and 30 states announced against TMTE alleged that the Los Angeles-based company had suckered 1,600 mostly silver-haired victims into sinking their life savings into precious metals sold at up to 300 percent of their market value. The charges are familiar to anybody who has followed the long trail of news reports and regulatory actions describing how TMTE—which has variously used the monikers Access Unlimited, TEM, Chase Metals, and Metals.com—cashed in on the right-wing paranoia of the Trump era.Even prior to the CFTC-led case on Friday, a dozen states, including Alabama and Kentucky, had accused TMTE of posing as an investment adviser and bilking senior citizens of their assets. Articles in Quartz last year detailed how the company used a combination of politically themed Facebook ads, talk radio spots, misleading websites, and high-pressure telephone sales tactics to target right-leaning, Fox News-viewing retirees and convince them to purchase gold and silver at hugely inflated rates. These efforts often involved overt biblical appeals, or echoed the rhetoric of President Donald Trump and Republican pundits by invoking the threat “liberals” and the “Deep State” supposedly posed to the economy and to the victims’ personal finances.“Metals[.com] reached potential investors through advertisements on Facebook, conservative talk radio show, and conservative-leaning financial newsletters,” Colorado Securities Commissioner Tung Chan told The Daily Beast. “They targeted these ads at potential investors at or near retirement age with conservative political leanings.”These echo findings in Missouri, Arkansas, and Nevada that TMTE relied on ominous advertising, “scare tactics,” and “misstatements and omitted information” to sell marked-up coins to vulnerable people aged 60 and up. Despite signing multiple cease-and-desist deals and disgorging millions of dollars, TMTE has publicly denied ever committing fraud.Citizens of the American Republic’s bank-shot association with TMTE, which has never before been revealed, is just the latest problematic partnership for Bannon, who was caught up in a two-count federal indictment alleging fraud at a separate nonprofit, We Build the Wall, Inc. But the ties between the former Breitbart chairman and TMTE are less direct and more complex than his relationship to the alleged private border wall grifting operation.The most recent tax forms Citizens of the American Republic filed with the Internal Revenue Service show it paid Platinum Advertising Corporation $143,655 in 2018 to shape its web presence. Platinum Advertising’s filings in Wyoming reveal little, beyond that the company registered in that jurisdiction in 2018. Gerald Pitts was listed as its secretary and director. Pitts runs Wyoming Corporate Services, which has filed paperwork in the notoriously opaque state for dozens of clients, including TMTE.But Platinum Advertising—named for one of the priciest precious metals on Earth—also registered an affiliate in March of this year in California, where TMTE operates. And the registration statement bears the name and distinctive signature of Conor O’Reilly, whose LinkedIn profile shows he was employed full-time during that period as in-house counsel and compliance officer to Metals.com. Among his listed responsibilities were “reviewing, revising, and approving any legal work done on behalf of the company” and “the formation of various entities.”O’Reilly’s signature also marks the cease-and-desist and rescission agreements that TMTE and its affiliates agreed to in Colorado and Texas in 2019. In May 2020, two months after registering Platinum Advertising in the Golden State, he Docusigned a consent order with the Missouri secretary of state, again identifying himself as TMTE’s counsel and compliance officer.TMTE’s attorney, Charles Harder—who has also recently represented Trump and his family—initially denied any link between TMTE and Platinum Advertising, even going so far as to suggest the latter company may not be real.“Today is the first day that TMTE has ever heard of the existence of ‘Platinum Advertising Corp.’ (assuming that it exists),” he wrote in an email. “TMTE knows nothing about it and, again, is not in any way affiliated with it.”Confronted with the evidence of O’Reilly’s involvement in Platinum, Harder asserted that the lawyer “was not exclusive to TMTE—he also did legal work separate from, and completely unaffiliated with, TMTE.”This claim contradicts all publicly available evidence regarding O’Reilly, who did not reply to calls or emails from The Daily Beast. His LinkedIn profile characterizes his employment arrangement with Metals.com as “full-time” and “in-house,” and does not list any other work as an attorney. O’Reilly was admitted to the bar in December 2018, just one month before he began his job at Metals.com, and he is the only person by that name licensed to practice law in California.During negotiations with the Texas State Securities Board in 2019, O’Reilly presented himself as an important official at TMTE.“He represented that he had the authority to contractually bind the company,” said Enforcement Division Director Joseph Rotunda. “We are not talking about a low-level employee.”Rotunda told The Daily Beast he was familiar with Platinum Advertising, but could not say whether it was involved in any criminal scheme, due to the ongoing legal actions.Steve Bannon Is Behind Bogus Study That China Created COVIDFurther, all other legal documents bearing O’Reilly’s name or signature are traceable to TMTE or one or more of its principals. The only corporate entity besides Platinum Advertising he has registered at the state level is USA Marketing Inc., another California affiliate of a Wyoming company originally incorporated by Pitts. USA Marketing uses the same Golden State address, inside Los Angeles’s Century Plaza Towers complex, as Platinum Advertising.Wyoming filings from late 2019 list Graham Norris, a Utah-based lawyer, as USA Marketing’s “director.” Norris, who frequently works with Pitts, was listed as TMTE’s CEO, CFO, and secretary in a 2018 filing in California. A 2019 lawsuit brought by former executive vice president of sales at Chase Metals identified Norris as one of that company’s three principals.In May this year O’Reilly applied for a trademark on behalf of another Wyoming-based precious metals-slinging company called Capital Today, Inc.Capital Today’s state-level corporate filings are highly similar to Platinum Advertising’s. In Wyoming, both initially used Gerald Pitts as their registration agent, then switched to the Cloud Peak Law Group. In California, both firms used the exact same Wyoming address, the exact same California address, and the exact same agent for service of process—an Ethan D. Kirschner of Culver City, who did not respond to requests for comment.Finally, the trademark application O’Reilly filed for Capital Today, which operates USAMint.com, used the address 8383 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 700, in Beverly Hills. Metals.com identified this location as one of its two in its correspondence with the Missouri secretary of state’s Securities Division, and the aforementioned lawsuit brought by the ex-sales executive described the Wilshire Boulevard suite as Chase Metals’ “principal business location.”This also happens to be the address of Tower Equity—the investment firm founded by Norris’s fellow TMTE principals Lucas Asher and Simon Batashvili, which was also named and seized in the joint federal-state action on TMTE on Friday. All of this strongly indicates a nexus between Platinum Inc. and firms tied to TMTE—strongly enough that, when confronted with this evidence, a representative for TMTE walked back part of Harder’s statement in part.The representative admitted that O’Reilly in fact had registered Platinum Advertising on the metal dealer’s behalf. However, they insisted that TMTE had only acquired the company as a “shelf entity” for future use in 2020, and that it was unaware of Platinum Advertising’s work for Bannon before and that the firm has not done any work with him since. Platinum Advertising, they maintained, currently has no assets, no employees, and has never had any business dealings during the time TMTE owned it. In fact, they asserted that the principals of TMTE had never even heard of Platinum Advertising before The Daily Beast inquired about it.The TMTE representative declined to provide any documentation or on-the-record statements to substantiate these claims, and even suggested that Bannon might have hired another Platinum Advertising based in Wyoming. However, the state’s business records show only one entity of that name—the same one O’Reilly signed for in California.In the TMTE representative’s version of events—at least, the version that lines up with the available documentary evidence—Bannon contracted Platinum Advertising to handle web and social media outreach for his conservative nonprofit. Then, sometime afterward, TMTE—which sells precious metals, including platinum, by targeting conservative voters on the web and through social media—happened to purchase the same company completely unaware of its history. Despite being completely empty and inactive, Platinum was somehow known to the Texas State Securities Board even when it was unknown to TMTE’s principals.A representative for Bannon, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, did not answer repeated requests for comment.Bannon has picked up a number of unsavory associates since his unceremonious exit from the White House in 2017. The Daily Beast revealed in June that the distributor of his podcast War Room is a longtime white-collar criminal. The former Goldman Sachs banker and Hollywood producer also launched several ventures with Guo Wengui, a billionaire Chinese national accused of an array of crimes in his home country, all of which he denies. Two of these entities have recently funded and promoted a dubious study asserting COVID-19 originated in a government lab in Wuhan.It was on Wengui’s yacht that federal authorities arrested Bannon on fraud charges related to We Build the Wall Inc., itself a joint project with disabled war veteran, conservative activist, and serial entrepreneur Brian Kolfage—who has also been accused of misappropriating funds.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.
'Taiwan is Taiwan': China name dispute moves from birds to climate change 27 Sep 2020, 3:53 am
The dispute over international organisations referring to Taiwan as Chinese has moved from wild bird conservation to climate change, after a global alliance of mayors began listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its website. China has ramped up pressure on international groups and companies to refer to democratic, self-ruled Taiwan as being part of China, to the anger of Taiwan's government and many of its people. This month a Taiwan bird conservation body said it had been expelled from a partnership with a British-based wildlife charity after it demanded the Taiwan group change its name and sign documents stating it did not support Taiwan's independence.
'Two-headed beast': China's coal addiction erodes climate goals 27 Sep 2020, 2:55 am
China's surprise pledge to slash its carbon footprint to zero by 2060 was met with cautious applause, but fresh spending on coal to rev up a virus-hit economy threatens to nullify its audacious bid to lead the world into a low carbon future.
Fighting erupts between Azerbaijan and Armenia over disputed Nagorny-Karabakh region 27 Sep 2020, 2:30 am
Armenia’s Prime Minister on Sunday called on citizens to ‘defend our sacred homeland’ after heavy fighting with Azerbaijan brought the arch enemies to the brink of all-out war. The clashes erupted on Sunday morning in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabkh, an ethnically Armenian zone within the official borders of Azerbaijan but outside of its control. Tensions have been rising for months over the disputed territory, which was seized by Armenian separatists in 1991 in one of the bloodiest wars that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both sides, former members of the Soviet bloc, on Sunday denied being the aggressor, while reporting 24 military and civilian casualties that included at least one child. Russia has a military base in Armenia and a fully-fledged war could draw it into conflict with Turkey, the other key power in the region, which backs Azerbaijan. In an attempt to prevent a major conflagration, Moscow called for a ceasefire and negotiations, along with France, Germany and the EU. Ankara blamed Armenia for "hostility that will send the region into fire" and offered Baku its full support.
Remains of 117 Chinese soldiers killed in Korean War returned 27 Sep 2020, 2:19 am
The remains of 117 Chinese soldiers who died in the 1950-53 Korean War were returned to China on Sunday in an annual repatriation delayed this year by the coronavirus outbreak. South Korea handed over the remains at a ceremony at Incheon airport outside Seoul, and a Chinese military transport plane flew them to Shenyang, a northeastern Chinese city near the North Korean border. Chinese soldiers fought on the North Korean side against US-led forces in the South during the war on the Korean Peninsula. Most of the 117 remains were found in the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea. It was the seventh annual repatriation, and the largest since the 437 returned in the first one in 2014. In all, the remains of 716 Chinese soldiers have been sent back. This year's return, originally planned for the spring, was postponed for several months because of the spread of Covid-19.
Swaggering Trump goes into first Biden debate eager to fight 26 Sep 2020, 9:37 pm
Daniel Prude: Newly appointed Rochester police chief faces mounting outrage over death of man having mental health emergency 26 Sep 2020, 7:20 pm
Sole Witness Who Heard Cops Announce Themselves in Breonna Taylor Raid Changed His Story 26 Sep 2020, 5:53 pm
This week, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron made the bombshell announcement that the cops who fatally shot Breonna Taylor would not be charged with killing her, calling their use of force in the March raid “justified to protect themselves.”In that justification, he said that one witness corroborated the three officers’ insistence that they knocked and identified themselves at Taylor’s Louisville home while executing a search warrant in connection with a narcotics investigation. It contradicted claims from Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenny Walker, and 11 other residents, who said they didn’t hear the cops announce themselves. Instead, Walker thought he was being burglarized and fired a warning shot that triggered a tragic chain of events.But, according to documents and audio obtained by VICE News on Saturday, that sole witness initially told investigators days after the March 13 raid that he didn’t actually hear officers Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove announce themselves.The witness—identified by VICE as Aarin Sarpee but by other outlets and public records as Aaron Julue Sarpee—was picking up his daughter from a unit above Taylor’s when the raid took place.It wasn’t until he was interviewed a second time, about two months after the raid by a sergeant in LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, that Sarpee said he heard police say, “This is the cops.”Sarpee’s flip-flop, the latest twist in a case that has made Taylor an icon in the Black Lives Matter movement, calls into question the strength of Cameron’s case and the grand jury report, which state officials are demanding be made public.“I never had faith in Daniel Cameron to begin with, I knew he was too inexperienced with a job of this caliber. I knew he chose to be at the wrong side of the law,” Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, said in a Friday statement. “My hope was that he knew he had the power to do the right thing, that he had the power to start the healing of this city, that he had the power to help mend over 400 years of oppression. What he helped me realize is that it will always be us against them. That we are never safe.”On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted only Hankison, though only for recklessly firing shots that endangered people in other units. Mattingly and Cosgrove—the cop who fired the shot that killed Taylor—weren’t charged.Cameron’s charging recommendations were at least partly based on Sarpee’s testimony, since the attorney general said Wednesday that investigators had “an independent witness” corroborate the officer’s account.No Cops Charged With Killing Breonna Taylor“My office was not tasked with determining if this was a tragedy, as it was,” Cameron said Wednesday, admitting that it was unlikely more charges would be laid. “My job was to put emotions aside and investigate facts to see if state law was violated.”Wednesday’s charges came more than six months after a “no-knock” warrant was issued for Taylor’s apartment as part of a controversial narcotics investigation into the 26-year-old’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.According to VICE, LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit first contacted Sarpee a week after the shooting. The officers involved in Taylor’s warrant had previously said Sarpee was outside the apartment upstairs and got in an argument with Hankison as they were banging on Taylor’s door.When Sgt. Jason Vance asked Sarpee if he heard anyone identify themselves as law enforcement, he answered: “No, nobody identified themselves.”At the end of the March 21 conversation, Vance told Sarpee investigators would be calling him again to conduct a formal interview. Investigation notes suggest attempts were made to contact Sarpee but he didn’t speak to the Public Integrity Unity again until May 15.In a seven minute call, Sgt. Amanda Seelye pressed Sarpee on whether he knew the individuals entering Taylor’s home were officers and if he heard them announce themselves.This time, Sarpee said he heard police identify themselves, a change that suddenly corroborated the testimonies of the officers at the scene.“It’s been so long now,” Sarpee told Seelye on the call. “I recall some of it.”Sarpee also told The New York Times that he saw the officers as he stepped out onto the exterior staircase of Taylor’s apartment unit with his 2-year-old. He said that before the officers ordered him to go back inside the apartment, he heard at least three loud knocks on Taylor’s door and heard at least one of the officers scream “Police!” Sarpee, however, insisted to the Times he only heard them say the statement once.Despite Sarpee’s changing story, his claim to have heard police from the front of an apartment doesn’t offer complete clarity on whether Taylor and her boyfriend would have heard it from their bedroom towards the back of their unit.Sarpee did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. VICE reported that the witness declined to speak with them, saying he had to speak with his lawyer first. The LMPD and Attorney General’s office also did not immediately respond to request for comment.Hankison was fired in June for “extreme violations” of police protocol after “wantonly and blindly” firing 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment–including several shots through the patio door and window, and into a neighbor’s apartment—after Walker fired an initial shot. Mattingly, Cosgrove, and the detective who requested the warrant were put on administrative leave. Six more officers are reportedly under investigation for their role in the raid.Earlier this month, the city of Louisville reached a $12 million settlement with Taylor’s family in their wrongful death lawsuit.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.
Amy Coney Barrett: 5 things to know about the Supreme Court nominee 26 Sep 2020, 5:33 pm
As U.S., China squabble at U.N., a plea - and warning - from one of world's smallest states 26 Sep 2020, 4:05 pm
As China and the United States feuded at the United Nations this week over COVID-19 and climate, one of the world's smallest states pleaded for detente. "Micronesia asks our American and Chinese friends to reinforce their cooperation and friendship with each other ... to achieve what is best for our global community," the Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo told the U.N. General Assembly in a video address.
Federal judge blocks Texas’ elimination of straight-ticket voting 26 Sep 2020, 2:59 pm
Texas man charged with capital murder in deaths of Houston friends missing since 2016 26 Sep 2020, 2:50 pm
Harvey Lester Cyphers, 53, of Austin, Texas, was arrested and charged with capital murder in the 2016 deaths of friends Sidney Taylor and Krislyn Gibson, both 35, who were visiting Houston for the 2016 Urban Music Festival. They were last seen alive on April 2, 2016. Cyphers was taken to the Travis County Jail where his bond was set at $1.5 million. The U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force and the Austin Police Department are investigating.
Australia begins disposal of over 350 dead whales after mass stranding 26 Sep 2020, 2:29 pm
Kyle Rittenhouse's mom reportedly received a 'standing ovation' from the crowd at a Republican event in Wisconsin 26 Sep 2020, 2:09 pm
Notre Dame profs push back on Amy Coney Barrett portrayals: Not just 'an ideological category' 26 Sep 2020, 10:53 am
An Irish tourist in Rome defaced the Colosseum by carving his initials into the walls of the ancient structure, according to a report 26 Sep 2020, 10:34 am
Yitzhak Rabin memorial: AOC pulls out of event honouring former Israeli leader 26 Sep 2020, 9:16 am
American faces two years in prison for posting unflattering TripAdvisor review of Thailand island resort 26 Sep 2020, 9:14 am
An American could face up to two years in prison after leaving a negative review for a hotel in Thailand on TripAdvisor. The Sea View Resort on Koh Chang island claims Wesley Barnes launched a barrage of complaints against them after his stay, forcing them to take legal action. "The Sea View Resort owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the Tripadvisor website," Colonel Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police told AFP. Mr Barnes is accused of causing "damage to the reputation of the hotel", as well as arguing with them during his stay about a corkage fee for alcohol brought to the hotel. He was arrested by immigration police and returned to Koh Chang for a brief detention, but is now out on bail. Mr Barnes, who works in Thailand, had penned multiple reviews on different sites over the past few weeks, the hotel alleges. In one posted in July, he claimed to have encountered "unfriendly staff" who "act like they don't want anyone here". Another post, which accused the hotel of “modern day slavery”, was removed by TripAdvisor for violating its guidelines. The Sea View Hotel said they only took legal action to discourage further reviews from being posted, and had attempted to contact Mr Barnes beforehand. "We chose to file a complaint to serve as a deterrent, as we understood he may continue to write negative reviews week after week for the foreseeable future," the hotel said. Thailand has notorious anti-defamation laws that have faced condemnation from human rights organisations in the past. They argue the laws can be used to stifle free expression. If found guilty for defamation, offenders can face two years imprisonment and a 200,000 baht (£4,965) fine. In December 2019, a Thai journalist was handed a two year sentence for libelling a chicken farm on Twitter. Suchanee Cloitre was convicted for a post she made about a legal dispute over working conditions at the Thammakaset farm. “I’m shocked and did not think the sentence would be so harsh,” Ms Suchanee told Reuters after the sentencing.
Astronauts are testing NASA's new spacesuits underwater as the agency pushes toward the next moon landing 26 Sep 2020, 9:14 am
New Fort Hood Commander Orders Training Pause to Rebuild Soldiers' Trust 26 Sep 2020, 7:39 am
Ukraine plane crash death toll rises to 26, with 1 survivor 26 Sep 2020, 6:32 am
Searchers combing the area where a Ukrainian military aircraft crashed found two more bodies on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 26. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared Saturday to be a day of mourning for the crash victims and ordered that flights of An-26 planes be halted pending investigation of the crash cause. Zelenskiy, who visited the crash area on Saturday, called for a full assessment of the condition of the country’s military equipment and said he wanted an official report on the crash by Oct. 25.