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|Anti-Semitism event at Justice Department turns into pro-Israel rally
As the public grappled with President Trump’s latest insulting tweetstorm, widely condemned as racist, the Department of Justice held a Monday event billed as a summit on combating anti-Semitism.
POSTED JULY 15, 2019 5:29 PM
|Iran Says Missing Tanker Had Problems and Was Towed for Repairs
(Bloomberg) -- A small oil tanker that had gone missing in the Persian Gulf had technical difficulties and was towed into Iranian waters for repairs, an Iranian foreign ministry official said, according to the ISNA news agency.Further details on the ship, the Panamanian-flagged Riah, will be announced later, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the semi-offficial ISNA. Iran responded after a request for assistance from the tanker, the report said.The Iranian comments did little to clarify exactly what happened to the Riah. The vessel was passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the shipping chokepoint at the mouth of the Gulf, before it went silent more than two days ago in unexplained circumstances, according to the Associated Press. The news agency said the U.S. “has suspicions” that Iran took control of the tanker, citing an unidentified defense official.The disappearance was first reported by CNN, which said U.S. intelligence increasingly believed the tanker had been forced into Iranian waters by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps but that some Gulf sources suggested the ship simply broke down and was towed by Iran.Earlier, a United Arab Emirates official said the ship isn’t owned or operated by the U.A.E. and hadn’t sent out a distress call.While details are unclear, if the Riah was seized, it would seem an unusual target for Iran. The vessel is 30 years old and tiny. Its capacity is 2,000 dead weight tons, according to the MarineTraffic website. That’s only a fraction of the almost 160,000-ton capacity of the British Heritage, the U.K. oil tanker harassed by Iranian ships last week while exiting the Persian Gulf.Why Tanker Attacks Raise Fears Over Strait of Hormuz: QuickTakeWhile Iran has been blamed for attacks on merchant shipping in recent months, it has denied responsibility. The main threats it has made in the past few weeks have been against the U.K. after British Royal Marines helped authorities in Gibraltar seize the supertanker as it carried Iranian crude in the Mediterranean Sea seemingly bound for Syria.In May and June, six tankers were attacked just outside the Gulf. A British Navy frigate intervened this month to stop Iranian boats from blocking the BP Plc-operated British Heritage as it was exiting the waters.U.K. Navy Intervenes After Iran Tries to Stop British Oil TankerThe U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.\--With assistance from Anthony DiPaola and Golnar Motevalli.To contact the reporters on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at firstname.lastname@example.org;Verity Ratcliffe in Dubai at email@example.com;Zoya Khan in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at email@example.com, Bill Faries, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 4:09 PM
|Italy seizes 'combat-ready' missile and automatic weapon stash in raids on far-Right figures
Italian police have seized a large arsenal of weapons, including an air-to-air missile, in raids on neo-Nazi sympathisers, they said on Monday. Elite police forces searched properties across northern Italy following an investigation into Italians who had fought alongside Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, a police statement said. Three men were arrested, including a customs officer who has previously stood for parliament for an extreme right party. During their raids, police discovered a French-made Matra air-to-air missile that appeared to have once belonged to the Qatar armed forces. Subsequent checks showed the weapon was in working condition but lacked an explosive charge. A big cache of guns and ammunition was seized by the Turin special police force Credit: FRANCESCO AMMENDOLA,HO/AFP/Getty Images Police said the suspects had tried to sell the missile in conversations with contacts on the WhatsApp messaging network. Among other weapons uncovered were 26 guns, 20 bayonets, 306 gun parts, including silencers and rifle scopes, and more than 800 bullets of various calibres. The arms were primarily from Austria, Germany and the United States. Police also seized Nazi memorabilia from the properties. "The police investigation ... came into being because of the activities of some Italian fighters with extremist backgrounds who had taken part in the armed conflict in the Ukrainian region of Donbass," the police statement said. More than 10,000 people have been killed since 2014 in fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine.
POSTED JULY 15, 2019 4:05 PM
|Man 'shot polar bear and left its body outside his home for five months'
A man has been charged with killing a polar bear and leaving the body to rot outside his home in Alaska for five months.Christopher Gordon, 35, allegedly shot the animal dead when it ventured into his front yard to try and eat some butchered whale meat.He then failed to report the polar bear carcass or attempt to “harvest” it for food between December 2018 and May this year.Gordon also allowed the bear to be covered with snow, which resulted in one of its legs being ripped off by a passing snowplough.Finally, on 22 May, he burned the carcass at the village dump in Kaktovik.He is now facing up to one year in prison and a $100,000 (£80,000) fine if convicted of the federal crime of “knowingly taking a polar bear in a manner unlawful under the Marine Mammal Protection Act”.Prosecutors say that the killing of the bear was not done in legal self defence and that he “left the harvestable remains to waste”.“Gordon allegedly left butchered whale meat outside in front of his yard of his residence for a substantial period of time, which attracted polar bear, as well as other animals to his front yard,” said federal prosecutor Ryan Tansey.“He then allegedly shot and killed the polar bear because it was trying to eat the improperly stored whale meat.”Gordon has also been charged with the state offence of wasteful taking of a marine animal.The investigation was carried out by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.Gordon declined to comment about the case and is scheduled to appear in court in Fairbanks in August.Kaktovik, with a population of just over 250, has experienced increasing encroachment by polar bears in recent years due to the disappearing Arctic sea ice.As a result it has become a popular tourist destination, with more than 2,000 people visiting the village during 2017.“These bears are getting used to people,” said council member Mike Gallagher. ”They’re domesticated.”Additional reporting by Associated Press
POSTED JULY 15, 2019 6:29 AM
|Michael Flynn’s Ex-Business Partner Points the Finger at Him in Court
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/GettyIf there is a question of who worked on behalf of the Turkish government to influence the 2016 Donald Trump campaign, then the court should look no further than former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, lawyers for Bijan Kian, the Iranian-American businessman and former Flynn partner, told jurors in the Eastern District of Virginia Monday. Kian is charged with two felonies—illegally lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government and conspiring covertly to influence U.S. politics about Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who is now living in Pennsylvania. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted. But Kian’s team of attorneys said in their opening statements Monday that their client “did not conspire with anyone” to work on behalf of the Turkish government in the U.S. When questioning the Turkish government’s influence operations in the U.S., the jury should look at the newly announced cache of evidence the government has on Flynn, said attorney Bob Trout. Kian isn’t referenced in any of it, Trout said. Michael Flynn Putting Mueller Deal at Risk in ‘Dangerous’ New TrialIn the opening statements Monday the Kian legal team spent the majority of their time arguing that their client did not work on behalf of the Turkish government when he attempted to influence public opinion in the U.S. about Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. Gulen currently lives in Pennsylvania and is wanted by the Turkish government for allegedly planning a military coup in the country in 2016. Kian instead worked on behalf of a Turkish-Dutch businessman named Ekim Alptekin, Trout said. (Alptekin is named as a defendant in the Kian case but will likely avoid appearance because he is living in Istanbul.) Toward the end of his statements, Trout tried to create a degree of separation between Kian and Flynn who is currently awaiting sentencing in Washington for crimes carried out during his time working with the Trump team. He pointed to the government’s evidence, which was mentioned in a hearing last week, and said that prosecutors had all but conceded that Kian was not involved. The jurors have not seen the evidence yet and the details of what the government currently has in its position is unclear.According to a government indictment filed last year, Flynn and Kian worked together throughout the fall of 2016, when Flynn was an advisor to then candidate Trump, on a project to try and extradite Gulen back to Turkey. Prosecutors said the two took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Turkish government to execute the plan. Flynn was also at the time accused of lying about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. He entered into a cooperation deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and admitted to lying about the communications and about his consulting firm’s business with the Turkish government. He said that the registration he filed for the Turkey-focused project in 2017 contained several inaccuracies, though his lawyers maintain that Flynn did not intentionally lie on the documents. As part of his deal with the government, Flynn was supposed to testify against Kian and his sentencing in Washington was postponed so he could appear as a witness in Virginia.That all changed last week when the government removed Flynn from the witness list and instead named him as a co-conspirator in the case. The government also said it had extensive information that the Turkish government attempted to influence the Trump campaign through Flynn. It was the first mention of an additional set of materials that show how Flynn was being extensively involved in the Turkish lobbying.It’s that evidence that lies at the heart of who really committed the crime of illegally lobbying for Turkey, Kian’s lawyers said Monday. Kian “didn’t know” about the alleged separate communications between Alptekin and Flynn that are in the government’s possession, Trout said.For its part, the government in its opening statement barely mentioned the former national security adviser, instead referring several times to Kian’s business team members as “associates.” The government focused on Kian’s email correspondences, including with Flynn, about the Gulen project and attempted to lay out for the jury how the money that flowed into Kian’s account for services rendered connected back to the Turkish government.After nearly an hour and a half of opening statements, both of which were at times tangled and difficult to follow, the jury seemed to fade by 5:30 p.m. Several individuals closed their eyes and appeared to be sleeping.They’re due back in court Tuesday morning for testimony, including evidence to be entered into the record and for witness examinations.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.
POSTED JULY 15, 2019 8:07 PM
|Serial killer linked to Arkansas woman's 1994 slaying
Authorities are investigating whether possibly the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history is behind the death of an Arkansas woman in 1994. Police in Pine Bluff are reviewing the case of Jolanda Jones's death after Samuel Little confessed to her killing, which had been determined to be drug-related. According to a police memo, when Little was in custody in Dallas, Texas, in October 2018, he indicated that he killed Jones, the Pine Bluff Commercial reported .
POSTED JULY 15, 2019 2:52 PM
|Police: A 69-year-old Arizona woman is missing in California's Mojave Desert without supplies, cellphone
Authorities in California are searching for Barbara Thomas, a 69-year-old woman who went missing while hiking in the Mojave Desert.
POSTED JULY 15, 2019 8:12 PM
|The B-2 Stealth Bomber Is Now 30 Years Old. Take a Look Inside.
(Washington, D.C.) Slicing through the sky with bat-like wings, eluding enemy radar with stealth technology, quietly destroying enemy air defenses from 50,000 ft and using computers to merge sensor data with targeting information -- the Air Force’s B-2 bomber … has been in the air attacking targets for “30-Years.”“You pull up the weapons suite screen, align the right weapon with the target and provide input into the DEP - Digital Entry Panel. Then, you enter text into the computer,” Lt. Col. Nicola Polidar, Commander of Detachment 5 of the 29th Training Systems Squadron, told Warrior in an interview.As this happens….the air attack begins.The B-2 took its first flight July 17, 1989 -- so now is the “30-Year Anniversary.” B-2 pilots have operated the sleek, curved air-defense-defying platform for sensitive, highly-dangerous missions many times in recent decades. After blasting onto the scene in the early 90s, the B-2s combat debut came in the late 90s when the aircraft destroyed Serbian targets over Kosovo. Three decades ago, the Air Force and Northrop Grumman thought to massively advance the paradigm for stealth attack, and create a first-of-its kind leap ahead bomber. It was conceived of as a Cold War weapon, engineered to knock out Soviet advanced air defenses. The intent was to build upon and surpass the F-117 Night Hawk’s stealth technology used in the Gulf War.The B-2s stealth configuration, buried engine, low heat signature and “radar absorbent” coating, is meant to not only avoid being hit by enemy weapons, but complete missions without enemies ever knowing it is there. Its core mission: launch secret, quiet, undetected attacks over heavily defended enemy territory to create a safer “air corridor” for less stealthy planes to operate within extremely lethal,otherwise uninhabitable airspace.
POSTED JULY 15, 2019 3:37 AM
|An anonymous Democratic group leaked a poll that shows swing voters deeply dislike Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the left wing, widening the party's rift
The poll found that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a 22% approval rating among 1,003 white non-college-educated voters who knew of her.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 9:12 AM
|Kellyanne Conway Snaps Back at Reporter: ‘What’s Your Ethnicity?’
When White House reporter Andrew Feinberg posed a question to Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday about the president’s racist tweets against the four congresswomen known as the “Squad,” he found himself taken aback by her response. Feinberg, a reporter for the website BeltwayBreakfast.com, asked the White House counselor which countries President Donald Trump was referring to when he suggested Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar—all U.S. citizens—should “go back” to where they came from. Instead of answering that question, Conway asked him, “What’s your ethnicity?” “Uh... why is that relevant?” Feinberg asked before Conway interrupted him to say, “Because I’m asking you a question.”Kellyanne Conway Calls AOC a Liar for Claim That Migrants Are ‘Drinking Out of Toilets’After Conway shares that her ancestors are from Ireland and Italy, the reporter said, “My ethnicity is not relevant to the question I’m asking you.” Conway still would not answer Feinberg’s question, instead insisting that he question was relevant because Trump said “originally” from—he didn’t—and going on a rant about how “a lot of us are sick and tired in this country of America coming last,” echoing comments she made on Fox News earlier in the day about the “Squad” representing a “dark underbelly in this country.” In that same Fox interview, Conway distanced herself from her husband George Conway, whose latest Washington Post column is headlined: “Trump is a racist president.” Reached for comment, Feinberg told The Daily Beast, “It’s not the first time she’s responded to one of my questions with an irrelevant question, but this time was particularly bizarre.”“I just wanted to get back to what I was asking her about,” he added, “so I was glad she was able to confirm the president’s thinking on the matter.”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.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 1:45 PM
NYT > Top Stories
|Eric Garner’s Death Will Not Lead to Federal Charges for N.Y.P.D. Officer
The decision came five years after Mr. Garner’s dying words — “I can’t breathe” — became a rallying cry.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 8:17 PM
|‘The D.O.J. Has Failed Us’: Eric Garner’s Family Assails Prosecutors
Elected officials and civil rights activists also expressed dismay at the decision not to pursue federal charges against a police officer.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 8:17 PM
|How the Eric Garner Decision Compares With Other Cases
Despite increased attention on deaths involving the police, most officers involved in them are not charged. Among the few who are, most are not convicted.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 4:49 PM
|Trump Rallies G.O.P. to Oppose Resolution Against Racist Language
President Trump, declaring he does not “have a Racist bone” in his body, tried to rally House Republicans to vote against a resolution labeling his comments racist.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 6:55 PM
|5% of Congress Was Born Abroad. Those Members Show What It Means to Be American.
Twenty-nine members of Congress were born abroad, many on U.S. military bases, but more than a dozen are immigrants with at least one foreign-born parent.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 8:19 PM
|5 Lessons From the Democratic Fund-Raising Reports
Second-quarter totals show a lower tier of candidates burning through cash trying to stay viable, while the leaders banked millions. Elizabeth Warren now has more than 300 people on her payroll.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 8:17 PM
|Mark Sanford, Once Targeted by Trump, Weighs Primary Challenge Against Him
Mr. Sanford, the former congressman and governor from South Carolina who infamously lied about hiking the Appalachian Trail, is considering taking on the president.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 7:35 PM
|Beyond the Grave, the N.R.A.’s $56 Million Donor Lives On
The National Rifle Association’s benefactors have been veiled in secrecy, but more than 1,000 emerged after a records review. One loomed above the rest.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 6:49 PM
|The ‘Lady of the House’ Who Was Long Entangled With Jeffrey Epstein
Ghislaine Maxwell’s yearslong involvement with Mr. Epstein, who faces charges of sex trafficking and abuse, has raised questions about what she may have known.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 7:16 PM
|For Apollo 11 He Wasn’t on the Moon. But His Coffee Was Warm.
Michael Collins kept an orbital vigil during Neil’s and Buzz’s moonwalk, but he really didn’t feel that lonely.
POSTED JULY 16, 2019 8:17 PM