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Meet the lawyer at the center of the Trump universe

Sun, 08 Dec 2019 13:35 | Yahoo News Photo Staff

Meet the lawyer at the center of the Trump universeMarc Mukasey has deep, personal connections within President Trump’s orbit, and he has worked on a number of high-profile cases involving the president.

Trump impeachment hearing: Pro-Trump Infowars host who called for Obama to be lynched thrown out of inquiry

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 11:36 | The Independent

Trump impeachment hearing: Pro-Trump Infowars host who called for Obama to be lynched thrown out of inquiryA host on the far-right US conspiracy and disinformation website InfoWars has been removed from the latest impeachment hearing by police, after interrupting House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler with pro-Donald Trump messages.The interruption came from a host on the fringe conservative website who led a racist call earlier this year for the lynching of Barack Obama, America's first African American president.

Screams and goodbyes as scores die in devastating India factory fire

Sun, 08 Dec 2019 15:56 | AFP

Screams and goodbyes as scores die in devastating India factory fireAt least 43 people were killed Sunday in a devastating fire that ripped through a bag factory in the congested old quarter of the Indian capital New Delhi, with survivors describing the screams of workers trapped inside. The blaze was the worst in Delhi since 59 movie-goers died in a cinema in 1997. The cause of the blaze is not yet known, but the city's poor planning and lax enforcement of building and safety codes have often been blamed for such deadly incidents.

Syria's Assad: OPCW faked a report on attack near Damascus

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 15:47 | Associated Press

Syria's Assad: OPCW faked a report on attack near DamascusAssad's comments to Italy's Rai News 24 came after the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons expressed confidence in the report into the deadly attack in Syria. OPCW's chief Fernando Arias supported the report issued in March by a fact-finding mission from the watchdog that found "reasonable grounds" that chlorine was used in a deadly attack on the eastern Damascus suburb of Douma.

Jury would convict Trump 'in 3 minutes flat': Nadler

Sun, 08 Dec 2019 12:58 | Yahoo News Video

Jury would convict Trump 'in 3 minutes flat': NadlerThe chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said Sunday that if the impeachment case against President Trump were put to a jury, there "would be a guilty verdict in three minutes flat."

Plot Emerged to Fix Venezuela Without Maduro or Guaido

Sun, 08 Dec 2019 07:47 | Bloomberg

Plot Emerged to Fix Venezuela Without Maduro or Guaido(Bloomberg) -- The standoff in Venezuela briefly took a new twist, according to a report from the Spanish newspaper ABC.People close to both President Nicolas Maduro and his rival Juan Guaido plotted to push both men aside and end the nation’s crisis with the rule of a temporary junta, the newspaper reported without citing where it got the information.The article didn’t cite sources by name, nor was it completely clear how deeply embedded the plan was before it was discovered and fell apart. But the story suggests a strong desire within the camps of both men to end the standoff between Maduro and Guaido almost a year old. Guaido, the National Assembly president, has been recognized by more than 50 countries, including the U.S., as Venezuela’s leader.Third WayThe ABC story suggested a third way, which the paper reported was born out of talks between emissaries of high-ranking Venezuelan officials with opposition leaders, in four countries between April and October this year, after huge rallies demanding Maduro’s exit.The key figure appears to be Humberto Calderon Berti, then the designated ambassador to Colombia who Guaido dismissed last month. He was the main Guaido negotiator in the talks with the emissaries for Venezuelan officials who defied Maduro.At some point in the talks, the paper said, Calderon Berti was approached to head a “transitional junta” -- a small group of powerful men who would lead the nation for 18 months. The paper said that an agreement was drafted by August, with the document outlining the political changes to oust Maduro, sideline Guaido and install the junta sent around to the key players.The Venezuelan officials who sent emissaries for the secret talks included president of the National Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello, one of Venezuela’s most powerful men with strong ties to the military, Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino.The negotiations were complex, involving the reconciliation of various factions within the army and voiding the May 2018 presidential elections Maduro is widely seen as winning only by fraud.Temporary JuntaThe paper cites discussions in which a Cabello emissary, army captain Carlos Aguilera Borjas, suggests that Calderon Berti head the temporary junta. The paper says that Maduro’s regime discovered the talks, which then came to an end.Calderon Berti told ABC newspaper that he met with Aguilera Borjas and others. But these meetings were part of his diplomatic duties and had nothing to do with a plot to form a junta, Calderon Berti said.Guaido’s representatives declined to comment on the ABC report, while the Maduro government didn’t respond to requests to do so.To contact the reporter on this story: Jose Orozco in Mexico City at jorozco8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ney Hayashi at, Ian Fisher, Matthew G. MillerFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Former Boeing employee who warned about 737 problems will testify at hearing

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 17:22 | Reuters

Former Boeing employee who warned about 737 problems will testify at hearingA former Boeing Co employee who warned of problems with 737 production will testify on Wednesday at a U.S. House hearing on the Federal Aviation Administration review of the grounded 737 MAX. Former Boeing employee Edward Pierson, who had worked as a senior operations manager in the flight test and evaluation unit, will testify before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the panel said in a notice. Pierson's concerns were referenced at an Oct. 30 hearing -- though he had not been named previously.

The Russian Navy Has Some Problems

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 02:19 | The National Interest

The Russian Navy Has Some ProblemsYes, they received 23 new ships this year. That's where the good news ends.

'An outright lie': Ohio lawmaker shown to be linked to group pushing rightwing Christian bills

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 05:00 | The Guardian

'An outright lie': Ohio lawmaker shown to be linked to group pushing rightwing Christian billsTimothy Ginter, who said he had ‘no knowledge’ of Project Blitz, was listed as co-chair of state branch of group behind the campaignAn Ohio legislator who said he had “no knowledge” of a rightwing Christian bill mill called Project Blitz is, in fact, the co-chair of the state branch of an organization behind the campaign.The Ohio state representative Timothy Ginter sponsored a bill called the Student Religious Liberties Act. Opponents argued the bill would provide students with a religious exemption to facts, and would frighten teachers and school administrators into including religion in school functions.The Guardian revealed the bill was nearly identical to one promoted by Project Blitz, a state legislative project guided by three Christian right organizations, including the Congressional Prayer Caucus (CPC), WallBuilders and the ProFamily Legislators Conference. Project Blitz aims to promote and help pass conservative legislation across the US to fulfil its rightwing Christian agenda.When initially approached, Ginter told the Guardian in an email from a legislative aide that he had “no knowledge of ‘Project Blitz’ and has not been working with WallBuilders or the Congressional Prayer Caucus”.However, a screenshot shows Ginter was listed as the co-chair of the Ohio Prayer Caucus, the state chapter of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, as recently as January 2019. Ginter’s former chief of staff, Chris Albanese, is currently listed as the state director of the state chapter of CPC, Ohio Prayer Caucus.“I would call it an outright lie,” said Frederick Clarkson, a senior research analyst with Political Research Associates, and an expert on the Christian right. “The Prayer Caucus in the states are the action arm of Project Blitz – it is Project Blitz,” he said. “When he told you, ‘I’ve never heard of Project Blitz,’ that was a lie,” said Clarkson.The Guardian repeatedly called and emailed both Ginter and the the Republican Ohio house speaker, Larry Householder. Neither responded to these phone or email requests.In a statement at the time, Ginter argued the bill was necessary because, “well-funded groups” were intimidating school officials with “the thread of litigation”. His bill, he argued, would clarify their responsibilities.Ginter also argued the Student Religious Liberties Bill was not a Christian bill, because it does not explicitly mention Christianity. However, the Ohio Prayer Caucus he co-chaired explicitly lays out that it support legislators “who are standing for faith, morality and Judeo-Christian principles”.The Congressional Prayer Caucus also circulated an Ohio Prayer Proclamation. Among its signers are Ginter; the former representative Bill Hayes, who originally sponsored the bill; and the former House speaker Cliff Rosenberger. Rosenberger resigned in 2018 after a search warrant and subpoena revealed the FBI was investigating Rosenberger for corruption involving three payday lending representatives, according to the Dayton Daily News.Prominent defenders of religious liberties, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Anti-Defamation League, oppose the legislation. Republicans in the Ohio House passed the legislation with a party-line vote in November. It has not yet been taken up by the Ohio senate.

Trump accused of anti-Semitism after saying Jewish Americans will vote for him so they can avoid a wealth tax

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 08:17 | Business Insider

Trump accused of anti-Semitism after saying Jewish Americans will vote for him so they can avoid a wealth tax"You're brutal killers," President Donald Trump told those in real estate. "Not nice people at all, but you have to vote for me you have no choice."

The 25 Best Tower Defense Games

Sun, 08 Dec 2019 09:00 | Popular Mechanics

The 25 Best Tower Defense Games

'I Got Tired of Hunting Black and Hispanic People'

Sun, 08 Dec 2019 11:55 | The New York Times

'I Got Tired of Hunting Black and Hispanic People'NEW YORK -- At a police station tucked into an end-of-the-line subway terminal in South Brooklyn, the new commander instructed officers to think of white and Asian people as "soft targets" and urged them to instead go after blacks and Latinos for minor offenses like jumping the turnstile, a half-dozen officers said in sworn statements."You are stopping too many Russian and Chinese," one of the officers, Daniel Perez, recalled the commander telling him earlier this decade.Another officer, Aaron Diaz, recalled the same commander saying in 2012, "You should write more black and Hispanic people."The sworn statements, gathered in the last few months as part of a discrimination lawsuit, deal with a period between 2011-15. But they are now emerging publicly at a time when policing in the subway has become a contentious issue, sparking protests over a crackdown on fare evasion and other low-level offenses.The commander, Constantin Tsachas, was in charge of more than 100 officers who patrolled a swath of the subway system in Brooklyn, his first major command. Since then, he has been promoted to the second-in-command of policing the subway system throughout Brooklyn. Along the way, more than half a dozen subordinates claim, he gave them explicit directives about whom to arrest based on race.Those subordinates recently came forward, many for the first time, providing signed affidavits to support a discrimination lawsuit brought by four black and Hispanic police officers.The officers claim they faced retaliation from the New York Police Department because they objected to what they said was a long-standing quota system for arrests and tickets, which they argued mainly affected black and Hispanic New Yorkers.The authorities have deployed hundreds of additional officers to the subways, provoking a debate about overpolicing and the criminalization of poverty. Videos of arrests of young black men and of a woman selling churros in the subway system have gone viral in recent weeks. Demonstrators have taken to the subway system and jumped turnstiles in protest.Six officers said in their affidavits that Tsachas, now a deputy inspector, pressured them to enforce low-level violations against black and Hispanic people, while discouraging them from doing the same to white or Asian people.Tsachas declined to comment when reached by telephone this week, but his union representative said the inspector denied the allegations of misconduct. The Police Department also declined to address the allegations.The department has said in the past that its enforcement of fare evasion is not aimed at black and Hispanic people.More than three years ago, when Tsachas was promoted to his current rank, the police commissioner at the time, William J. Bratton, said that allegations Tsachas pushed quotas were false."I have full faith and support in him," Bratton said. He added that Tsachas had "the requisite skills and comes highly recommended."Most of the people arrested on charges of fare evasion in New York are black or Hispanic, according to data the Police Department has been required to report under local law since 2017.Between October 2017 and June 2019, black and Hispanic people, who account for slightly more than half the population in New York City, made up nearly 73% of those who got a ticket for fare evasion and whose race was recorded. They also made up more than 90% of those who were arrested, rather than given a ticket.Some elected officials have complained about the apparent racial disparity in arrests, saying it may indicate bias on the part of officers or an unofficial policy of racial profiling by the police."The focus of black and brown people, even if other people were doing the same crime, points to what many of us have been saying for a while," the city's public advocate, Jumaane Williams, said. "The same actions lead to different results, unfortunately, depending on where you live and an overlay of what you look like."Enforcement has surged nearly 50% in 2019, as city police officers issued 22,000 more tickets for fare evasion this year compared to 2018, according to Police Department data from Nov. 10.While the affidavits focus on a time period that ended nearly five years ago, they suggest at least one police commander openly pushed racial profiling when making arrests in the subway."I got tired of hunting Black and Hispanic people because of arrest quotas," one former officer, Christopher LaForce, said in his affidavit, explaining his decision to retire in 2015.In the affidavits, the officers said that different enforcement standards applied to different stations across Transit District 34, which spanned stations across South Brooklyn: Brooklyn's Chinatown in Sunset Park; neighborhoods with large Orthodox Jewish communities; a corner of Flatbush that is home to many Caribbean immigrants; and the Russian enclave around Brighton Beach."Tsachas would get angry if you tried to patrol subway stations in predominantly white or Asian neighborhoods" LaForce said in his affidavit. He added that the commander would redirect officers to stations in neighborhoods with larger black and Hispanic populations.Diaz, who retired from the Police Department last year, described in his affidavit how on one occasion Tsachas seemed irritated at him for having stopped several Asian people for fare evasion and told him he should be issuing tickets to "more black and Hispanic people."At the time, Diaz said, he was assigned to the N Line, which passes through neighborhoods with large numbers of Chinese Americans. He had arrested multiple residents of that neighborhoods for doubling up as they went through the turnstiles, according to his affidavit.Other officers described similar experiences. Some of the officers claimed in affidavits that Tsachas urged his officers to come up with reasons to stop black men, especially those with tattoos, and check them for warrants.Of the six officers, all but one is retired. They are all black or Hispanic. The affidavits were given to The New York Times by one of the four officers who has sued the Police Department, Lt. Edwin Raymond.The allegations in the affidavits were bolstered by a police union official, Corey Grable, who gave a deposition in June in the same lawsuit that recounted his interactions with Tsachas. He recalled Tsachas had once complained about a subordinate who Tsachas said seemed to go for "soft targets."Unsure what that meant, Grable asked if the officer was ticketing old ladies for minor offenses? Tsachas responded: "No, Asian."Grable, who is black, asked, "Would you have been more comfortable if these guys were black or Hispanic?""Yes," Tsachas replied, according to Grable's recollection.Tsachas joined the Police Department in 2001 and patrolled public housing developments in Harlem for five years. He later analyzed crime patterns in Queens and across the city before being transferred to the Transit Bureau. He was a captain in 2011 when he was appointed to command Brooklyn's District 34, a position he held for at least four years.In 2015, he took command of neighboring Transit District 32, where Raymond, who is currently suing him, worked. At the time Raymond held the rank of police officer.Raymond has charged in the lawsuit that Tsachas blocked his promotion by giving him a low evaluation as punishment for not making enough arrests.Raymond, who is now a patrol supervisor in Brooklyn, recorded a conversation in October 2015 in which Tsachas encouraged him to arrest more people and gave an example of the sort of arrest he did not want: a 42-year-old Asian woman with no identification arrested on a charge of fare beating."That's not going to fly," he said, according to the recording, first described in a New York Times Magazine article.Raymond, who still had the rank of police officer at the time, responded that it was unconstitutional to consider race when deciding whom to arrest. Tsachas, a captain at the time, then apologized, saying the comment "didn't come out the way it's supposed to."Raymond said he believed Tsachas should not have been promoted. "It's a spit in the face of communities of color that this man is given more power after being exposed as a bigot," he said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

Stocks slip as investors weigh outlook for US-China trade

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:27 | Associated Press

Stocks slip as investors weigh outlook for US-China tradeStock markets weakened during European trading on Monday as investors weighed the possibility of more U.S. tariffs on China and the outlook for negotiations on the trade dispute. A Chinese official said that Beijing wants a prompt settlement of its trade war with Washington as another U.S. tariff hike on $160 billion of Chinese imports is due to take effect Sunday. China announced Friday it was carrying out a promise to waive punitive tariffs on American soybeans and pork.

Isil 'matchmaker' who lured British teen bride to Syria is deported to France

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 11:51 | The Telegraph

Isil 'matchmaker' who lured British teen bride to Syria is deported to FranceTurkey has deported to France the “Islamic State matchmaker” who lured a British teen bride to Syria as part of a drive to send foreign fighters back to their countries of origin. Tooba Gondal, 25, is among 11 French nationals that Turkey repatriated early on Monday, according to France's Centre for Analysis of Terrorism, CAT, citing official sources. A French judicial source confirmed that four women and their seven children had arrived in France. Two of the women returned were already targeted by arrest warrants and will soon face a judge, while the other two were sought by police and have been placed in custody, the French source said.  The children have been taken into care. Ms Gondal, from Walthamstow, east London, has been "detained for questioning" and faces terror charges, said CAT. She will then likely be detained while awaiting trial. She was born in France but moved to UK capital as a child and had British residency. A source close to the family told The Telegraph they were upset by the UK's decision to refuse her return. "Her kids most certainly will go into foster care away from her and any of her family in Britain,” said the source. Tooba Gondal, known as the 'Islamic State matchmaker' pictured before leaving for Syria in 2015 Ms Gondal has been accused of acting as an online recruiter and “matchmaker” for the terrorist group by luring women to Syria to marry Isil fighters. Among them was reportedly Bethnal Green schoolgirl Shamima Begum. She used social media to post images of herself wearing a burqa and holding an assault rifle. In October, Ms Gondal told the Telegraph how she managed to escape from Ain Issa camp with her two infant children, along with hundreds of other foreign suspected Isil women in a mass prison break after Turkey launched its offensive. She expressed a desire to be sent to the UK or Turkey. “I want to go home, see my family,” the former Goldsmiths, University of London, student said via WhatsApp messages. “But if I am not able, I want to seek refuge in Turkey." Married and widowed three times while living in Isil’s “caliphate”, she was banned from re-entering the UK last November by a Home Office exclusion order, but her three-year-old son is entitled to citizenship because of his British father. However, her 18-month-old daughter's late father was Russian. Last month, Turkey stepped up the return of suspected foreign Isil members - either held in Turkish prisons or in Syria - back to their countries of origin, saying Turkey was "not a hotel" for foreign fighters. The Turkish interior ministry on Monday confirmed it had sent 11 French relatives of suspected "terrorist fighters" back home. According to CAT, one of the deported women was Amandine Le Coz, who had been married to a Moroccan militant killed in Syria. She joined Isil with her husband in 2014. The French foreign ministry and interior ministry declined to comment. The mother-of-two, seen here with a Kalashnikov, was denied return to the United Kingdom with her children Credit: Telegraph Turkey stepped up its deportation of foreign fighters after criticism from Western countries, in particular, France, over its military offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria. The move has created a conundrum for European governments over how to manage the return of radicalised militants, some of them battle-hardened. Britain, which has taken one of the strongest stances against the return of its nationals, has deprived many of them of their citizenship. Under a 2014 accord between France and Turkey, Paris agreed to take back jihadists trying to return home from Syria via Turkey and incarcerate them at home. Some 300 French nationals have been thus returned in the past five years. However, France is keen on foreign suspects being sent for trial near to their place of arrest - notably Iraq, where several of its nationals have recently been handed death sentences. America last month clashed with Europe over the issue, with Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, insisting they needed to “hold them to account”. "Coalition members must take back the thousands of foreign terrorist fighters in custody and impose accountability for the atrocities they have perpetrated," he said in a meeting of the international coalition against Isil in Washington DC. Ankara says it has around 1,200 foreign Isil members in custody. There are understood to be around 10 British men, 20 women and 30 children, currently detained in Kurdish-run camps and prisons around north-east Syria.

Today's Horoscope

Aries Horoscope for Monday, December 09, 2019

Now is the time to do something wild, crazy, out of the ordinary or just plain silly. Hop in the car and drive to the nearest small town to lunch in a park, or spread blankets on a rooftop and sip sparkling water while discussing Descartes. Be spontaneous. This will not only allow you to relax and unwind, but it will also stir the juices of creativity. By the time all is said and done, you`ll have a much better idea of where exactly the road of life is taking you.
When you wake up this morning, you may feel especially refreshed. What happened to all that stress, all that tension that was collecting on your shoulders just a week or two ago? It`s melting away faster than April snow. Enjoy the warm and inviting emotional sunshine by inviting someone to join you under your proverbial umbrella. It seems that you are just the antidote to the depression someone around you is feeling. Let them into your world, and you`ll be happier, too.

You`ve been sensitive and empathetic to your friends, but perhaps you need to be more straightforward. The stars indicate that right now you have license to say what you need to say, even if someone`s feelings are bruised in the process. If you get those unspoken questions and observations out in the open, at least you can imagine and consider a few answers. If you keep them inside, they`re only going to sit there and build a lot of resentment.
It looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck. While in most situations like this you could bet your bottom dollar that it is indeed a duck, there are also times when you can and will be fooled. Circumstantial evidence may be fine for made-for-television movies, but do you really need to jump to conclusions when it comes to questions about those people you love? It would probably be wise to wait for more evidence. There is probably more -- or less -- to the story than you realize.

How much have you changed in recent years? You may not really know for sure until you`re put to the test. Rest assured that things are indeed getting easier every day. Years ago, an encounter like the one that`s looking increasingly inevitable would have probably set you shuddering in your boots. Now, however, you are older, wiser and have a better idea of what you`re capable of accomplishing. You really can deal with tough challenges.
The cosmic poker deck seems stacked against you, and right now it seems that just about everyone is in on the conspiracy. There`s a way to get out of this, but it requires some tough-mindedness on your part. Over the next few days, you need to tune out the parts of the cold, cruel world that frustrate and upset you. Tune into another person -- their foibles, their gifts and the way they enchant you. You`ll find comfort in the arms of precious loved ones.

You can daydream all you want about roses, exotic getaways and romantic poems. Just keep in mind that there is much more to love than what we hear in storybooks and ballads, just as there is more to life than winning the lottery or striking gold. Be ready to deal with the nuts and bolts of commitment, devotion and emotional maintenance. Be ready to get your hands dirty as you begin the fine-tuning. Things are by no means perfect right now, but they`re in darn good shape.
Don`t try to force a quick solution to an old problem. If you do, you may be too willing to jump at the first glittery boat that sails by. You need to make sure that you hop aboard the vessel that will take you to the place that you want to go, not simply one that rescues you from a trying situation. In the past you have proven that you can get through tough times by relying on your wits, your heart and your instincts. Luckily for you, these resources will once again be there when you need them.

If you want two very distant and different worlds to begin building a bilateral communication system, you need to start considering what you will and will not compromise on. It`s one thing to enjoy things when no demands are made of you. It`s another thing altogether when you get the short end of the stick time and time again, just because you want to keep the peace. Consider your own needs and talents, and see how they fit into the whole equation.
Hold off on any hard decisions for at least a couple of days. Right now you`re only seeing the blueprints, yet you`re breaking your neck trying to get the complete view. Soon, however, you`ll be strolling through the whole building and soaking up the details. Believe it or not, a new vision is dawning. Within the wells of your subconscious, wheels are turning and paradigms are shifting. Something is about to break through the surface.

Although you may like to pretend now and again, the truth is that you aren`t nearly as weak as you have convinced yourself that you are. You need to draw on your inner strength. Give the smaller things in your life more attention and credit, especially when it comes to dealing with emotional issues. This is a good day to tune out the negative and tune into the positive. You have accomplished so much, and you have every reason to hold your head high.
Do you get the feeling that a showdown is inevitable? If a friend, family member or lover is making extra-tough demands on you, perhaps you need to lay down the law and put some space between the two of you. You have been giving plenty. If trends are going to continue, you`ll need to replenish your resources. Take care of yourself now in order to ensure that you`ll have something left to give in the near future. Exhausting your emotional, psychological and bodily resources will benefit no one.