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House Democrats ponder expanding impeachment probe after Sondland 'game changer' testimony

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 20:54 | Yahoo News

House Democrats ponder expanding impeachment probe after Sondland 'game changer' testimonyGordon Sondland’s explosive testimony Wednesday that “everyone was in the loop” on President Trump’s efforts to secure an investigation of a political rival prompted rank-and-file Democrats to discuss whether it was time to expand their probe.

Gabbard and Harris clash over visions for the Democratic Party

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 22:19 | Yahoo News

Gabbard and Harris clash over visions for the Democratic PartyAt the Democratic debate in Atlanta on Wednesday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Sen. Kamala Harris of California clashed over their differing visions for the party, particularly when it comes to foreign policy.

US woman could be forced to register as a sex offender after appearing topless in front of step-children

Thu, 21 Nov 2019 15:32 | The Telegraph

US woman could be forced to register as a sex offender after appearing topless in front of step-childrenAn American woman could be forced to register as a sex offender after appearing topless in front of her step-children in her own home. Tilli Buchanan, from Utah, was charged with three counts of misdemeanour lewdness involving a child after appearing topless along with the children's father in their home last year. Ms Buchanan's lawyers are contesting the charge, arguing it is unfair to treat men and women differently for baring her chest. She said she and her husband were working in their garage in late 2017 or early 2018 and removed their shirts to prevent them from getting dusty.   She told the court that when the children, aged nine and 13, entered the garage she “explained she considers herself a feminist and wanted to make a point that everybody should be fine with walking around their house or elsewhere with skin showing”. “It was in the privacy of my own home. My husband was right next to me in the same exact manner that I was, and he’s not being prosecuted,” she said after the court hearing. The charge occurred after child welfare officials began an investigation involving the children on an unrelated matter and the children’s mother reported the incident to authorities because she was “alarmed.” If convicted, Ms Buchanan could be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years. Her husband was not charged. Ms Buchanan's lawyers appeared in court on Tuesday to ask a judge to overturn the charges, arguing that they are unconstitutional. The lawyers cited a previous court ruling that overturned a Colorado ban on women going topless in public. However the prosecution said that in the US, nudity is commonly understood to include women's breasts. The judge in the case, Kara Pettit, declined to rule immediately on the case, saying it was “too important of an issue”. A ruling is expected in the next few months.

Son of former German president stabbed to death in Berlin

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 02:28 | Associated Press

Son of former German president stabbed to death in BerlinThe son of former German president Richard von Weizsaecker was stabbed to death while he was giving a lecture at a hospital in Berlin where he worked as a head physician, police said Wednesday. A 57-year-old German man is in custody after he jumped up from the audience at the Schlosspark-Klinik and attacked Fritz von Weizsaecker with a knife on Tuesday evening. Von Weizsaecker died at the scene from a knife wound to the neck despite immediate attention from colleagues, said Martin Steltner, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors.

Russia opens investigation into space center fraud after Putin rebuke

Thu, 21 Nov 2019 03:27 | Reuters

Russia opens investigation into space center fraud after Putin rebukeRussian investigators said on Thursday they had opened two criminal cases into the management of a company involved in building the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a space center in the country's Far East. The announcement came less than two weeks after President Vladimir Putin complained to government officials about corruption at the facility and called for further investigations. Construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome began in January 2011, part of a plan for Russia to reduce its dependency on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, which Russia leases from the former Soviet Republic for space operations.

American Airlines admitted a mid-air accident that knocked out 2 flight crew and forced an emergency landing was not caused by spilled soap

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 09:34 | Business Insider

American Airlines admitted a mid-air accident that knocked out 2 flight crew and forced an emergency landing was not caused by spilled soapOn October 21 a flight from London to Philadelphia was forced to land in Dublin, Ireland, when two staff members were knocked unconscious.

South Africa Won’t Give SAA Any Further Funding to Resolve Wage Strike

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 02:33 | Bloomberg

South Africa Won’t Give SAA Any Further Funding to Resolve Wage Strike(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterSouth Africa’s government ruled out an intervention in the ongoing battle between the struggling state airline and unions leading a strike, with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan refusing to step in to fund wage demands.The state has already given South African Airways more than 20.5 billion rand ($1.4 billion) over the past three years, Gordhan said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. The country is facing severe fiscal constraints and no more aid can be made available, he said.Two labor unions representing more than 3,000 staff at SAA walked out Friday in protest at the airline’s plan to cut jobs and refusal to meet demands for an 8% wage increase. The carrier, which has offered a raise of 5.9%, has halted a number of flights and warned that the viability of the entire business is being placed at risk.“The pattern of bailouts has become a moral hazard,” said Gordhan, who met with the unions in Pretoria. “A restructuring of SAA’s business is required to return the airline to profitability. In addition to growing revenues, efficiencies must be improved and costs will need to be reduced across the board.”The minister ended a labor dispute at state power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. in 2018 that interrupted the nation’s power supply. He indicated that he won’t do the same to resolve the SAA impasse, saying negotiations are being handled by its management team.Unions should work with SAA to find a speedy resolution to the labor action, which has grounded flights and is worsening the carrier’s already precarious financial position, Gordhan said.Talks aimed at breaking the deadlock ended late Tuesday night without a resolution being reached, according to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.Latest strike update from SAA:All international and some regional flights are back in operation, while domestic services are being provided by the SAA’s low-cost unit Mango Airlines SOC Ltd. and partner carriers Safair Operations (Pty) Ltd. and SA Express.All operations are compliant with safety standards.A growing number of employees don’t support the strike and are returning to work.SAA has approached the labor court to interdict unions from making additional demands that are not part of the current dispute.(Updates with outcome of latest talks in penultimate paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Cohen in Cape Town at mcohen21@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at, John Bowker, John ViljoenFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Syracuse Students Flee Campus Rocked by Racist Incidents

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 10:10 | The Daily Beast

Syracuse Students Flee Campus Rocked by Racist IncidentsSam GelfandSYRACUSE, New York—A string of racist and anti-Semitic incidents at Syracuse University has ratcheted up tensions to the point that more and more students are fleeing campus before the Thanksgiving break.“I’ve simply had enough. I’m exhausted from all of the hate going on at campus,” senior Mason Horodyski told The Daily Beast on Tuesday night.The upstate New York school has been reeling from 11 reports of racist graffiti and harassment in two weeks—which prompted widespread student protests, a tongue-lashing for administrators from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and a $1 million commitment for campus change.In the twilight hours of Monday, the manifesto written by the Christchurch mosque shooter was posted to a Syracuse discussion forum and hours later allegedly AirDropped to students’ phones in the university library. Many students took this as an implied threat of violence.One freshman, who asked to remain anonymous, said the manifesto incident was the tipping point for her. “I was very shocked. I don’t feel safe right now,” she said as she frantically stuffed garbage bags filled with clothes into the trunk of a white Mercedes-Benz SUV. Students pack to leave Syracuse UniversitySam GelfandThe university’s Department of Public Safety has stressed there is “no appearance of a direct threat,” but students who are leaving early all say the same thing: They don’t feel safe.“Everybody was already pretty tense going into the week, just with everything that’s going on,” said Ford Hatchett, a resident assistant in the Brewster, Boland, and Brockway residence hall complex, known to students as BBB. Tension morphed into fear on Tuesday. Cries to cancel classes emanated from every corner of campus. A police car was parked outside BBB."As I’m walking into BBB, there's several girls with suitcases that are walking out,” said Will Scott, a student sports reporter who visited BBB. “I’m like, ‘Where are y’all going; what’s up?’ And one of the girls was extremely rattled and said, ‘Someone just threatened to shoot up BBB.’”The rumor was based on a screenshot of a conversation between two students that had begun circulating among the student body. Although the threat was quickly debunked by DPS officers, the damage was done.Cuomo Blasts Syracuse U Leadership After White-Supremacist Manifesto Allegedly AirDropped to Students“In those two to three minutes, students had already gotten a hold of it,” Hatchett said. “We started getting panicked messages from students, who again, want to know, ‘Are we on lockdown?’ ‘Do we need to evacuate?’ ‘I called my mom, she wants me to get on a flight, like, right away.’ So it was almost mass panic there for a good hour and a half before we finally figured out that everything was calm and safe.“There wasn’t any concern that there was an active shooter in the building, but there was a concern that it would be happening sometime today. At that point, a lot of people just wanted to get as far away from here as they could.“I kid you not, within five minutes, I saw some people walking out with suitcases. They had suitcases in their hands and they were bookin’ it for the door.“A couple of them booked flights today,” Hatchett said. “I have a couple students who booked hotel rooms in the area and are staying there because they didn’t feel safe in the dorms. And I know of other students who are driving home tonight.”Hatchett oversees 36 students on his floor. Twelve of them left Tuesday night. All of them cited the unfounded threat as the reason, he said.“They all felt a little on-edge,” Hatchett explained, “but no one had taken the action to go home or get a hotel until today’s threats. I don’t think anyone has ever heard of one-third of a floor getting out of here a couple days early.”Freshman Victoria Ghillani said she wants to leave “as soon as I possibly can.” “This just shouldn’t be happening,” she said.Syracuse students wait for rides to take them off campusSam GelfandMinutes after Ghillani went upstairs to gather her belongings, Jenna Klein dragged her black suitcase across the lobby. The 18-year-old freshman, backpack slung over one shoulder, said shooting fears—even though they were unfounded—pushed her over the edge.“With everything happening on campus, I don’t really feel safe here. It’s just that shootings have happened so much, and…” she trailed off.Syracuse University has adopted a business-as-usual stance. Several schools and colleges informed students Tuesday morning via email that classes would not be canceled by the administration—though by afternoon most had relented and declared that absences this week would be excused.Students who have stayed behind are on high alert. While Hatchett spoke to The Daily Beast on Tuesday evening, a student listening to an emergency dispatch claimed he heard reports of shots fired at nearby Sadler Hall. They realized they were mistaken a few minutes later, but not before a handful of people received frantic texts to shelter in place.Hatchett, a senior, said he wasn’t concerned about his safety but he could not blame freshmen for being jittery in the current climate.”They did what was best for them, and I’m glad everybody got out of here safe,” he said.Syracuse University Offers $50,000 Reward for Information About Racist Incidents on CampusRead 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.

Meet What Could be The U.S. Navy's Ultimate Weapon (As in a New Destroyer)

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 03:11 | The National Interest

Meet What Could be The U.S. Navy's Ultimate Weapon (As in a New Destroyer)Navy Flight III Destroyers have a host of defining new technologies not included in current ships.

Maloney hammers Sondland on changing testimony — and extracts key concession

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:52 | Yahoo News

Maloney hammers Sondland on changing testimony — and extracts key concessionRep. Sean Patrick Maloney chastised Gordon Sondland during the U.S. ambassador to the European Union’s testimony Wednesday.

Iran's Guards praise 'timely' action against protesters

Thu, 21 Nov 2019 04:48 | AFP

Iran's Guards praise 'timely' action against protestersIran's Revolutionary Guards on Thursday praised the armed forces for taking "timely" action against "rioters" and said calm had returned after days of unrest sparked by a hike in petrol prices. Motorists blocked highways in Tehran before the unrest spread to cities and towns across the country, with petrol pumps torched, police stations attacked and shops looted. "Incidents, big and small, caused by the rise in petrol price took place in (a little) less than 100 cities across Iran," said a statement on the Guards' official website

20 of the Most Beautiful Bridges in the World

Thu, 21 Nov 2019 08:00 | Architectural Digest

20 of the Most Beautiful Bridges in the World

Himes takes exception to key Republican defense of Trump

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:55 | Yahoo News Video

Himes takes exception to key Republican defense of TrumpRep. Jim Himes (D-CT) took apart a key Republican defense of President Trump during Wednesday's impeachment inquiry hearing.

Russia 'ruined' Ukrainian naval vessels before handing them back, says Ukrainian navy

Thu, 21 Nov 2019 10:41 | The Telegraph

Russia 'ruined' Ukrainian naval vessels before handing them back, says Ukrainian navyThree Ukrainian navy boats seized by Russia a year ago were vandalised before being handed back to Ukraine, the country's navy said.  The fast gunboats Nikopol and Berdyansk and the tugboat Tany Kapu were welcomed by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and onlookers waving national flags arrived in Ochakiv, a Ukrainian naval port on the Black Sea on Wednesday evening.  But Ukraine's navy said the vessels had been stripped bare and left so badly damaged that they had to be towed home by tug. "The Russians ruined them," said Admiral Ihor Voronchenko, the head of the Ukrainian Navy.   "They even took the ceiling lights, plug sockets, and lavatories," he said.  Mr Zelenskiy, who reviewed the vessels as they returned on Thursday morning, said: "I am very happy that our navy vessels are back where they belong. As promised, we have brought back our sailors and our ships.   "Some of the equipment is missing, as well as some weapons. There will be an investigation. We will see all of the details."   Russia blocked the Kerch strait with a tanker and deployed fighter jets to stop the three vessels entering the Azov Sea last year Credit: Pavel Rebrov/Reuters Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), which oversees the border service that seized the vessels, denied tampering with the ships and said they had been "handed over to the Ukrainian side in normal condition."   The three vessels were boarded by Russian forces after they tried to pass through the Strait of Kerch in November last year.  Russia says they illegally violated the Russian border, then impounded the vessels and jailed 24 crew members pending trial.  Ukraine described the move as an act of war and a flagrant breach of the treaty that gives the countries joint sovereignty of the only channel between the Black and Azov seas.  Mr Zelenskiy said the return of the boats as the latest in a series of small steps "towards peace" ahead of a key summit with Vladimir Putin next month.  Mr Zelenskiy inspects the artillery boat Nikopol Credit: Arkhip Vereshchagin/TASS The two presidents will meet in person for the first time in Paris on December 9, at talks brokered by France and Germany that are designed to end the conflict in east Ukraine, which has killed 13,000 people since 2014.     In September the ships' crews were released in a prisoner swap that also saw Russia free Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker and activist who had been held on trumped-up charges since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.    The sides have also agreed to pull back troops from key points on the line of contact in eastern Ukraine. The narrow sea way between Crimea and Russia's Taman peninsula is the only passage for ships sailing to and from Ukraine's industrial port of Mariupol, to which the flotilla was bound when it was seized.  Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and opened a bridge across the strait in 2017 in defiance of Ukrainian objections. Mariupol is a few miles from the frontline where Ukrainian and Russian-directed separatist forces have been fighting a static war for five years.

Today's Horoscope

Aries Horoscope for Thursday, November 21, 2019

Your reputation may become increasingly important to you at this time, and authority figures may be causing you some pressure. You want to impress, but why is it taking so long? Patience and focus on long-term goals can carry you through. Try your best to remain grounded and self-disciplined, and you`ll emerge respected by all. If your home life and career are competing heavily with each other, try to pay equal attention to both, or carefully examine where you want to focus your greatest attention to satisfy any neglected parties.
Good things are happening in all areas of your life, and the results from your hard work become apparent. Big money is in motion, and the whole process begins to make sense. You have the power to enlighten others to what is really happening. Your words could even be the focal point of a business meeting. Not only can you impress everyone else, you might even exceed your own expectations. The world beyond your daily life opens up invitingly. Something new and different is well within your means. Your expansive mood inspires contact with people in faraway places.

That different drummer inside your head is setting up a distracting beat, but try to stay focused. You may have problems working with other people right now. Although cooperation with others may not be easy, it is still necessary. The balance of power is a little bit off, but only you are responsible for your current set of challenges. Everyone seems eager to shift the responsibility onto someone else`s shoulders. If a project is headed for self-destruction, bail out early. Knowledge is your best weapon.
A relationship is bending under the stress of external pressures, and the resulting issues test your character. Your partner`s happiness and well-being are a measure of your effect on him or her. Just because a problem is simple in nature does not make it easier to resolve. It helps that everyone has his or her cards on the table. Partners can learn real lessons about one another during this stressful time. The more effort you put into something that really matters, the greater the benefit for all.

Deal with that stack of cheerless tasks. If you let the pile get any bigger, it will be even less fun to dig yourself out. You surprise everyone, including yourself, with a sudden no-nonsense attitude. Time is more precious than it has been for a while. There is nothing laid-back about the way you get down to business. Others are grateful for the services you provide. It helps if you take the longer view as you take care of the daily grind. On some level, every action you take is a gamble in a random cosmic lottery.
There is a kind of beautiful Zen flow to your day. You find joy and comfort in the familiarity of your routine. Things may work out even better than you had planned. A subtle surprise creates gigantic ripples, but you are able to maintain your sense of peace and balance. You have the right to be satisfied with the way things are going. Others call you a genius, but you`re not doing anything that they couldn`t do themselves. Your present work has become the easy part. The true challenge lies in looking ahead.

A long-held belief is challenged by new evidence, and your conscience is telling you that you should have known better. This inner noise makes you more eager than ever to forget the past and move on. Accept reality without shifting the blame. It`s possible to learn from history without living in it. Close your eyes and imagine how your world ought to look. Use this image as a basis for your transition plans. A simple change in appearance or perspective raises your spirits. Once you start making changes, it may be hard to stop.
Although you may feel as if you`re on uncertain ground, you have surprising success during this period of trial and error. Believe what your senses tell you, and take full advantage of the message. You may not have won yet, but you are well ahead of the game. Keep your intuition attuned to the possibility that there may be another way to finish what you started. Do your best to make a shared working environment as friendly and convenient as possible. A smoothly running operation is prepared for anything.

Focus on your resources, where they come from and how you use them. This is not a time for wishing on stars and seeing pictures in clouds. Work a little harder to anchor yourself more firmly to reality. Take care of your budget before that shopping spree rather than afterward. You can still have fun, but it`s good to know how much you can afford. Cut costs by recycling everything that can be used again. Until you settle a debt, you will be invisibly bound to the lender. Freedom is an illusion when you are working for someone else.
Whether working or playing, you have the energy and stamina to outlast the competition. Your body feels wonderful. Every breath you draw is alive with possibility. Your methods ensure your success, so why change them? No matter what anyone else says, you know what works for you, and no one can accuse you of not doing your share of the work. By keeping it simple, you can easily teach people who are willing to learn. Make history today.

There isn`t anything you can`t fix, Aquarius. Temporary solutions allow you to move toward permanence. You are right to be amazed. Spend as much time with friends today as possible. Being in a group of supporters will make you feel like you can say or do anything. Write down any ideas that come to mind now, before you forget them. There may be a moneymaker in there somewhere! If anyone can make things happen right now, it`s you.
Right now, you have a front row seat to the workings of a vast invisible continuum. Other people may not grasp at the connections between things that are immediately obvious to you. You may be able to capitalize on one or more of the ideas floating around in your head. Your dreams from last night may have significant meaning, so set some time aside to write in your dream journal. Your intuition is also quite active, so you may feel especially tuned into others. Daydreaming can open new and exciting worlds.