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  • Government records show that Kobe Bryant's helicopter used to be owned by the state of Illinois news

    Bryant's helicopter was owned by an operator called Island Express Holding Corp., which purchased it from Illinois in 2015.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 14:32:56 -0500
  • There Is No Going Back If Iran Sinks A U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier news

    It would mean war.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 16:30:00 -0500
  • This Fox News poll on Trump and the economy is baffling news

    A Fox News poll released Sunday has some good news for President Trump, but if you combine it with the poll's bad news, it's not at all clear where Trump stands with the American public or how voters are feeling about the state of the union.On the positive side, 55 percent of voters said the economy is good or excellent, the highest number since 59 percent said they felt positive about the economy in January 2001 (two months before the start of the ugly 2001 recession). A 42 percent plurality of voters credit Trump and the Republicans for the economy, and Trump's job approval rating on the economy is a record 56 percent.The bad news? A 55 percent majority of voters say the way the economy works is unfair and 56 percent say they are dissatisfied with how things are going in the country, Fox News found. Trump's overall approval rating is 45 percent, with 54 percent disapproving, and he is underwater on all non-economy issues: guns (-9 percentage points), immigration (-15 points), foreign policy (-16 points), health care (-16 points), government spending (-18 points), race relations (-19 points), the environment (-22 points), even trade deals (-1 point).Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson sees the glass half full: "The president's job approval on the economy has consistently outpaced his overall job approval," and "a strong economy creates a good foundation for an incumbent seeking re-election, even if voters will also say things could always be even better or more fair." Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, whose firm conducted the Fox News poll with GOP pollster Daron Shaw, argued that Trump's approval on the economy "is tenuous ground on which to stake his re-election," because "outside the Republican base, voters think the economy under Trump doesn't work for most people."The poll was conducted Jan. 19-22 by Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Co. (R), surveying 1,005 randomly selected registered votes over the phone. The poll's overall margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.More stories from Mike Pompeo is a disgrace All the president's turncoats Investigators: Kobe Bryant's pilot tried to gain altitude before crash

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 06:37:24 -0500
  • Virginia woman gets life in WVa man's decapitation death

    A Virginia woman was sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole Monday in the death of a West Virginia man who was decapitated. Roena Cheryl Mills, 43, of Rural Retreat, Virginia, was sentenced for her December conviction on a first-degree murder charge in the death of Bo White, 29, of Lenore, news outlets reported. A neighbor called police after seeing Mills covered in blood.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 14:00:52 -0500
  • How the world discovered the Nazi death camps news

    Images of what the Allies found when they liberated the first Nazi death camps towards the end of World War II brought the horror of the Holocaust to global attention. Many of the ghastly pictures were at first held back from the broader public, partly out of concern for those with missing relatives. The concentration and extermination camps were liberated one by one as the Allied armies advanced on Berlin in the final days of the 1939-1945 war.

    Sun, 26 Jan 2020 23:01:37 -0500
  • Philippines stops issuing visas on arrival to Chinese nationals on virus fears news

    The Philippines' Bureau of Immigration will temporarily stop issuing tourist visas on arrival to Chinese nationals to help ensure the country remained free of the new coronavirus, its head said on Tuesday.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 22:19:59 -0500
  • CDC Split With China on Coronavirus Spread as Possible U.S. Cases Hit 110 news

    As authorities in China scrambled to handle a coronavirus that has killed at least 81 people, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday described a surging potential crisis even as they pushed back on the latest thinking from Beijing about just how easily it spreads.Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters that the number of confirmed cases stateside had reached five—and that there had been a total of 110 “persons under investigation” for the virus in 26 states over the past week.Thirty-two of those people tested negative, and there had been no confirmed person-to-person transmissions inside the country, Messonnier said on Monday. The confirmed cases in the U.S. include patients in Orange County, California; a man in his 30s in Washington state; a woman in her 60s in Chicago; a passenger who felt ill after flying into Los Angeles International Airport; and a student at Arizona State University who does not live in university housing, the CDC said on Sunday. All of the U.S. cases appeared to involve patients who had recently traveled from Wuhan, China—the epicenter of the deadly virus. Seventy-three people were still being evaluated for the virus as of Monday.Fifth U.S. Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Patient Who Traveled From Wuhan, China“We understand that many people in the United States are worried about this virus and how it will affect Americans,” Messonnier said, adding that “risk depends on exposure,” which for Americans remained “low” on Monday.In each U.S. case, health officials have said they will trace the patient’s contacts and identify anyone who may have had prolonged exposure, then monitor those individuals for symptoms. In the U.S., anyone who has had close contact with confirmed patients has not been quarantined unless and until they display symptoms.That policy came into question over the weekend, when China’s health minister Ma Xiaowei said “the ability of the virus to spread is getting stronger” and that authorities in that country now believe the virus can spread during the incubation period—even before infected patients become symptomatic. A study published last week in the journal Lancet appeared to bolster that contention.But Messonnier said the CDC had not seen “any clear evidence of patients being infectious before symptom onset” as of Monday, even if authorities in the U.S. “are being very aggressive and very cautious in tracking close contacts” of infected individuals.“This outbreak is unfolding rapidly, and we are rapidly looking at how that impacts our posture at the border,” said Messonnier. “I expect that in the coming days, our travel recommendations will change.”Experts said that even as statements from Chinese health officials had to be viewed through a political lens, outright dismissal of asymptomatic transmission was premature.Eric Toner, a senior scientist with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the University’s School of Public Health, called the question “nuanced.” “It’s hard to know why the [Chinese] minister was so sure,” said Toner. “The evidence we have seen is quite suggestive of pre-symptomatic transmission, at least in some people, but not conclusive. He may have information that we do not.”For now, officials were still screening passengers at five American airports: Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Of course, fewer travelers are coming out of Wuhan in the wake of a travel lockdown late last week; Messonnier said the CDC had screened approximately 2,400 people in those airports so far but that “the number of people coming from Wuhan is declining.”Though Chinese authorities halted travel from Wuhan to stop the spread of the virus, the U.S. is among several countries—including France and Russia—that were given special permission to evacuate diplomats and private citizens. In addition to the 81 dead in China—76 of whom reportedly lived in Wuhan—nearly 3,000 people across the world, including a 9-month-old baby girl in Beijing, had confirmed cases of the virus as of Monday morning. Aside from the five cases in the U.S., more have been reported in Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, Macau, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, France, Canada, Vietnam, and Nepal. There had been no deaths from the virus reported outside of China as of Monday morning. But the new fatalities in that country over the weekend, including an 88-year-old man in Shanghai, stoked fears that the government had failed to contain the infection’s spread. Beijing announced Monday morning that it would push back the official end of the Lunar New Year holiday to Thursday from Sunday in order to “reduce mass gatherings” and “block the spread of the epidemic,” according to a statement from China’s cabinet.Meanwhile, Wuhan’s mayor, Zhou Xianwang, on Monday offered to step down, along with the city’s party secretary, Ma Guoqiang, in order to “appease public indignation.” He said the pair were prepared to take responsibility for the crisis after days of public outcries from citizens, on social media and elsewhere.“Our names will live in infamy, but as long as it is conducive to the control of the disease and to the people’s lives and safety, Comrade Ma Guoqiang and I will bear any responsibility,” Zhou reportedly said Monday.Dr. Adrian Hyzler, chief medical officer for Healix International, which provides medical information to travelers, told The Daily Beast the CDC will know much more about how easily the virus spreads once the incubation period—estimated at a maximum of 14 days—has passed in the five U.S. cases. “If, as the Chinese are saying, patients are contagious before symptoms develop, then it is much harder to control,” he said.Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the CDC cleared 32 people who tested negative for the virus out of 110 potential cases.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.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 14:26:32 -0500
  • British man dies in US immigration detention in Florida news

    * Death of man, 39, initially attributed to hanging * UK Foreign Office said to be in touch with man’s wifeA British man has died while being held in US immigration detention in Florida, the Guardian has confirmed.The death was first reported by BuzzFeed News, which said the man was 39 years old and that the cause was initially attributed to asphyxiation due to hanging. The incident was reported to have occurred on Saturday last week.“Our staff are in contact with the US authorities following the death of a British man in Florida,” said a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office in London.Foreign Office officials are understood to have been in contact with the deceased man’s wife, as US officials investigate the circumstances of the death.Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Guardian.In a statement to BuzzFeed, the agency identified the deceased man as Ben James Owen and clarified he had died at the Baker county detention center in Macclenny, Florida. Officials said Owen had entered the US on a temporary visa in July and had been arrested on suspicion of felony aggravated stalking, felony false imprisonment, domestic assault, and violating the conditions of his pre-trial release. The agency said the case remained under investigation.The incident marks the fifth death at a detention centre in the 2020 fiscal year, which begins in October 2019. There were eight deaths in Ice detention in the 2019 fiscal year.The immigration detention population in the United States has soared under the Trump administration. Last year Ice detained 510,854 people, compared with 396,448 in 2018. The administration has also increased its use of detention facilities, mostly run by private security companies, with a new concentration of detention centres opening in the deep south.Medical provision and mental health care at detention facilities has come under increased criticism under the Trump administration after a spate of high profile deaths since 2017.At the end of last year House Democrats on the oversight and reform committee launched an inquiry to investigate a “troubling pattern of abuse and poor treatment” of migrants in custody.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 20:16:46 -0500
  • 'Chernobyl 2020:' Chinese people are comparing the government's delayed response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak to the Chernobyl disaster and the HBO series about it news

    Chinese people are criticizing their government's slow response to the Wuhan coronavirus online, comparing its handling of the outbreak to Chernobyl.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:31:19 -0500
  • Kobe Bryant's helicopter crashed in foggy conditions considered so dangerous that the LAPD grounded all its flights news

    The NBA legend and eight others were flying in heavy fog before crashing into a hillside in Calabasas, California, at about 9:45 a.m. on Sunday.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 05:24:04 -0500
  • Taliban says it gunned down U.S. military plane in Afghanistan, killing all personnel onboard news

    The Taliban said it had shot down a U.S. military plane in the central Afghan province of Ghazni on Monday, killing all personnel onboard.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 11:13:22 -0500
  • 15 Flaws in Adam Schiff’s Case news

    Adam Schiff did most of the heavy lifting for the House managers, and if he performed ably, he also relied on arguments and tropes that don’t withstand scrutiny.The Democratic case for impeachment and removal is now heavily encrusted with clichés, widely accepted by the media, meant to give their indictment additional weight.In his lengthy opening statement last week, Schiff relied on all of them, and then some.This is not to say that the basic charge against Trump — withholding defense aid to Ukraine to try to force investigations that he wanted — is wrong, or that Trump’s conduct was proper.It’s just that to try to get it to the level of impeachment and removal requires rhetorical gymnastics. Schiff strained to make Trump’s Ukraine scheme a piece of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, to exaggerate its national-security and electoral consequence, and to portray removal as the only remedy.Here are 15 times that Schiff related a stilted, distorted, or flatly erroneous version of events: 1. “Just as he made use of Secretary Clinton’s hacked and released emails in the previous presidential campaign.”Schiff wanted to connect Trump to Russia’s hacking, even though there is no connection. So he said Trump “made use” of the emails. But what does that mean? That he cited them. Well, so did everyone else. As Byron York pointed out the other day, the press widely reported on the WikiLeaks disclosures. If it was blameworthy to make a big deal of information revealed in the hacks, Bernie Sanders was a major offender, calling for the resignation of then–DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz after the DNC hack. 2. “In 2016, then–candidate Trump implored Russia to hack his opponent’s email account.”Again, this is an attempt to make Trump responsible for Russia’s hacking. It refers to a press conference where Trump made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Russians' being rewarded by the press if they found Hillary’s missing emails. The Russians did attempt to spearfish a domain used by Clinton’s personal office on the same day, but it’s hard to believe Russian hackers were taking their cues from Trump, and of course, they had already hacked the DNC — hence, the occasion for Trump’s riff. 3. In pushing the Ukrainians on the discredited CrowdStrike theory, Trump was “attempting to erase from history his previous election misconduct.”Trump has been, no doubt, desperate to find someone else to finger for the Russian hacking since Russia is such a focus of his critics, but the hacking wasn’t his work, so to refer to it as “his previous election misconduct” is absurd. 4. Robert Mueller testified “that Russia systemically interfered in our election to help elect Donald Trump, that the campaign understood that, and they willfully made use of that help.” Schiff wants to portray Mueller as having found Trump guilty in his probe, when he actually found no evidence of collusion. 5. After Mueller catalogued Russian interference, the very next day, “President Trump is on the phone with a different foreign power, this time Ukraine, trying to get Ukraine to interfere in the next election.”In the Schiff version, a Trump caught red-handed working with the Russians to interfere in U.S. politics then immediately turns around to work with the Ukrainians. But the opposite was true. It was Trump’s sense of outraged innocence over the Mueller probe that partly motivated him to focus on Ukraine’s purported role in getting the Russia investigation started. 6. Trump believes “that under Article II, he could do anything he wants.”This has become a favorite chestnut of Democrats during impeachment, but it wrenches Trump’s statement out of context. He was talking about having the inherent Article II power to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. Whatever you might have thought about the wisdom of such a move, Trump was correct about his power. 7. “The military aid that we provide Ukraine helps to protect and advance American national-security interests in the region and beyond.” This is certainly true, but every time Democrats revert to the importance of Ukrainian defense aid as a matter of policy, it raises the question of why, by and large, Democrats went along with Barack Obama’s refusal to provide any lethal assistance to Ukraine whatsoever and how Trump, overall, has been better on Ukraine assistance. 8. Trump is guilty of “abusing the powers of that office in such a way to jeopardize our national security.”It’s ridiculous to suggest that what turned out to be a brief hold on Ukraine aid had dire national-security consequences for the U.S. 9. “He personally asked a foreign government to investigate his opponent.”This has become the conventional way that Democrats refer to Trump’s request of Zelensky, although in concrete form it became a push to get them to commit to probe Burisma, the shady Ukrainian energy company that had Hunter Biden on its board. An investigation of Burisma is not the same thing as an investigation of Joe Biden. Assuming the Bidens aren’t at the center of some corrupt scheme involving Burisma (and there’s zero indication that they are), the investigation would have been a nothingburger in its impact on U.S. politics. Trump would have touted the investigation, but it is doubtful that this would have had any more impact than his already full-throated denunciations of Biden corruption. 10. Trump was asking the Ukrainians to help “smear a political opponent.”This accords more with Schiff’s fictional version of Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president than the reality. The Ukrainians weren’t being asked to manufacture evidence against Joe Biden, and an investigation of Burisma presumably wouldn’t have smeared him, per the above point. 11. Acting ambassador Bill Taylor testified that the Trump team wanted the Ukrainians “in a public box” by publicly committing to the investigations, and this shows that “President Trump didn’t care about the investigations being done.”Schiff’s theory is that Trump wanted only a public announcement of an investigation, so he could use it against Joe Biden in his campaign. Usually, though, if you want an official to publicly commit to something, it’s to make it harder for him to back out of his promise. 12. Trump doesn’t have a right to solicit “prohibited foreign aid in his reelection.”This makes it sound like Trump was raking in Ukrainian campaign contributions and getting the Ukrainians to run ads in swing states. In reality, he was pushing for the Ukrainians to investigate a Ukrainian company, the practical political effect of which would have been nil in the U.S. 13. “The president’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we can’t be assured that the vote will be fairly won.”It’s really amazing that Democrats have gone, in about three years, from insisting it’s impermissible to question the potential outcome of an election, when Trump ill-advisedly did so at a debate in 2016, to making it central to their worldview. They believe they were robbed in 2016 and also believe they will perhaps be robbed again. But Hillary lost under her own power in 2016, and regardless, it’s beyond the power of one person to rig a national election that will draw massive attention and turnout. 14. “I don’t think that impeachment power is a relic. If it is a relic, I wonder how much longer our republic can succeed.”Schiff argues that failure to remove eviscerates the impeachment power. Since no president has ever been convicted and removed, it’s not clear why this would be. It just means that there is a high bar to removal. 15. “If impeachment and removal cannot hold him accountable, then he truly is above the law.”Again, Schiff wants to portray impeachment as the only way a president can be held accountable, when Congress has all sorts of other levers — from investigations, to funding, to inter-branch relations, to censure — to hold a president accountable.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 13:40:10 -0500
  • Soldier slain, general wounded during Mexico drug plane raid

    A Mexican soldier was killed and a general wounded Monday when traffickers opened fire on a military patrol that sought to intercept a drug plane as it landed on a roadway, officials said. The dramatic pre-dawn shootout in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo showed the brazenness of drug cartels that are flying increasing amounts of cocaine in from South America. The traffickers pulled up in two vehicles near where the small plane landed on a road near the coastal lagoon resort of Bacalar and tried to unload an estimated 1,750 to 2,200 pounds (800 and 1,000 kilograms) of cocaine in 26 packages, authorities said.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 20:43:21 -0500
  • Icelandic volcano swell signals potential eruption news

    Small earthquakes and a so-called "inflation" of the mountain, signalling a potential volcanic eruption, have been reported near Iceland's famous "Blue Lagoon," local authorities said Monday. The Icelandic Met Office declared a state of uncertainty over the weekend, following days of several smaller earthquakes and a swelling of the mountain. For nearly a week, a series of earthquakes have been shaking the area around Grindavik, not far from the steaming waters of the "Blue Lagoon," a popular geothermal spa in southwestern Iceland on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 11:06:50 -0500
  • North Korean Leader's Aunt Re-Emerges After Husband's Execution news

    SEOUL, South Korea -- The aunt of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, has re-emerged in Pyongyang, the capital, the country's media said Sunday, dispelling rumors that she was purged after her powerful husband was executed on charges of plotting a coup to topple Kim in 2013.North Korea's state-run media said Kim Kyong Hui, the only sister of Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, accompanied her nephew to an orchestra performance Saturday for Lunar New Year's Day. Photos released in state media showed her dressed in black and sitting with her nephew, his wife, his sister and other top leaders in the front row at a theater in Pyongyang.The fate of Kim Kyong Hui has been a subject of intense speculation since her husband, Jang Song Thaek, once considered the second most powerful man in Pyongyang, was executed in 2013. North Korean media last mentioned her name a few days after her husband's execution when she was appointed to a committee for the state funeral of another top party official.She then disappeared from public view, triggering rumors that she may have been executed, too. South Korean intelligence officials dismissed such rumors, saying that she was hospitalized for poor health but not purged.She remains the closest blood link that Kim Jong Un has to his father and paternal grandfather, both of whom ruled North Korea before him.Kim Jong Un's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea, is still revered like a god among North Koreans. The current leader often stresses his bloodline when he needs to legitimize his rule or wants to consolidate his people around him in the face of an external crisis. The public appearance of his aunt, a daughter of Kim Il Sung, reminds North Koreans of that blood link.Kim Jong Un needs his people's loyalty more than ever. After a year and a half of largely fruitless diplomacy with President Donald Trump, Kim said late last month that his country would no longer hope for a diplomatic breakthrough with Washington. Instead, he said his country should prepare to endure international sanctions by tightening its belt and building a "self-reliant" economy.Until her husband, Jang, was executed, Kim Kyong Hui had been the pre-eminent female face of the Kim family that has ruled North Korea since its founding seven decades ago.The current leader's father, Kim Jong Il, allowed his sister to hold key jobs in his government. But the diminutive, frail and reportedly sick sister seldom appeared in public during her brother's rule.But that changed after Kim Jong Il fell ill with a stroke in 2008. She and her husband raised their public profile and acted like parent-like figures as Kim Jong Un was groomed as heir apparent. After Kim Jong Il died, the couple further strengthened their power as they helped Kim Jong Un engineer purges of top officials to establish himself as supreme leader and continue the family dynasty.Jang's power became so expansive through the military and other key branches of the government that the current leader felt threatened.Kim Jong Un had him executed on charges of corruption, sedition and numerous other charges in late 2013. He also ferreted out those close to Jang, who was accused of building a network of followers in the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, the government and the Korean People's Army.The executions of Jang and his followers were watershed moments for Kim Jong Un's efforts to establish himself as a monolithic leader. In 2017, North Korean agents plotted the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the current leader's estranged half brother, in Malaysia. Kim Jong Un may have regarded his half brother, the eldest son of his father, as a potential threat to his throne at the family-run regime, analysts say.After Kim Kyong Hui disappeared from public view, Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, replaced her as the main female face of the family.It remained unclear whether, Kim Kyong Hui, 73, will resume an active public life. In North Korea, invitations to leadership gatherings -- and how close people are placed to the current leader -- are often barometers of whether an official is favored in the government.Before rumors emerged that she had been purged, her presence had been a powerful reminder to top generals of where the root of the regime lay, and she was even seen as a regent helping guide her nephew through the North's treacherous internal politics to ensure a smooth generational change. The offspring of those who fought to help Kim Il Sung, the current leader's grandfather, establish himself as top leader form the loyalist core of the elite in Pyongyang today.But her relationship with her husband had always been a subject of speculation. Even before Jang's downfall, analysts in South Korea had speculated that the couple had a troubled marriage, especially after their only child, a daughter, committed suicide in France in 2006. In a party meeting in 2013 that condemned Jang as a traitor, he was called a depraved and corrupt womanizer.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Sun, 26 Jan 2020 11:49:41 -0500
  • US officials are testing for the new coronavirus in 26 states after 5 cases were confirmed. Here's what we know about the US patients. news

    The US's confirmed cases of the coronavirus consist of two patients in California, one in Arizona, one in Washington, and one in Illinois.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 16:34:00 -0500
  • Get Early Access to Backcountry’s Big Winter Sale Right Now

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 16:30:00 -0500
  • The helicopter that carried Kobe Bryant and 8 others before crashing on a hillside did not have a black box on board, investigators say news

    The National Transportation Safety Board said on Monday that investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 20:17:21 -0500
  • Doomsday couple Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell were found vacationing in Hawaii — but their kids are still nowhere to be found news

    After months of searching, police found Idaho doomsday couple Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell vacationing in Hawaii — but their kids are still missing.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 17:59:38 -0500
  • Team Trump Settles on Its Impeachment Defense: A Healthy Dose of Lib Triggering news

    The Senate impeachment trial hadn’t been in session for an hour on Monday before the man famous for his drive to impeach Bill Clinton was lecturing senators on the solemn nature of impeachment and bemoaning the politicization of the process. “Like war, impeachment is hell—or at least, presidential impeachment is hell," said Kenneth Starr, the special counsel who investigated Clinton for years and who now served as part of President Donald Trump’s defense team. His words carried not a whiff of irony. “Instead of a once-in-a-century phenomenon, which it had been, presidential impeachment has become a weapon to be wielded against one’s political opponent.” The combination of the declaration and the person making it seemed to stun Democrats in the chamber. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) looked up from his notes and glanced around at his colleagues as if to see if they too were in disbelief.It was appropriate that the second day of the White House’s defense of the president began with a bit of shock and awe. After all, the proceedings appeared designed not only as a vigorous challenge to the case laid out by House impeachment managers, but also an elaborate troll aimed at triggering them and the Senate’s Democratic jurors. By the end, at least one GOP Senator had seemed to concede that the entire spectacle hadn’t been about defending Trump at all; but, rather, damaging a leading Democratic rival to Trump on the eve of a contentious primary season.“I'm really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus goers,” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) told reporters. “Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point?”Biden Calls for Impeachment Investigation of Trump for ‘Abuse of Power’Well before then, the mood was highly charged, as Democrats who entered the chamber were already buzzing about breaking revelations in the New York Times detailing ex-Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton’s account of the president’s scheme to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.  In addition to Starr’s lamentations, Trump’s team of attorneys threw out a number of topics seemingly designed to make Democrats’ blood boil—and delight the president and his supporters. One of the first things mentioned by the president’s counsel Jay Sekulow, for example, was pens. Specifically, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to hand them out to lawmakers during the December signing of articles of impeachment—a common practice with significant legislation—has become proof beyond doubt  among the pro-Trump internet that Democrats’ talk about the sadness and solemnity of impeachment was bunk.There were also, on Monday, discussion of the so-called “basement bunkers” where Democrats allegedly held the impeachment depositions without Republican participation (in reality, more than 45 House Republicans were permitted to attend and ask questions). Trump attorney Patrick Philbin at one point declared House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) a  “fact witness” in the matter of the Ukraine scandal as Schiff sat just feet away, stone-faced.Then came White House lawyer Jane Raskin’s  lengthy, back-handed, defense of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Guiliani, who she described  as “a minor player” in the scandal; “that shiny object designed to distract you” who had, in the end,  been right more often than Schiff. “The score,” said Raskin. “Rudy Giuliani, four. Adam Schiff, zero.”   ‘Fox & Friends’ Desperately Tries to End Unhinged Giuliani Interview, Repeatedly FailsAs the day wore on, Trump’s lawyers turned the Senate floor into a corruption trial for former Vice President Joe Biden, his son, Hunter, and Ukraninan energy company Burisma. Hunter’s involvement on the company’s board is relevant to the impeachment at hand in the Senate only in that Republicans charge that the story validates Trump’s stated desire to get to the bottom of corruption in Ukraine. The Biden part of the presentation was no surprise: Sekulow telegraphed the attacks last week. And Republicans largely seemed to delight in the spectacle. “I'm sure it's very hard for them to listen to all of these facts that the managers left out,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). But when it was folded into a case for why former President Barack Obama should be impeached, it became too much for some Democrats to take seriously. And as Eric Herschmann, another member of the president’s team, spoke, Democratic senators—who had sat largely expressionless throughout the day— tittered at the analogy drawn between Trump and President Obama’s 2012 “hot mic” moment with then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, during which Obama said he’d have more “ flexibility” on issues like missile defense after winning re-election.  Leaving the Senate floor afterward, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) described the presentation as “a campaign ad, oppo research, and a little bit of owning the libs, just for yuks.” “They can’t help themselves,” he added.Beyond the political point scoring, however, was some substance too. The president’s legal team spent time laying the legal foundation for their case that Trump should be acquitted, which leans hard on two claims: that the president’s July 25 call with Ukraninan President Volodymyr Zelensky reveals no quid-pro-quo and that any other evidence to that point is based on unreliable hearsay. Philbin, a member of the defense team who has impressed Capitol Hill Republicans, argued that House Democrats ran roughshod over law and precedent in pursuing Trump’s impeachment.The Trump team’s final presenter, Harvard Law professor and celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz, took a GOP argument—that Democrats’ articles of impeachment are weak because they do not allege crimes—to its logical extreme."Purely noncriminal conduct, including abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,” said Dershowitz, “are outside the range of impeachable offenses."As Trump’s legal team worked the Senate,  outside the chamber, his allies were busy trying to dull the impact of the explosive Times report on Bolton’s forthcoming book, which details how Trump himself linked Ukrainian aid to an investigation into the Bidens. Victoria Toensing, an informal legal adviser to Trump, posted to Twitter, “It matters NOT AT ALL what @realDonaldTrump told John Bolton. We do not prosecute people for thoughts or words. Only for conduct.”Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney whose role is at the center of the Ukraine saga that led to Trump’s impeachment, messaged The Daily Beast on Monday evening that “of course” he agreed with Toensing’s  analysis, but added that “I am sure Backstabber Bolton is not telling the truth. What POTUS said when he was unknowingly tapped [sic] is definitive: ‘no quid pro quo.’”Privately, numerous senior administration officials and Trump associates began to rally around a simple explanation for what was going on—that Bolton was merely a liar out to make a quick buck. Four White House officials who spoke to The Daily Beast since Sunday each independently denounced Bolton as a habitual double-crosser and notorious “rat” and “leaker,” an allegation he has emphatically denied in the past.All of which created a scene odd enough to match the moment: Democrats pining for a longtime GOP nemesis to come testify before them, Republicans—many of whom had been supported by Bolton in the past—acting as if he was suddenly persona non grata, and the president’s  legal team simply ignoring the bombshell he’d set off. . “This was out-of-body surreal,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said. “The rest of America is talking about John Bolton, and not a single mention of him in this chamber.”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.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 21:44:28 -0500
  • Why The Ninth Circut Court Reluctantly Dismissed The Kids' Climate Case news

    This was not a problem for the courts.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0500
  • Underwater bombs damage Syria's offshore oil facilities news

    Bombs planted underwater off Syria's coast exploded Monday, damaging oil facilities used to pump oil into one of Syria's two petroleum refineries, state media and the oil minister said. Oil minister Ali Ghanem told state TV that the bombs were planted by divers in the facility used to pump oil to the coast. "The aim of the attack is to cease (oil) imports into Syria," Ghanem said, adding the ministry's experts are evaluating and fixing the damage.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 13:43:02 -0500
  • Global alarm grows as China's capital reports first virus death news

    China's capital on Monday recorded its first death from a deadly coronavirus as it struggles to contain a rapidly spreading disease that has sparked global alarm, with countries scrambling to evacuate their citizens from the epicentre of the epidemic. The fatality in Beijing raises the death toll from the new virus to 82, with more than 2,700 people infected across the nation. The United States urged its citizens to "reconsider" all travel to China and told them not to go to central Hubei province, where the pneumonia-like virus emerged.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 17:23:15 -0500
  • Navistar loses lawsuit against US Army and Oshkosh over vehicle buys news

    The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has dismissed Navistar's complaint against the U.S. Army and Oshkosh Defense over the service's decision to avoid competition for a vehicle procurement effort.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 16:25:34 -0500
  • What's in a Moon Name?: A Guide to Lunar Labels

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Sun, 26 Jan 2020 12:00:00 -0500
  • Photos show the horrors of Auschwitz, 75 years after its liberation news

    Over 1.1 million people were murdered at Auschwitz, including nearly a million Jews. On the day of liberation 75 years ago, only 7,000 were saved.

    Sun, 26 Jan 2020 09:15:00 -0500
  • Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, sides with Greta Thunberg over her husband, deletes post news

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mocked 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, telling reporters that because Thunberg lacks an economics degree like he has, she has no standing to criticize the U.S. and other nations for failing to adequately tackle what scientists call the existential global threat of climate change. "After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us," Mnuchin said.Not everyone agreed with Mnuchin's dismissive response to Thunberg, including — at least for half an hour — his wife, Louise Linton. "I stand with Greta on this issue," Linton wrote Saturday on Instagram. "(I don't have a degree in economics either.) We need to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels. Keep up the fight @gretathunberg."> Louise Linton comes out against her own husband, Steve Mnuchin, to side with Greta Thunberg> > Earlier this week, Mnuchin said Thunberg could explain climate change, “after she goes and studies economics in college.”> > — Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) January 25, 2020Linton deleted the post after about 30 minutes, New York's Olivia Nuzzi reports, so it looks like she's not going to start a Trump spouse support group with, say, George Conway. But it was brave while it lasted.More stories from Mike Pompeo is a disgrace All the president's turncoats Investigators: Kobe Bryant's pilot tried to gain altitude before crash

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 05:18:00 -0500
  • Sex Offender Charged With Killing His 5 Infant Children on Day He Was Due to Be Released From Prison news

    Paul Perez, 57, was charged in the deaths of the children born between 1992 and 2001.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 21:10:20 -0500
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham's 'testimony' should convict Donald Trump in impeachment trial news

    Between what Sen. Graham said in 1999 and the evidence presented over the past few days, the case should be open and shut.

    Sun, 26 Jan 2020 06:00:15 -0500
  • Saudi foreign minister says Israeli passport holders cannot visit: CNN news

    Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Israelis were not welcome to visit the kingdom after Israel decreed that Israeli citizens could visit Saudi Arabia under certain circumstances, CNN reported on Monday.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 14:11:39 -0500
  • To Combat the Soviets, the U.S. Almost Built Its Own "Skyfall" Nuclear Powered Missile news

    The mistake was narrowly avoided.

    Sun, 26 Jan 2020 03:00:00 -0500
  • Georgia inmate who came close to execution in 2017 dies news

    A Georgia death row inmate whose planned execution was halted in September 2017 by the U.S. Supreme Court after his lawyers argued his death sentence was tainted by a juror's racial bias has died, according to the state Department of Corrections. Keith “Bo” Tharpe, 61, died of natural causes Friday, Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Joan Heath confirmed in an email Sunday. In 1991, a jury convicted Tharpe of murder in the September 1990 slaying of his sister-in-law, Jacquelyn Freeman, and sentenced him to death.

    Sun, 26 Jan 2020 09:13:35 -0500
  • How Amy Klobuchar's supporters could play a pivotal role in the Iowa caucus news

    Sen. Amy Klobuchar might prove to be the most important Democratic presidential candidate when all is said and done in Iowa next week — even if she doesn't win the state's caucus.That's because many Iowa voters appear to be split among moderate candidates like Klobuchar, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Vice President Joe Biden, which The New York Times reports is at least playing a role in the rise of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). If those moderate voters want to prevent Sanders from getting a head start toward the nomination with an Iowa victory, per The Times, rallying around one of the other candidates seems like a good place to start.Klobuchar is doing pretty well in Iowa, but she's lagging behind Buttigieg and Biden, so her supporters are seen as having the most potential to make a switch, especially because of the caucus' multiphase process. If Klobuchar struggles to pick up the votes she needs early on, those backing her could theoretically shift to a stronger candidate and help push someone like Biden to victory.It sounds like some in the Biden camp are aware of this. Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who's thrown his weight behind the Biden campaign, thinks Biden can appeal to Klobuchar's crowd since both politicians frame themselves as pragmatists, and well, as he puts it, "Joe is going to need a running mate." Read more at The New York Times.More stories from Mike Pompeo is a disgrace All the president's turncoats Investigators: Kobe Bryant's pilot tried to gain altitude before crash

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 16:47:00 -0500
  • US military jet crashes in Taliban territory in Afghanistan news

    A US military jet crashed in mountainous territory in eastern Afghanistan, where there is a heavy Taliban presence, the Pentagon confirmed Monday, rejecting the insurgents' suggestions that it was shot down. Afghanistan US Forces spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett confirmed in a statement that the aircraft was a US Bombardier E-11A, a type of jet used as a military airborne communications node in the region. "While the cause of crash is under investigation, there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire," Leggett said.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 17:02:33 -0500
  • These are all the companies who have shut down operations in China over the deadly Wuhan coronavirus outbreak news

    Companies including McDonald's, Ikea, and Peugeot Citroen have shut down operations in Wuhan city and its surrounding area over the outbreak.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 07:44:56 -0500
  • Greta Thunberg slammed the Associated Press for cropping a black activist out of a photo of her at Davos news

    "You didn't just erase a photo. You erased a continent," Ugandan climate change activist Vanessa Nakate said in a tweet responding to the slight.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 08:21:39 -0500
  • South Carolina shooting: Two dead and four wounded after gunman opens fire in bar news

    Two people are dead and at least four are wounded following a shooting at a South Carolina bar on Sunday morning.The Darlington County Coroner's Office identified Dicaprio Collins, 21 and Bryan Robinson, 29 as the victims of the shooting at Mac's Lounge in Hartsville, South Carolina.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 11:24:29 -0500
  • House to Vote on Repealing Trump Travel Ban news

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that the House will take up a bill to repeal President Trump's travel ban, which bars citizens of certain countries with high rates of extremist violence from entering the U.S. on national security grounds.Pelosi said the Judiciary Committee will take up in the next several weeks the "National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants or NO BAN Act," written by Representative Judy Chu.“House Democrats continue to stand opposed to President Trump’s cruel, un-American travel ban in all of its iterations," Pelosi said in a statement, adding that the bill will "prohibit religious discrimination in our immigration system and limit the President’s ability to impose such biased and bigoted restrictions."Trump confirmed last week that the administration is looking to add to the list of countries covered by the travel ban, which currently affects nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. The ban also restricts visas for those from Venezuela and North Korea. Originally, the White House had proposed including Sudan on the list as well and prohibiting all refugees temporarily for 120 days."It is essential that we take away the president's power to put prejudice into policy," Chu, a California Democrat, said at a news conference.House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler also said Monday that his committee will take up the travel ban repeal legislation in about two weeks.Trump announced the controversial ban in January, 2017, citing terrorism concerns from the countries listed in the order as well as distrust of the way the countries vet their travelers.  Critics of the bill have said the ban is discriminatory against Muslims.The travel ban was met with numerous legal challenges, prompting the White House to propose a watered down version of the original ban. The Supreme Court approved the new version in December, 2017 and upheld that version last summer.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 13:06:19 -0500
  • US Army picks 6 to work on autoloader for extended-range cannon news

    You won't recognize many of these companies, as the Army departs from turning to big, traditional defense contractors to solve a field artillery problem on the battlefield.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 09:52:00 -0500
  • America's F-35 Has Some Problems, And Iran Has Taken Notice news

    Could Iran shoot one down?

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 13:31:00 -0500
  • Ex-Illinois lawmaker charged with red-light camera bribery news

    Federal prosecutors filed bribery and tax charges on Monday against a former Illinois state senator who led the powerful transportation committee, alleging he accepted payments in exchange for supporting costly red-light camera programs across the state. The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago listed the charges against Sen. Martin Sandoval in a two-page filing in U.S. District Court. The 56-year-old Chicago Democrat “corruptly solicited, demanded, agreed to accept and accepted” payments for “continued support for the operation of red-light cameras in the State of Illinois," the document says.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 15:47:01 -0500
  • Family of 5 found dead in North Carolina home: All died of single gunshot wounds news

    A family of five and their dog were found dead Friday in their Vanceboro, North Carolina home.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:44:42 -0500
  • Born in Auschwitz, survivor says stories of atrocity must be told news

    Her mother was so malnourished that the Nazi camp guards did not even know she was pregnant. "She didn't show very much at three months, she didn't show very much at nine months, either -- I was so little, I was just one pound at birth," says Angela Orosz Richt, a survivor of Auschwitz, who was born in Nazi Germany's most infamous death camp. The 75-year-old -- now a great grandmother living in Montreal, Canada -- is one of over 200 survivors who returned to Auschwitz on Monday for a ceremony marking 75 years since the camp's liberation.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 06:41:39 -0500
  • The outbreaks of both the Wuhan coronavirus and SARS likely started in Chinese wet markets. Photos show what the markets look like. news

    The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak likely started in a Chinese wet market, where livestock and poultry are sold alongside animals like dogs and civets.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 13:41:00 -0500
  • France warns U.S. against pulling troops from fight against Islamists in Africa's Sahel news

    WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) - France delivered a stern warning on Monday against possible U.S. troop cuts in West Africa, where groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State are expanding their foothold. The Pentagon is considering withdrawing the personnel as part of a global troop review meant to free up more resources to address challenges from China's military, after nearly two decades of prioritizing counter-terrorism operations around the world. French Defense Minister Florence Parly said she warned her U.S. counterpart during a visit to the Pentagon that joint counterterrorism efforts in West Africa would be harmed by cuts to U.S. military assistance.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 09:36:22 -0500
  • Judges rebuke Macron for criticism over case of murdered Jewish woman news

    French President Emmanuel Macron drew a sharp rebuke from the country's top magistrates on Monday for criticising a court ruling on the 2017 murder of a Jewish woman in Paris. Sarah Halimi, an Orthodox Jewish woman in her sixties, died after being pushed out of the window of her Paris flat by a neighbour shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic).

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 13:57:14 -0500
  • GOP Senator: Trump tweet not a 'death threat' against Schiff news

    Sen. James Lankford didn't seem too perturbed by a tweet President Trump sent Saturday, in which the president said the House's lead impeachment prosecutor Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has not "paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our country."Lankford told CNN's Jake Tapper during Sunday's edition of State of the Union that he doesn't consider the tweet a "death threat," which Tapper said Schiff has been receiving. Tapper wondered why Lankford wasn't bothered by Trump's words when he was offended by Schiff's comment earlier this week about how he had heard Republican senators were warned they're heads would end up on a pike should they defy Trump. Lankford said it's because Schiff's insinuation that GOP lawmakers act only out of fear invalidates their work.> Welp, here's Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) completely downplaying Trump's "pay a price" tweet directed at Adam Schiff:> > "I don't think it's a death threat. I don't think he is encouraging a death threat."> > -- Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 26, 2020On the other hand, Schiff, whom Trump described as "probably a very sick man," told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press that he's pretty sure Trump was issuing a threat of some sort. > WATCH: @RepAdamSchiff: "Look at the president's tweets about me today saying I should pay a price.."@chucktodd: "Do you take that as a threat?"@RepAdamSchiff: "I think it is intended to be."> > -- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 26, 2020More stories from Fox News poll finds independents want the Senate to convict and remove Trump by 19-point margin Mick Mulvaney denies knowing about Ukraine conversation between Trump and Bolton Mike Pompeo is a disgrace

    Sun, 26 Jan 2020 13:03:00 -0500
  • Iran general warns of retaliation if U.S. threats continue news

    The chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned on Monday that it will retaliate against American and Israeli commanders if the United States continues to threaten top Iranian generals.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 10:39:04 -0500
  • The U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship: A Successful Catastrophe? news

    Is it time to admit the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ships are a failure? Yes. And no—maybe.

    Sun, 26 Jan 2020 03:26:00 -0500
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