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  • Pompeo appeared to coordinate with Giuliani on Ukraine, new documents show news

    While the impeachment proceedings are now over, ongoing lawsuits and upcoming books are expected to reveal still more details about the campaign to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pursue the investigations Trump wanted.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:28:16 -0500
  • South Korea to launch mass coronavirus testing, U.S. pledges $1 billion for vaccine news

    SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) - South Korea aims to test more than 200,000 members of a church at the center of a surge in coronavirus cases, as countries stepped up efforts to stop a pandemic of the virus that emerged in China and is now spreading in Europe and the Middle East. More than 80,000 people have been infected in China since the outbreak began, apparently in an illegal wildlife market in the central city of Wuhan late last year. China's death toll was 2,663 by the end of Monday, up 71 from the previous day.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:12:52 -0500
  • MSNBC host urged to quit after comparing Bernie Sanders win in Nevada to Nazi invasion news

    MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is under fire after comparing Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucuses to the Nazi invasion of France in 1940.The ‘Hardball’ host is now under pressure to resign after invoking the historical comparison during an on-air conversation with Brian Williams.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 10:12:25 -0500
  • The coronavirus death toll is still rising, but US interest in the outbreak is plummeting news

    Serious outbreaks outside of China have been reported in Italy, Iran, and South Korea in the last week.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:39:44 -0500
  • Iran Prepares to Suffer the Wrath of the Coronavirus news

    Iran has sought to deny that the coronavirus is spreading within its borders. Now, the Middle East is facing a new type of crisis—one that could further exacerbate tension in the region.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:01:00 -0500
  • Auschwitz Museum upset at scene in Amazon series 'Hunters' news

    The museum of the Nazi German Auschwitz death camp is objecting to a scene in a new Amazon TV series that shows a murderous game of human chess being played there, insisting that no such thing took place at the camp. The museumand memorial that guard the Auschwitz-Birkenau site in southern Poland, its historic facts and the memory of the victims tweeted about the scene in Amazon's series “Hunters.” It said inventing fake scenes is “dangerous foolishness and caricature," encourages Holocaust deniers and is disrespectful of the camp's some 1.1 million victims, including women and children. The series' creator, David Weil stressed in a statement it was not a documentary but a narrative with largely fictional characters.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 05:59:56 -0500
  • Trump Admin. Considers Booting Chinese Reporters in Response to ‘Egregious’ Expulsion of WSJ Journalists: Report news

    The Trump administration is considering whether to expel Chinese journalists in response to China's own expulsion of three Wall Street Journal reporters, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.A meeting will be held at the White House on Monday to discuss the administration's options. The meeting will be led by deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, who himself was a Journal reporter based in Beijing.According to Bloomberg, administration officials are debating whether to expel up to hundreds of Chinese journalists in its response, or whether such a move would even be legal, seeming to contradict American values regarding freedom of the press."This expulsion is yet another attempt to control the press, and prevent the world’s readers as well as investors from reading important stories about China," said John Ullyot, a spokesman for the National Security Council, in comments on the situation on Friday. Ullyot called China's expulsion of the Journal reporters an "egregious act."China expelled the three reporters after the Journal refused to apologize for a headline China deemed "racist." The headline, “China is the Real Sick Man of Asia,” was chosen for a column by Bard College professor Walter Russell Mead on China's difficulty in coping with the Wuhan coronavirus and the shaky financial foundations of its economy.The phrase "sick man of Asia" was used in the late 1800's to describe a China that had lost a string of wars and feared conquering by the western colonial powers. Dozens of reporters from the paper's China bureau have called on the Journal's publisher to change the headline.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:09:01 -0500
  • Virus delivers blow to Hong Kong protests but rage remains news

    The new coronavirus has handed Beijing an unexpected gift -- an end to Hong Kong's pro-democracy rallies. For the Chinese government -- and its unelected proxy leaders in Hong Kong -- the end of the financial hub's huge rallies that engulfed the city for seven months straight has been a rare spot of good fortune in an otherwise grim start to the year. Protests were winding down when the virus first began to emerge in central China as activists reeled from exhaustion and a huge increase in arrests.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 23:25:15 -0500
  • Tom Steyer has paid more than $40,000 to rent a property owned by Jim Clyburn's daughter news

    Billionaire Tom Steyer is facing some criticism over his spending in South Carolina, a state where his Democratic presidential campaign is making some legitimate headway.Some people have even accused him of trying to buy votes from the state's African-American voters, which Steyer and many others have adamantly denied, The New York Times reports. One thing that's been particularly scrutinized is the Steyer campaign's rental agreement with a company owned by Jennifer Clyburn Reed, the daughter of Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking African American in Congress whose endorsement is considered key in South Carolina. Since October, the Steyer campaign has paid more than $40,000 to the company to rent one of its properties as its state headquarters in Columbia, South Carolina. A California-based bank founded by Steyer, meanwhile, has loaned $1 million to a Columbia-based bank that has one of Clyburn's sons-in-laws on its board.The campaign has brushed off the accusations of trying to procure political favor from the Clyburn family, arguing Steyer is simply committed to hiring local organizers and investing in local businesses to get his grassroots operations running. "The question isn't why Tom is doing this," Steyer spokesman Benjamin Gerdes said in a statement. "The real question is why isn't every other candidate doing it?"The politically-active Reed called the accusations of vote-buying "disturbing" and seemed a bit annoyed that people think she merely serves as a surrogate for her father. "I'm an adult," she told the Times. "There is no connection. My father has his business and I have mine. We do not vote the same way."Besides, it's probably all a moot point — both Reed and Clyburn seem likely to back former Vice President Joe Biden. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from The coronavirus recession? The real third way in 2020 Top member of Trump's coronavirus task force asks Twitter for help accessing map of virus

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 09:49:00 -0500
  • Ginni Thomas: SCOTUS justice's wife leading right-wing effort to purge officials 'disloyal' to Trump news

    A group of pro-Trump activists led by Ginni Thomas has reportedly compiled lists of “disloyal” government officials it wants sacked.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:28:59 -0500
  • Trump praises Pakistan while announcing $3 billion India arms deal news

    Trump's remark that the U.S. has a "very good" relationship with Pakistan may not be well received by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 07:55:04 -0500
  • Trial to begin of former French PM Fillon over fake jobs scandal news

    Former French prime minister Francois Fillon and his wife Penelope go on trial on Monday over a fake jobs scandal that wrecked his 2017 run for president and opened the Elysee Palace door for Emmanuel Macron. Fillon's bid for the presidency unraveled after allegations he paid his wife hundreds of thousands of euros for doing little, if any, work as his parliamentary assistant. A consummate political insider who was prime minister under Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency, Fillon was the comfortable frontrunner in the election race when the allegations surfaced.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 08:04:08 -0500
  • Nine of the World’s Most Beautiful Outdoor Saunas

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    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:25:20 -0500
  • It looks like people with no real interest in Bloomberg are signing up to be grassroots campaigners because he pays $2,500 a month news

    Mike Bloomberg's social-media army, who can command payments of $2,500 a month, have variable levels of commitment.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 07:46:34 -0500
  • China sentences Swedish bookseller to 10 years in prison news

    A court in eastern China has sentenced a Swedish seller of books that took a skeptical look at the ruling Communist Party to 10 years in prison for “illegally providing intelligence overseas," in a further sign of Beijing’s hard line toward its critics. Gui Minhai first disappeared in 2015, when he was believed to have been abducted by Chinese agents from his seaside home in Thailand. The Ningbo Intermediate People's Court announced Tuesday that it gave Gui, a naturalized Swedish citizen, a 10-year prison sentence.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 23:33:50 -0500
  • Fake News or Reality? Did F-35s from Israel Fly Over Iran? news

    Could that be true?

    Tue, 25 Feb 2020 04:30:00 -0500
  • S. Korea 'very grave', Moon says as coronavirus cases approach 1,000 news

    The novel coronavirus outbreak in South Korea is "very grave", President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday as he visited its epicentre and the country's total number of cases approached 1,000. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed 144 new infections, taking the tally to 977, the largest national total anywhere outside China, where the virus first emerged. Scores of events have been cancelled or postponed as the outbreak has spread in the world's 12th-largest economy, from K-pop concerts to the start of the K-league football season, with casualties on Tuesday including parliamentary sessions and the World Team Table Tennis championships.

    Tue, 25 Feb 2020 05:09:55 -0500
  • Senate FISA Abuse Investigation to Focus on Mystery Source Who Contradicted Steele Dossier news

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on Sunday told Fox News the Senate's investigation into FBI abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will focus on interviews the agency conducted with a Russian source who contradicted much of the information in the Steele dossier."The first thing I want to do is call the people who heard from Russian sub-source that this dossier is a bunch of bar talk and hearsay," Graham said on Fox's Sunday Morning Futures. "I want to find out when did [former FBI director James] Comey and [former FBI deputy director Andrew] McCabe understand it was not reliable and start from there."The source, known in the Justice Department Inspector General's report as "Primary Sub-Source," was former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele's only direct contact in Russia for the allegations contained in the dossier. However, the IG report states that the primary sub-source told the FBI and Justice Department that Steele's allegations were false or misleading, including the assertion of Page's involvement in what the dossier terms a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" between the Trump campaign and Russian government."The Primary Sub-source made statements during his/her January 2017 FBI interview that were inconsistent with multiple sections of the Steele reports, including some that were relied upon in the FISA applications," the IG report states.Following the publication of the IG report, prominent Republicans called for an overhaul of the FISA system to prevent future abuses. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported the Trump administration is considering doing just that before FISA legislation is set to expire in March.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 09:04:06 -0500
  • Two-Thirds of the World’s Most Polluted Cities Are in India news

    (Bloomberg) -- Several Chinese cities, including Beijing, have dramatically improved their air quality in recent years, while Indian metropolises remain some of the world’s worst polluted, according to a new report.Beijing -- once infamous for its toxic haze -- has reduced smog levels and dropped down a list of the world’s most polluted cities, falling to 199 from 84 three years before, according to the 2019 World Air Quality Report published Tuesday by IQAir AirVisual. In contrast, India still dominated its list of the smoggiest urban areas, accounting for 14 of the top 20.Despite new government policies meant to address the issue, New Delhi’s air quality has fallen from where it was five years ago, rising to the fifth-worst spot globally and making it by far the world’s most polluted major city, the report said. The worst-ranked city -- Ghaziabad -- is a Delhi suburb, as are a number of others ranked separately in the top 20.India, China and other Asian countries remain disproportionately affected by toxic air as a result of factors ranging from crowded cities, vehicular exhaust, coal-fired power plants, agricultural burning and industrial emissions. The issue is hardly tangential. The World Health Organization estimates that dirty air kills around 7 million people each year, while the World Bank says it drains the global economy of $5 trillion annually.Even before the coronavirus outbreak and trade war slowed China’s smog-producing industries, Chinese officials had mobilized the country’s top-down, authoritarian state to implement -- and enforce -- sweeping measures, as well as shifting production away from its biggest cities. A recent report from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air separately found that Beijing and Shanghai had seen “major progress,” while levels of fine particular called PM 2.5 increased in other parts of the country.India faces a starkly different situation. Across much of northern India, air quality remains catastrophic as politicians prioritize economic growth and spar over responsibility. Many citizens are still unaware of health concerns and resource-starved agencies struggle to carry out new -- or even existing -- measures designed to curb the smog.“In Beijing, it’s a priority -- in China, when they say something, they do it, they put the resources in,” said Yann Boquillod, AirVisual’s director of air quality monitoring. “In India, it’s just starting. People need to put more pressure on government.”A spokesman for India’s environment ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment.Why Winter Brings Deadly Smog to India’s Capital: QuickTakeIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has won praise for promoting solar power and improving emission standards. It has handed out millions of gas canisters to reduce the number of families using smoky household cooking fires. In January of last year, the government also launched the National Clean Air Programme.But these measures haven’t had a serious impact on increased coal power plant usage, dust left by the thousands of under-regulated construction sites and exhaust from millions of new cars and motorcycles. Air quality experts have also criticized the national program for lacking strong enforcement and funding.Although many Indian cities saw progress between 2018 and 2019, “unfortunately these improvements are not representative of the very recent, but promising National Clean Air Programme” and cleaner fuel standards, according to the AirVisual report.Indians Are Addicted to Cheap Coal Power and It’s Killing ThemInstead, the authors said, they signal a lagging economy, which grew at about 5% -- the slowest expansion since 2009 -- compared with 8.3% in 2017. The deadly air also kills roughly 1.2 million Indians each year, according to a recent study in the Lancet.While President Donald Trump visited the Indian capital and met with Modi on Tuesday, New Delhi was ranked by AirVisual as the world’s most polluted city. PM 2.5 levels soared as high as 199 -- more than double the local annual average last year.India was far from the only country that remained deeply challenged by smog. Although several Chinese cities -- including Shanghai -- saw improvement in air quality, Kashgar and Hotan in the restive, western Xinjiang region were among the world’s worst.Cities across Asia -- including Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Jakarta and Seoul -- saw sharp increases in PM 2.5 levels. Since 2017, Jakarta saw pollution increase by 66%, making it the worst in Southeast Asia. In Thailand, Chiang Mai and Bangkok both saw a number of extremely smoggy days -- some of which led authorities in the capital to close schools -- resulting from construction, diesel fuel and crop fires in surrounding regions.The problem is particularly challenging for South Asian countries. Using a weighted population average, Bangladesh was actually ranked the world’s most polluted country, while its capital Dhaka was the second worst after Delhi. Pakistan was the second-most-polluted country, while Afghanistan, India and Nepal were all in the top 10.(Updates with details of Trump visit to Delhi in 13th paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the labeling of Delhi and Chennai on the chart showing pollution levels of Indian cities.)\--With assistance from Bibhudatta Pradhan.To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at;Hannah Dormido in Hong Kong at hdormido@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at, Chris KayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 25 Feb 2020 05:35:42 -0500
  • Greyhound will stop allowing immigration checks on buses news

    Greyhound, the U.S.’s largest bus company, said on Friday that it will stop allowing Border Patrol agents without a warrant to board its buses to conduct routine immigration checks.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 13:54:53 -0500
  • Probe into abuse at America's oldest deaf school finds 'appalling truths' news

    Officials apologized for the "inexcusable actions" of staff and faculty members and the "fact that the school did not prevent or stop them."

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 23:21:00 -0500
  • 'It's my guilty pleasure': Sen. Chuck Schumer confirms spending $8,600 on Junior's cheesecake news

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer admitted he has dropped almost $9,000 on his favorite cheesecake over the years. "Guilty as charged," he said.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 17:29:08 -0500
  • 12 towns in Italy are on coronavirus lockdown after at least 229 cases and 7 deaths made it the most infected country outside Asia news

    Cases of COVID-19 has soared in Italy, making it the most infected country outside Asia. The country has quarantined at least a dozen towns.

    Tue, 25 Feb 2020 05:03:00 -0500
  • Dispute leaves Taiwanese stuck in locked-down Chinese cities news

    Beauty salon operator Shelly Chen flew from Taiwan to her hometown in China last month to see her aging parents for the Lunar New Year holiday. A month later, she is still there, with flights to Taiwan bottled up in the perennial tug-of-war between China and the self-governing island that China claims as its territory.

    Tue, 25 Feb 2020 00:34:19 -0500
  • Trump's 'Big' China Trade Deal Has Some Really Big Problems news

    The remaining issues, such as cyber theft, cyber security, and standardization, are untouched by the Agreement and could be the source of tension in the future.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 12:30:00 -0500
  • Dueling Narratives Emerge From Muddied Account of Russia's 2020 Interference news

    As accusations swirled Sunday about Russia's efforts to interfere with the 2020 election, President Donald Trump's national security adviser and former Vice President Joe Biden could not agree on what Moscow is, or is not, doing.Their disagreement came as intelligence officials disputed reports that emerged last week about a briefing of the House Intelligence Committee. The officials now maintain that the House members either misheard or misinterpreted a key part of the briefing and that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not mean to say that it believes the Russians are currently intervening in the election explicitly to help Trump.They do believe that Russia is intervening in the election and that Moscow prefers Trump, a deal-maker it knows well. But at least for now, those two objectives may not be linked.The differing interpretations only made it easier for the Trump administration and Democrats to put forward their own version of what the Russians are doing. As the national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, defended Trump and intimated that the Russians favored the Democratic presidential front-runner, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Biden blamed the president and other Republicans for allowing Russia to continue to interfere in the election.O'Brien, who took office at the end of last summer, insisted on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he had never seen any intelligence suggesting that the Russians were interfering on behalf of Trump."There's no briefing that I've received, that the president has received, that says that President Putin is doing anything to try and influence the election in favor of President Trump," O'Brien said, referring to the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin. "We just haven't seen that intelligence. If it's out there, I haven't seen it."He was referring to an assessment provided to the House Intelligence Committee on Feb. 13. That briefing outlined the breadth of Russian efforts to get involved in the November election -- from hacking into voting systems to disinformation.At the root of the confusion is what Shelby Pierson, a senior intelligence official responsible for overseeing the issues of election interference, said in that briefing.Pierson, a longtime intelligence official, said there was no doubt the Russians were continuing to insert themselves in the election process. That would be consistent with past intelligence reports and the effort by the U.S. Cyber Command in 2018 to block Russian intelligence from manipulating social media before the midterm congressional elections.But some intelligence officials said Pierson did not say that the current interference was explicitly on Trump's behalf. Others in the briefing said that in response to lawmakers' follow-up questions, officials made the connection between the Russian preference for Trump and Moscow's efforts to interfere in the election.The difference between actively backing Trump and preferring his reelection is a subtle nuance, officials said, but an important one: It is probably too early for the Russians to begin any significant move to bolster a specific candidate. In 2016, they at first sought to cause chaos and hurt Hillary Clinton, intelligence reports released later that year said, but only in the last few months before the election did they actively work to elect Trump.If they go the same route now, it would not be inconsistent with backing Sanders for the Democratic nomination, in part because Sanders has voted against new sanctions on Russia and because he is considered a noninterventionist. And they may conclude, rightly or wrongly, that Trump could beat Sanders.O'Brien seemed to have little doubt that the Russians preferred Sanders. "What I've heard from the FBI," he said, "is that Russia would like Bernie Sanders to win the Democrat nomination. They'd probably like him to be president, understandably, because he wants to spend money on social programs and probably would have to take it out of the military."He did not give the source of that intelligence.Sanders has denounced Russia and warned it not to interfere in the election.Trump also leapt into the fray Sunday, accusing Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, of leaking information from the briefing.He demanded on Twitter that someone tell "Adam 'Shifty' Schiff to stop leaking Classified information or, even worse, made up information, to the Fake News Media.""Someday he will be caught, & that will be a very unpleasant experience!" Trump added.When Trump made similar comments earlier Sunday, Schiff accused the president of deflection."Your false claims fool no one," he said in a tweet. "You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine's help in 2019, and won't protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You've betrayed America. Again."Biden, who was in office as the Obama White House struggled over how to respond to Russian interference in 2016, saw some advantage in claiming he was the candidate Putin hated."The Russians don't want me to be the nominee," he said on "Face the Nation." "They spent a lot of money on bots on Facebook, and they've been taken down, saying Biden is a bad guy. They don't want Biden running. They're not -- no one's helping me to try to get the nomination. They have good reason."Biden said he had not been informed of any specific intelligence. But intelligence officials said the reports they have generated have been consistent: Russian activity did not end with the 2016 election.Biden suggested that Trump was still denying Russia's involvement in 2016, even though U.S. intelligence officials have testified on the issue every year of his presidency."The president denies they're involved," Biden said. "They've been involved. I was deeply involved in the intelligence apparatus and how it functioned before we left the vice presidency. It was clear they were involved. The president continues to deny their involvement. It's overwhelming. And the fact is that everybody knows."He accused the Republican leadership in the Senate of failing to act to secure electoral systems.While Congress allocated several hundred million dollars for election security immediately after the 2016 election, gaping holes in the system remain, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has repeatedly blocked additional legislation from coming to the floor for a vote.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 07:56:40 -0500
  • 30 of the Best Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucets

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    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:28:20 -0500
  • Islamic Jihad renews rocket fire on Israel amid ongoing air strikes news

    Islamic Jihad resumed firing rockets at Israel from Gaza Monday night amid ongoing Israeli air strikes, damaging hopes for an end to a two-day flare-up a week before the Jewish state's election. The militant Islamist group announced Monday evening it had ceased firing rockets but backtracked about an hour later after Israel continued striking its forces in the Gaza Strip. Islamic Jihad, which is allied to Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas, has fired some 60 rockets towards Israel since the killing of one of its fighters Sunday morning, according to the United Nations.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:16:07 -0500
  • Trump administration backs off sending coronavirus patients to Alabama -governor news

    The news came as worry grew over the spread outside China of the sometimes fatal virus, with a spike in the number of cases found in South Korea, Iran and Italy. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey tweeted that she had thanked Trump during a separate phone call.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 20:34:27 -0500
  • 14 products dermatologists recommend for soothing redness and rosacea news

    These products help soothe skin, minimize redness and prevent flare-ups of rosacea.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:59:54 -0500
  • Putin Sent Her Activist Boyfriend to the Arctic Circle. Now She Wants to Go, Too. news

    MOSCOW—Few people are familiar with Novaya Zemlya, a very obscure archipelago above the Arctic Circle that is controlled by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the infamous Soviet spy agency, the KGB. Even fewer people hope to travel to those thinly populated and thoroughly militarized islands, where the Russian army tests its Arctic missile systems, and where polar bears suffering the effects of climate change dig through garbage pits at impoverished settlements. Alexei Navalny on Standing Up to Putin and His Murderous MinionsIt sounds like hell frozen over, in fact—and it figures in what looks like a new tactic by President Vladimir Putin (a former KGB operative) to intimidate his most vocal critics. But Kira Yarmysh has a special reason to go there. She is desperate to see her partner, who became the first victim of such an operation last December.“The FSB abducted my boyfriend, Ruslan Shaveddinov, and isolated him in Novaya Zemlya,” Yarmysh told The Daily Beast. “The most outrageous truth is that several divisions of the state system, including military authorities, aviation, and secret services, are helping to hide Ruslan from us.” This was hardly a random act. Yarmysh is a news presenter and spokesperson for Russia’s top opposition leader, Aleksei Navalny, and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). Shaveddinov is one of the group’s star reporters and presenters as well.Russia still has a military draft, and 12 months of service are mandatory for all male citizens age 18 to 33. Shaveddinov, known as “Shav,” has been famous for presenting vivid, well-documented corruption investigations on YouTube. But at 23 years old, he was vulnerable, and authorities claimed he was draft-dodging.The news agency TASS quotes Moscow’s military commissar, Col. Maksim Loktev, claiming the conscription of Shaveddinov was perfectly ordinary: “He departed to the place of his military service on the draft.” But the young activist’s colleagues aren’t buying it. It’s not just the matter of conscription; it’s the deployment that’s suspicious.“This is a unique example of how the FSB begins to use military service as a prison for politically active young men,” Navalny told The Daily Beast. “I think the order was to isolate Shav.”Viewers all over Russia recognize Yarmysh and Shaveddinov from YouTube, which is the main outlet for Navalny’s reports. More than three million viewed their presentation last summer (while Navalny was in jail) about Moscow Deputy Mayor Natalia Sergunina. They reported she was making millions of dollars off property deals in the Russian capital for companies controlled by her relatives, an allegation that she has denied.  There are frequent police raids on FBK offices, along with confiscations of computers, cellphones, and video cameras. On July 27, members of an armed special unit raided Yarmysh’s home at dawn, woke the couple up, put Ruslan on the floor, and confiscated all of the digital equipment. After a tough 2019, Kira and Ruslan looked forward to celebrating the New Year’s holiday together, without any people around. But on Dec. 23, Kira’s boyfriend vanished and his cellphone was not answered. His friends found the door to his apartment broken. Nearly 24 hours later, Yarmysh discovered that her partner was more than 3,000 kilometers (some 2,000 miles) away, in a unit of what’s called the 33rd Guards Rocket Army based in Rogachevo village on the Southern Island of Novaya Zemlya. Yarmysh had never heard much about the rules of the archipelago and the news came as a shock: there was an old nuclear testing ground near Ruslan’s base; she could not visit his island without a special FSB permit. Then Ruslan called her, and what she heard broke her heart, she says.“There were two army captains with him listening in our conversation, so every time I asked him how he was, he said, ‘Let’s talk about you,” Yarmysh remembered. “He told me he was banned from using his cellphone, which is a violation—every Russian soldier can call home once a week! So I decided to sue his commander.”Yarmysh wanted to be present during the court hearing last week, and, of course, to see Ruslan. She requested an FSB permit earlier this month, but days passed and there was no word back. The court hearing was scheduled for last Wednesday, but a Moscow judge on the case was not able to get to Novaya Zemlya, Yarmysh said—the flight got canceled due to harsh weather conditions. (This is not unusual given the brutal Arctic weather.) “They regularly cancel flights during the winter, so I am surprised that the army managed to transport Ruslan there so easily in December,” Yarmysh said. “It is obvious that the weather is not an issue, if there is an order to bring the guy.”Finally a hearing was held at the end of the week, and a lawyer from the Navalny team was able to make it there, but there was no satisfaction to be had and communications were spotty. At midday on Saturday, Yarmysh tweeted that she still had heard nothing about her boyfriend's fated. (A troll responded with pictures of polar bears eating a bloody corpse: "Found him. But no need to thank me.")The lawyer finally got in touch late Saturday, but only briefly. He reported that, officially, the court said Shaveddinov had no unusual restrictions. But in practical terms that was no consolation, and Yarmysh said she couldn't be sure what happened until the attorney made it back to Moscow. As of Monday, however, he was till stuck above the Arctic Circle because of the weather."Prisoners have more rights than Ruslan," Yarmysh told The Daily Beast. "He doesn't have any right to call, or even to send letters."Yarmysh grew up in Rostov-on-Don, a provincial southern town on the border with Ukraine’s Donbas region. Her single mother brought her up dreaming that one day Kira would win The Clever Heads, a televised competition for high-schoolers that awards the winners with a chance to enroll in Russia’s most prestigious university for future diplomats, the MGIMO, or Moscow State Institute of International Relations. And, yes, Yarmysh won.While studying at MGIMO, she thought she would one day get a diplomat’s position in Africa, far from the Russian political scene. But anti-Putin street protests in 2011-2012 changed her life, and she wound up on the front line of the opposition’s constant fight with corrupt bureaucrats. Her mother has always been an Aleksey Navalny fan, Yarmysh said, so when she got her job at the FBK six years ago, her family supported her. “Kira Yarmysh is one of the brightest stars in Navalny’s team. She is emerging to be even bigger but still stay in Navalny’s shadow,” Echo of Moscow Deputy Chief Editor Olga Bychkova told The Daily Beast. Yarmysh says that if she has to she will wait for her boyfriend for 12 months, as do millions of other Russian girls all over the country. “I hope this is going to be just one year,” she says.  For two months, Yarmysh has been worried, feeling “hurt,” she says, wondering why out of all Russia’s vast military bases, her boyfriend was isolated in the Arctic. “The authorities might think that Ruslan and I, if we come out to a street protest, might lead masses of people,” Yarmysh said, then added: “I personally have no fear. If they raid our homes, if they detain us, I tell myself, we must be doing everything right.” But for the moment that is, at best, cold comfort.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, 24 Feb 2020 05:11:15 -0500
  • North Korea has yet to officially report any coronavirus cases. But it just quarantined 380 foreigners. news

    The majority of the quarantined individuals in the secretive, isolated country are diplomats. The nationalities of the quarantined individuals have not been identified.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:23:42 -0500
  • Pacific NW winds shut interstate, fell tree that crushes man news

    High winds wreaked havoc on the Pacific Northwest on Sunday, closing a stretch of an interstate freeway in Oregon and toppling a large tree that crushed a man sleeping in an apartment complex in Washington state. The man was critically injured in Renton, Washington, after a tree fell on a six-unit apartment building during a morning of high winds and heavy rain. Elsewhere, Interstate 84 was closed in both directions between Pendleton and La Grande in northeast Oregon, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) east of Portland, because of a downer power line.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 17:34:50 -0500
  • China Is Trying to Compare the Flu to Coronavirus. That Sounds Like Fake News. news

    Early on in the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, the receptionist at the hotel I was staying at in China asked me if it was true that the United States was experiencing an epidemic of influenza that killed 61,000 people last year...

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 17:04:00 -0500
  • A 'brokered convention' designed to block Bernie Sanders would be a poison pill news

    If the Democratic party doesn’t allow the person with most delegates to become the nominee, it will be a disasterSomething deeply troubling happened during last week’s Democratic presidential debate, though it was overshadowed by Michael Bloomberg’s spectacular implosion. Towards the end, the candidates were asked whether they believed that the person who receives the most votes should be given the Democratic nomination. The only candidate who said “yes” was Bernie Sanders. All of the others said they wanted the “process” to “play out”.It’s not surprising that the non-Sanders candidates don’t want “winning the primaries” to determine who the nominee is, because by that measure, it’s very unlikely to be any of them. Sanders has lately taken a commanding lead in the polls and is now the favorite to win in the vast majority of states. He received more votes than any other candidate in both Iowa and New Hampshire, which political scientists treat as a strong sign that a candidate will ultimately win. There are growing concerns in the party that Sanders’ lead may be becoming “insurmountable”.But the other Democrats have not given up. They still hold out hope that they can win through what is known as a “brokered convention”. If Sanders has only a plurality of delegates at the Democratic national convention in July, rather than an outright majority, he might not win the nomination on the first ballot. Under convention rules, this would allow “superdelegates” to vote on the second ballot, and open up the possibility that other candidates can “horse trade” their delegates in order to receive the nomination, even if Sanders won all or most of the primaries and a strong plurality of pledged delegates.> What’s the point in having primaries if party insiders at the convention just override the result?It may seem ludicrous to deny Sanders the nomination if he wins the most delegates and sweeps the primaries. What’s the point in having primaries if party insiders at the convention just override the result and choose a nominee they prefer? But Democrats who fear Sanders’ takeover of the party, or who fear that a “radical” cannot beat Donald Trump, will argue that democracy needs to take a backseat to the urgency of choosing a “unity” candidate. Michael Bloomberg is reported to be plotting a brokered convention strategy, whereby other candidates would give him the delegates necessary to beat Sanders in exchange for various commitments and handouts. And Democrats are already trying to convince people that brokered conventions are fine, with the former Democratic Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell writing that we “shouldn’t fear” a brokered convention, because it would be “exciting”. The candidates’ answers on the debate stage indicated that each of them is open to using the “process” to subvert the result of the elections, if that’s what it takes to win.But these strategies are an outright rejection of democracy, and should be treated as such. “The candidate with the most votes ought to win” is a sound electoral principle, albeit one that is absent in many areas of American politics, from the Iowa caucuses to the electoral college. If “superdelegates” swung the nomination to a candidate with fewer votes, it would be confirmation that the country is ruled by elites rather than governed by the people.Critics will point out that in 2016, the Sanders camp briefly floated the possibility of lobbying superdelegates for the nomination. Indeed, and it would have been wrong then, too, if it had happened, which it didn’t. Hillary Clinton won through getting millions more votes, and nobody should have taken it away from her. Not that they ever would have: the superdelegates were overwhelmingly for Clinton, even in states that Bernie won, and the process ended up being far more unfair to Sanders.It’s understandable that campaigns are getting desperate to win by any means necessary. Elizabeth Warren, after criticizing the other candidates for having Super Pac support, has reversed her position and accepted help from a Super Pac in an attempt to win Nevada. Last week’s debate was the nastiest of the entire cycle, with candidates doing everything they could to tear one another down. But while we can see why they’d want to exploit existing processes however they can, there’s no reason we should let them.Besides, if a candidate did win through a brokered convention, it would be a disaster for the Democrats in November. Millions of Sanders supporters would be enraged at having the nomination snatched from them and might defect to a third party. Even those who did support a nominee they considered illegitimate would do so only grudgingly. The Democrats might be able to stop Sanders, but in doing so they would destroy their party’s own electoral prospects. It would be a completely reckless and irrational maneuver, and every sensible Democrat should oppose it.If Democrats decide to take this “poison pill” and have party elites choose their own nominee, voters will need to be prepared to fight back. As Sam Lewis and Beth Huang write in Jacobin, anyone who votes to deprive the rightful nominee of the nomination “should be taking that vote with the absolute certainty that the organized working class in this country will use civil disobedience, mass protest, and primary election challenges to exact retribution and remove them from office”. But hopefully even self-interested Democrats are smart enough to realize that there’s no real alternative to respecting the results of the election, at least not one that would offer a chance of beating Donald Trump.

    Tue, 25 Feb 2020 06:16:48 -0500
  • Supreme court denies Rodney Reed appeal news

    The court did leave open the possibility for another appeal following the outcome of upcoming hearings, which could lead to a new trial.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 23:15:49 -0500
  • President Trump, first lady visit Taj Mahal in India news

    President Trump, who once owned the former Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, N.J., took in breathtaking views of the real Taj Mahal Monday in India. As Trump walked from the iconic 17th century mausoleum, he told reporters that it is s an “incredible place."

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 09:47:56 -0500
  • Russia strikes kill 5 civilians as Syria regime advances: monitor news

    Five civilians were killed in Russian air strikes backing Syrian regime forces as they chipped away at the country's last major rebel bastion in fighting that cost dozens of lives Monday, a war monitor said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the air raids hit the Jabal al-Zawiya area on the edge of the jihadist-dominated northwestern province of Idlib. In fighting on the ground, regime forces gained ground in the southern part of Idlib, the Britain-based monitor said.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:12:11 -0500
  • NASA space telescope spots a double star system with an alter ego news

    It's like a cosmic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 10:53:00 -0500
  • Missing Tennessee toddler's grandmother and her boyfriend extradited after arrest news

    Evelyn Boswell, a Tennessee toddler who is 15 months old, was last seen in December. An Amber Alert was issued for her on Wednesday.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:11:12 -0500
  • Korean Air is not offering refunds on flights to South Korea as customers desperately try to cancel trips because of coronavirus news

    Korean Air is not offering refunds on flights to South Korea, even after one of its own flight crew tested positive.

    Tue, 25 Feb 2020 04:23:07 -0500
  • Man drives Jeep off 6-story roof of Los Angeles-area garage news

    A man drove his Jeep off the the sixth floor of a Los Angeles-area parking garage early Sunday and was taken to a hospital in critical condition, authorities said. When officers arrived shortly after midnight, they found the destroyed vehicle up against a McDonald's restaurant across the street from the garage in Santa Monica, police said. Firefighters extricated him from the wreckage and took him to a local trauma center, where he was listed in critical condition, the Santa Monica Fire Department said.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 15:15:26 -0500
  • Russia Unveils Laika, Its Next-Gen Nuclear Attack Submarine news

    It looks like an exotic sea creature.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:06:00 -0500
  • ‘I have never seen him eat a vegetable’: With steak off the menu, officials scramble to feed fussy eater Trump in India news

    Donald Trump has embarked on his first presidential visit to India, the world’s largest democracy – and home to the world’s largest population of vegetarians. Since Mr Trump is a noted beef-eater, in particular a lover of steak and burgers, gastronomically speaking, the visit will prove one of his most challenging.It’s not all bad news for Mr Trump. India’s reputation for overwhelming vegetarianism is overstated, and it’s thought that more families eat beef at home than generally admit it.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 10:24:41 -0500
  • Sunk: How Sweden Sent America's USS Ronald Reagan to the Bottom of the Sea news

    (In a simulation.)

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 20:00:00 -0500
  • China said it would relax its lockdown of Wuhan's 11 million residents, only to immediately reintroduce it news

    Wuhan announced that some people could leave the locked-down city, only to reverse the announcement hours later as the coronavirus spreads.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 06:25:13 -0500
  • US economy faces long-lasting damage from trade war: Fed official news

    The trade conflict of the past two years likely left a mark on the US economy, even with the recent agreement to defuse the situation, a Federal Reserve official said Monday. The outbreak of the new coronavirus in China adds another risk factor to the outlook, which otherwise seemed poised to provide steady growth, said Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Reserve's regional bank in Cleveland. With the partial agreement signed with China to call a truce in the dispute with Beijing -- despite leaving many tariffs in place -- as well as a new continental free trade pact with Canada and Mexico, Mester said the trade picture is "somewhat better" heading into 2020.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:43:58 -0500
  • Americans Show Fresh Signs of Panic as Coronavirus Cases Jump Again news

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Monday that the number of 2019 novel coronavirus cases in the United States rose from 34 on Friday to 53 as more passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the disease. The virus quickly spread among 695 passengers aboard the Carnival cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, and has since killed at least two and forced many of the rest into quarantine and isolation. The U.S. State Department eventually repatriated those Americans who wished to come home, though local officials across the United States have shown signs of resistance to housing the potentially infected in state or federal facilities. COVID-19, as the virus is officially known, has infected more than 79,000 people in two dozen countries and killed at least 2,600. Businesses across the world have responded by canceling conferences and restricting travel, especially to China. U.S. financial markets plunged Monday as the number of confirmed cases rose in South Korea, Italy, and Iran. Meanwhile, at least one man in Miami was facing a medical bill for up to thousands of dollars after a coronavirus scare. He was ultimately diagnosed with the flu, but the case showed the potential for people with high cost health plans to rack up fees as panic spreads in a country without universal health care.The Ticking Coronavirus Time Bomb: America’s UninsuredEven as the petri dish of the Diamond Princess and the surge in cases in Europe and the Middle East have captured the world’s attention, the vast majority of cases remain in China, where the virus was first documented in December.Still, the emergence of the virus has produced a range of emotional responses across American professions and demographic groups. The possibility of infection has previously caused panic among ride-share drivers, while teenagers have pretended to be infected with the virus to prompt others to share their videos. There have also been reports of bullying and discrimination against students of Asian descent.Now residents of Salt Lake City appear to be projecting their fears of the virus onto Shen Yun, a dance troupe known as much for its ubiquitous marketing as for its traditional Chinese performances. The group was slated to perform Feb. 25 and 26 in Salt Lake, and residents began calling the local and state public health departments to ask whether dancers might be contagious.Nicholas Rupp, a spokesman for the Salt Lake City health department, said his agency had received four calls since Friday from residents concerned over the risk of infection because of rumors they saw on social media. There is, he said, no basis for the rumors, as the group’s North American branch only tours in North America and therefore would not be likely to come into contact with coronavirus patients.“We’ve investigated, and we have no reason to believe that anyone associated with the troupe is ill,” he told The Daily Beast.The Utah State Department of Health has also received calls about this week’s Shen Yun performance and coronavirus, according to spokeswoman Charla Haley, though she said she did not know how many. She reiterated Rupp's point that the claims have no basis.One email to public health officials obtained by The Daily Beast describes a medical conspiracy by Shen Yun leadership, though the message offers no evidence. “A friend gave me news that this group just finished performing In Korea and a few of their members returned to the US with coronavirus symptoms but was prevented to seek medical help from their leader. They are suppressing their members to leak the news so no performing schedules will be interrupted,” the email reads. The writer’s name has been redacted. The emailer expressed doubts about the provenance of the information but decided acting on it was better than staying silent.“A group of SL local people are asking the public to call Mitt Romney, SL mayor Office and the health department to stop them from coming. I don’t know where this source is from. Too many fake news these days but if this one happens to be true I would do my share of citizen duties to call to the officials.”Staffers at Shen Yun appear to be aware of the perception, however baseless, that dancers might be infected, as well. The group published an undated press release dispelling the whispers: “Shen Yun Is Not From China, Shows In No Way Affected By Coronavirus.”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, 24 Feb 2020 14:50:46 -0500
  • Wrong-way crash on Interstate 95 in Georgia kills 6 people, including Virginia parents and their 3 children news

    Six people, including three children, were killed early Sunday in a head-on crash on Interstate 95, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 19:35:21 -0500
  • Idaho's governor says he's hoping to speed up the extradition of doomsday mom Lori Vallow so she can face charges connected to her 2 missing kids news

    Lori Vallow, who's two children have been missing since September, was arrested on charges related to their disappearance last week.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:25:03 -0500
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