White House says bin Laden son killed in US operation
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 14:53:00 -0400

White House says bin Laden son killed in US operationThe White House announced Saturday that Hamza bin Laden , the son of the late al-Qaida leader who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organization, was killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. A statement issued in President Donald Trump's name gave no further details, such as when Hamza bin Laden was killed or how the United States had confirmed his death. Administration officials would provide no more information beyond the three-sentence statement from the White House.

Trump says U.S. ‘locked and loaded’ after attack on Saudi oil
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 20:30:19 -0400

Trump says U.S. ‘locked and loaded’ after attack on Saudi oilThe attack has cut into global energy supplies by halving the kingdom’s oil production.

Virginia Attorney General Concludes Race Information Is Not Necessary for Marriage Licenses
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 16:55:05 -0400

Virginia Attorney General Concludes Race Information Is Not Necessary for Marriage LicensesThe state has new forms, which let applicants “Declined to Answer” about race

Scores of tigers rescued from infamous Thai temple have died: media
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 04:47:32 -0400

Scores of tigers rescued from infamous Thai temple have died: mediaMore than half of the tigers that Thai authorities confiscated in 2016 from an infamous Tiger Temple tourist attraction have died from a viral disease because their immune systems were weakened by inbreeding, media reported. The Buddhist temple west of Bangkok was a tourist destination where visitors took selfies with tigers and bottle-fed cubs until authorities removed its nearly 150 tigers in 2016 in response to global pressure over wildlife trafficking.

Police: No sign that Duluth synagogue fire was hate crime
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 18:01:23 -0400

Police: No sign that Duluth synagogue fire was hate crimeA fire that destroyed a historic synagogue in northeastern Minnesota doesn't appear to have been a hate crime, authorities said Sunday in discussing the arrest of a suspect. Matthew James Amiot, 36, of Duluth, was arrested Friday in the fire last week at the Adas Israel Congregation in downtown Duluth, the city's police chief, Mike Tusken, said at a news conference. Tusken said he has no reason to believe the fire was a hate crime, although the investigation is ongoing.

Judge rules Confederate statues will remain in Charlottesville despite deadly white nationalist rally
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 13:27:56 -0400

Judge rules Confederate statues will remain in Charlottesville despite deadly white nationalist rallyA pair Confederate statues will remain standing in the city of Virginian city Charlottesville where clashes over their removal left a young woman dead.After city officials decided to remove statues of Confederate American Civil War generals Robert E Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, one resident filed a lawsuit to prevent this.

If everyone except for Biden, Bernie, and Warren dropped out of the 2020 race right now, Biden would be the clear loser
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 15:19:44 -0400

If everyone except for Biden, Bernie, and Warren dropped out of the 2020 race right now, Biden would be the clear loserHere's what would happen if Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren were the only ones left in the 2020 democratic presidential race.

Climate Activists Don’t Know How to Talk to Christians
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 04:56:17 -0400

Climate Activists Don’t Know How to Talk to ChristiansPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo GettyThis story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 220 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  Religious Christians are the key to America taking action on global warming. And yet, the way climate activists frame the issue often alienates the very people they most need to persuade. First, the math. Seventy percent of Americans say they want the government to take action to combat global warming. But the Republican Party has, in the last two decades, gone from accommodating a wide range of perspectives on climate change to marching lock-step to the energy industry’s climate denial tune.Most Republicans, however, don’t work for the energy industry. Over half of Republican voters identify as conservative Christians—either evangelicals, Catholics, or others. These voters may be right-wing on social issues, right-wing on immigration, and right-wing on ‘big government.’ But they’re not necessarily right-wing on allowing the Earth’s climate to be radically disrupted—and if they move, the Republican Party will have to move too.But according to two new studies conducted by the Yale Program for Climate Communication and published in the journal Science Communication, most religious Christians understand global warming in very different terms from others.The first study “found that ‘protect God’s creation’ is one of the most important motivations that Christians report for wanting to mitigate global warming.” Resonant messages included “God made humans responsible for taking care of His creation”; “We can use nature for our benefit, but it is not OK to destroy God’s garden that He entrusted to us”; and the language of “stewardship” over the Earth.And the second study found that framing the issue of global warming in moral and religious terms was crucial for Christians to care about it, because it suggested that “people like themselves” care about the issue.“People derive values, a sense of self, and social norms from the groups to which they belong,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program and a co-author of the two studies. “Messages that resonate with group identities may be especially effective in influencing people’s attitudes.”In other words, we think the way our group thinks. If we believe that no one in our group cares about a certain issue, we’re less likely to care about it. If we believe that our core values have nothing to do with a certain issue, we’re less likely to care about it.Unfortunately, when one turns to how the issue is framed in public, these messaging frames are conspicuously absent.For example, the introduction to next week’s U.N. Climate Action Summit reads, in part:> Global emissions are reaching record levels and show no sign of peaking. The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.> > The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.If you’re like me—highly educated, privileged, urban-dwelling, and liberal—that language is probably pretty effective. But according to the new Yale studies, it will probably ring hollow for the constituency that’s most central to changing the United States’ current intransigence on climate science and climate action.Indeed, the U.N. language doesn’t even include the “most important reason to reduce global warming” chosen by both Christians and non-Christians in the Yale studies, namely: “Provide a better life for our children and grandchildren.” Instead, it provides a bunch of ecological verbiage about coral reefs and food security.Nor, of course, is the problem confined to the United Nations.The Environmental Defense Fund—one of the more centrist and mainstream of American environmental organizations—likewise only mentions the environmental impacts of global warming on its page “why fighting change is so urgent”: “extreme weather events… chunks of ice in the Antarctic have broken apart… wildfire seasons are months longer… coral reefs have been bleached of their colors… mosquitoes are expanding their territory, able to spread disease.” And yet it doesn’t provide the primary reasons given by people in general (leaving a better world for our children) or Christians in particular (protecting God’s creation). Of course, these omissions make sense in some ways. First, obviously, plenty of atheists, Jews, Muslims, and people of other religious backgrounds care about climate change. Especially anyone with kids or grandkids.But it’s also unlikely that the people writing copy for climate change websites are religious Christians themselves, and are using language that “preaches to the choir,” which in this case means other secular environmentalists. But if no one speaks in terms that Christians, especially conservative Christians, care about, then climate activists are only going to be talking to themselves.Which is exactly what’s happened. Levels of understanding and concern about climate change have more or less plateaued in the last few years. On the political level, nothing is happening. Thirty-four percent of Americans still do not “believe” that global warming is being caused by humans, and only 44 percent of Americans say they “worry a great deal” about it. Another recent Yale study found that voters rank it just 17th among issues of concern.Given the extreme likelihood of an unprecedented refugee crisis brought on by rising seas and changing crop patterns, mass extinctions, and global food shortages, all of those numbers are shocking. According to the World Health Organization, 250,000 people will die each year from 2030-2050 because of increased rates of malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress. Climate denial, meanwhile, is now a billion-dollar industry, with energy-funded think tanks, pseudoscience, lobbying, and media campaigns. The energy industry is using the most persuasive, most effective methods to persuade people about global warming. Why isn’t the environmental movement?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.

Empty seats give Robert Mugabe fitting farewell in stadium funeral
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 12:32:50 -0400

Empty seats give Robert Mugabe fitting farewell in stadium funeralThey came in their thousands, but not - as hoped - in their tens of thousands. There were presidents and heads of government, but none from outside Africa. There was a fly past - but by only six planes. Robert Mugabe’s funeral was a subdued, low energy affair that reflected the host of conflicting emotions surrounding this most divisive of African statesman. It was a fitting send off for a man whose achievements as an African liberation hero and founding father of Zimbabwe will be forever marred by his legacy of economic collapse, international isolation, and political violence.   Harare's 60,000 seat Zimbabwe National Stadium was barely at a third of its capacity as Zimbabwe's military and civilian leadership, a small group of foreign dignitaries, and members of the Mugabe family paid their formal farewell to Mugabe at a five hour ceremony on Saturday. In one of the most discombobulating moments, President Emmerson Mnangagwa praised the man he betrayed and overthrew in a coup two years ago as "our revolutionary icon, statesman, leader, wartime commander, and former president." Robert Mugabe's coffin arrives for a state funeral at Harare's national stadium Credit:  Ben Curtis/AP He went on to pay tribute to Grace Mugabe, the late former president's widow and his political arch enemy, who sat silently throughout the ceremony. Serving and former presidents from Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, paid tribute to him as one of the last of a generation of pan African leaders and icons of the liberation struggle against colonialism. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago, the dictator of Equatorial Guinea who has run a brutal and kleptocratic regime since 1979, opened the tributes to Mugabe as a "true African icon in the liberation of the continent from colonialism." Jerry Rawlings, the former president of Ghana, said "he consistently demonstrated his steadfast commitment to our vision of the Africa we want." Large parts of the 60,000 seat stadium were empty during the ceremony  Credit: Themba Hadebe/AP The Chinese and Russian governments appointed their ambassadors to read out tributes rather than sending dignitaries.   The loudest reception from the crowd was for Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, who was booed throughout his speech until he issued an unreserved apology for the recent spate of attacks on migrant workers in South Africa, where thousands of Zimbabweans have moved to seek work.   At that point, the crowd switched to cheering. It was a rare moment of modern statesmanship in a day devoted to the past. After a 21 gun salute from the Zimbabwean army's howitzers and a flypast by six aircraft, the ceremony was over. There was no mention of his record of violence against opponents and allies alike, the thousands slaughtered in the massacres known as the Gukurahundi in the 1980s, or the vast wealth his family amassed while the country was reduced to penury.   In truth, most Zimbabweans are too preoccupied with day-to-day survival to give much thought to the man who liked to think of himself as their liberator. Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa pays his last respects to Robert Mugabe Credit: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/Reuters The country is in the midst of an economic crisis that has seen running water cut off, electricity reduced to just a few hours a day, and the price of essentials from bread to petrol surge beyond the reach of most ordinary people. Biggie Mutendozora, 45, father of three and a barber, who lives in a working class Harare suburb and stayed away from the funeral, said he disliked Mr Mugabe, but “I do not want to speak bad of the dead." He added: "We got nothing except we all became poor. He was not a good leader." Even those who attended the funeral were preoccupied with daily struggles - although they tended to blame Mr Mnangagwa rather than his predecessor. “When he left office, bread was at two dollars a loaf. Transport was affordable, food was affordable. Right now we are all suffering,” said Fadzai Mutasa, a 42 year old from Harare who attended the funeral. She rejected the suggestion that she was attending as a kind of protest against president Mnangagwa, saying she had come only to pay tribute to Mugabe's "good works." Grace Mugabe walks to pay her last respects to her late husband Credit: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/Reuters But she then added: “Mugabe would understand when the people were suffering. The current leadership must hear the challenges facing the people - like he did.” It was a sentiment echoed by Itai Chikwenga, 30, who said she credited Mr Mugabe for improving womens’ rights,  then said: "Bread is now 10 dollars. Robert Mugabe would have said “enough is enough, make it one dollar. And it would have been one dollar.” Mugabe may get a less ambivalent reception when his body is flown to his home village of Kutama, a 90 minute drive northwest of Harare for a wake on Sunday. The extended Mugabe family and their neighbours have spent the past week putting up marquees and arranging seating and catering for thousands. Mugabe, who lavished spending on the local Catholic school where he studied as a child, is well respected here. But unease and confusion are following Mugabe literally to the grave.   Mourners hold a portrait of Robert Mugabe Credit: Ben Curtis/AP His body will not be laid to rest for a month, while a mausoleum is constructed at the Heroes Acre national monument, a cemetery where he himself insisted on burying liberation war heroes, including his first wife Sally. His family had wanted to bury him closer to Zvimba, where his mothers and brothers are buried in a patch of rocky ground in a secluded copse. Here there is no fence, no bombastic North-Korean designed monolith, and no armed guards. Only a cluster of black marble headstones shielded from the sun by swaying Massasa trees. In front of his mother and brothers, there is an unused plot just the right size for another modest grave. It is a place where you can imagine a divisive spirit might find rest. But there is no sign of digging.

The Future of Design: Transportation
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 16:26:10 -0400

The Future of Design: Transportation

Andrew Yang defends random money giveaway
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 10:53:16 -0400

Andrew Yang defends random money giveawayAnd he also speaks up for an “SNL“ cast member accused of bigotry.

Democrats should think like criminal prosecutors as they investigate Trump impeachment
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 17:32:58 -0400

Democrats should think like criminal prosecutors as they investigate Trump impeachmentWill impeaching Donald Trump protect the public, deter criminal behavior and promote respect for the rule of law? If so, Democrats have a duty to act.

Iran inks deal to develop gas field in tense Gulf
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 06:47:13 -0400

Iran inks deal to develop gas field in tense GulfTwo Iranian companies signed a $440 million agreement Saturday to develop a gas field in the sensitive Gulf, with the oil ministry saying it showed arch-foe the United States could not stop the country with sanctions. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the deal reached between two government-owned firms, Pars Oil and Gas Company and PetroPars, to develop the Balal field would be the first of many. Tensions have soared in the Gulf since last year when the US began reimposing sanctions on Iran after unilaterally withdrawing from a 2015 deal that put curbs on its nuclear programme.

A look at the corruption scandals facing Israel's Netanyahu
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 12:38:42 -0400

A look at the corruption scandals facing Israel's NetanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to hold on to power in Tuesday's historic repeat election as the shadow of various corruption charges loom over his future. Israel's attorney general has recommended pressing criminal charges against him in three separate corruption cases, pending a long delayed pre-trial hearing scheduled for early October — just three weeks after the election.

Black transgender woman found 'burned beyond recognition' in Florida, officials say
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 12:53:13 -0400

Black transgender woman found 'burned beyond recognition' in Florida, officials sayBee Love Slater was found badly burned in a car in Florida earlier this month. Advocates believe she is the 18th transgender person killed this year.

VIDEO: Would-be burglars kick in front door of Bay Area house, scared off by homeowner
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 17:45:04 -0400

VIDEO: Would-be burglars kick in front door of Bay Area house, scared off by homeownerTwo masked-man kicked in the front door of a Pleasanton home in an attempted home-invasion -- and it was all caught on surveillance video.

Democrats try to tempt Trump on guns as Beto beats drum for AR-15 buyback
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 15:31:45 -0400

Democrats try to tempt Trump on guns as Beto beats drum for AR-15 buyback* Pelosi and Schumer speak to president on gun control * Buttigieg and Paul offer criticism of O’Rourke’s rhetoricNancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on Sunday offered Donald Trump a rare and highly symbolic bipartisan win – if he can somehow force Republicans in the Senate to enact gun control legislation containing background check measures passed by the House this year.The House speaker and Senate minority leader said they would both join the president at the White House “for a historic signing ceremony at the Rose Garden”, if he can get Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to act.That remains highly unlikely: close ties between Republican leaders and the gun rights lobby have led to legislative stasis on gun control despite numerous mass shootings across America.Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement they spoke to Trump on Sunday.“We made it clear,” they said, “that any proposal he endorses that does not include the House-passed universal background checks legislation will not get the job done, as dangerous loopholes will still exist and people who shouldn’t have guns will still have access.”The House passed gun control legislation in February. The Senate has not taken it up. In a statement, the White House said “the conversation was cordial” but added that “the president made no commitments” on the House bill. Elsewhere, Beto O’Rourke continued to beat a louder drum.> I think what’s truly awful is a 17-month-old baby shot in the face with an AR-15, as happened in Odessa> > Beto O'RourkeThe former Texas congressman and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination has insisted he will lead a government buyback of assault-style weapons if he wins the White House.That remains an outside prospect at best but O’Rourke’s passionate rhetoric – and frequent resort to forceful obscenity – has struck a note on the campaign trail.On Sunday he told NBC’s Meet the Press criticism of his tactics “just shows you how screwed up the priorities in Washington DC are”.In early August, in O’Rourke’s home town, El Paso, a gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart. Less than a day later, nine people were killed in Dayton, Ohio. On 31 August, seven people were killed in Odessa, Texas.“I think what’s truly awful is a 17-month-old baby shot in the face with an AR-15, as happened in Odessa,” O’Rourke said.“What’s truly awful is 22 people killed in a Walmart the Saturday before school starts that next Monday, buying their school supplies, innocent of any crime or any threat to this country, in fact, living in one of the safest cities in America, El Paso, Texas, hunted down by their ethnicity with a weapon that was designed for use on a battlefield.”He continued: “I refuse to even acknowledge the politics or the polling or the fear or the NRA, that has purchased the complicity and silence of members of Congress. And this weak response to a real tragedy in America, 40,000 gun deaths a year, we’ve got to do something about it. And I’m proposing that we do something about it.”A buyback, he said, would not violate the second amendment and the right to bear arms, as it would be “something that we’re able to do through the commerce clause … this is constitutionally sound.”He went on, in familiar fashion, to cite support from Republican AR-15 owners he said he had spoken to out on the campaign trail.> It does alarm a lot of us when we hear Beto O’Rourke saying, yes, they’re just going to come and take our guns> > Rand Paul“I think there’s support beyond the Democratic party,” O’Rourke said, “to include Republicans and independents, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, to do the right thing”.There is not uniform support within the Democratic party. On CNN’s State of the Union, presidential contender Pete Buttigieg was asked if O’Rourke was playing into the hands of the NRA.“Yes,” he said, adding that polling showed the US public wants universal background checks on gun sales, red flag laws designed to take guns from individuals deemed unfit to have them, and bans on the sale of high-capacity magazines and the sale of new assault weapons.“This is a golden moment to finally do something,” the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, insisted, “because we have been arguing about this for as long as I have been alive. When even this president and even Mitch McConnell are at least pretending to be open to reforms, we know that we have a moment on our hands. Let’s make the most of it and get these things done.”Whether McConnell will really back legislative action is, of course, a doleful question indeed. On Sunday the Kentucky senator Rand Paul indicated the strength of the Republican roadblock.“I think that part of the problem,” he told CNN, “is cultural and losing a sense of right and wrong.”He went on to say he advocated action, but with a focus on mental health.“I think we should look at each of these killings and say, what went wrong? And I think the consistent theme here is, typically, not always, but white teenage boys in their middle teenage years to early 20s … almost every one of them is sending off signals.”Asked if he would support a “red flag law” or background checks, Paul said: “We don’t know yet what’s coming forward. I can tell you that it’ll have to be consistent with the constitution.”He added: “There has to be due process. You have to be allowed a lawyer, because the danger is, they could just say, ‘Oh, anybody that takes antidepressants can’t have a gun, or anybody who’s ever been to a psychiatrist can’t have a gun.’ And so there is a danger of going too far, where we preemptively just are out there taking everyone’s guns.“And I am alarmed and it does alarm a lot of us when we hear Beto O’Rourke up saying, yes, they’re just going to come and knock the door down and take our guns.“That scares the heck out of a lot of Republicans and a lot of gun owners.”

Saddam Hussein Thought He Knew How to Sink U.S. Battleships
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0400

Saddam Hussein Thought He Knew How to Sink U.S. BattleshipsCould it have worked?

Steven Mnuchin’s Mysterious Link to Creepy Epstein Model Scout
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 20:00:57 -0400

Steven Mnuchin’s Mysterious Link to Creepy Epstein Model ScoutPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty/HandoutIn the late 1980s—before he was a member of Donald Trump’s Cabinet, or even a high rolling hedge fund manager—Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin served in an official capacity for a business run by one of Jeffrey Epstein’s most infamous associates. In official records, Mnuchin is listed as the official state point of contact for Next Management Corporation, a company formed in 1988 by modeling-industry insiders Jean-Luc Brunel and Arnaud Brunel. At the time, Jean-Luc Brunel had just been the subject of a 60 Minutes documentary accusing him of drugging and raping at least three models. Later, he would be accused by two women of supplying girls to Epstein to be sexually abused. (Brunel has denied the allegations.)Records accessed by The Daily Beast list Mnuchin as the New York Department of State process for Next Management Corporation. According to department officials, the DOS process is the person who files a company’s registration papers and receives lawsuits and other official documents on their behalf—usually a lawyer or some other legal representative.A Treasury Department official said Mnuchin did not know he was listed as the DOS process for Next Management Corp. before The Daily Beast’s inquiry. He said it was “not clear” how Mnuchin wound up serving in that role and added that the secretary did not recall ever meeting either Brunel brother and has never done business with either of them. Mnuchin’s office did confirm that he was longtime friends with Faith Kates, the owner of Next modeling agency. The Brunel brothers co-founded the Next agency with Kates in 1989, and their company, Next Management Corp., owned a 25 percent stake in the agency for several years. The address listed under Mnuchin’s name in State Department records is the first address for Kates’ company, Next Management Company.Models Say Jeffrey Epstein’s Closest Pal Drugged, Raped ThemJeffrey Epstein’s Modeling Ties Go Much Deeper Than Victoria’s SecretReached by The Daily Beast, Kates denied any involvement with setting up Next Management Corporation and said she had nothing to do with Mnuchin serving as the DOS process. “Ms. Kates was never involved with Next Management Corp. in any way,” a spokesperson said. “Given that, she never designated anyone, including Sec. Mnuchin, to be a DOS process or any officer or director of Next Management Corp.”The spokesperson added that Kates’ agency sued Next Management Corp. 25 years ago, over allegations that the Brunel brothers had “raided” the agency, and said Kates has not had any contact with them since then. She said Kates had “no knowledge” of why her company’s address was listed in official records for Next Management Corp.Kates has her own connections to Epstein, as The Daily Beast previously reported. Former employees say the financier regularly dropped in on the agency’s New York offices, and tax filings show he donated tens of thousands of dollars to charities connected to Kates and her family. At least two former Next models have been romantically linked to Epstein, and a third appears in his infamous address book. A spokesperson for Kates said neither she nor the Next agency had any business or financial ties to Epstein and that Kates never introduced the financier to any models.Mnuchin has been friends with Kates for approximately 30 years, according to the Treasury Department official, and once helped Kates set up a business “as a friend.” A spokesperson for Kates confirmed the two had been friendly for decades. She said Mnuchin had offered Kates business advice when she started Next Management Company and served as her real estate broker.Mnuchin’s spokesperson said the secretary had no ownership in any of Kates’ businesses or served them in any business capacity.The Daily Beast was unable to reach Jean-Luc or Arnaud Brunel for comment. The ties between Jean-Luc Brunel and Epstein, however, have been widely reported. Flight records show Brunel flew on the financier’s private plane more than 20 times between 1999 and 2005, and house staff said in depositions that the modeling agent was a regular presence at Epstein’s Palm Beach estate. When Epstein was arrested in 2008, Brunel visited him nearly 70 times in jail.One of Epstein’s first public accusers, Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre), claimed Epstein forced her to sleep with Brunel and many other powerful men in the years he kept her as his “sex slave.” She also accused Brunel of using his modeling industry connections to supply Epstein and other wealthy men with foreign girls to abuse.A former bookkeeper for one of Brunel’s agencies told the FBI in 2010 that Brunel used the company to bring in teenage models from around the world, and housed them in Epstein’s Upper East Side apartments. The bookkeeper claimed the girls were loaned out to wealthy clients for up to $100,000 a night and were not paid if they refused to be “molested.” French authorities are currently seeking Brunel as part of their probe into Epstein, and recently interviewed two women who say they were victims of the modeling agent in the late 1970s and early ’80s, according to French newspaper Le Parisien.Brunel has denied all claims of sexual misconduct, as well as any knowledge of Epstein’s wrongdoings. In legal filings, he said the former bookkeeper had been fired from his agency for embezzling company funds.“I strongly deny having participated, neither directly nor indirectly, in the actions Mr. Jeffrey Epstein is being accused of,” Brunel said in a 2015 statement. “I strongly deny having committed any illicit act or any wrongdoing in the course of my work as a scouter or model agencies manager.”Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Names Powerful Men in Alleged Sex RingMy Night With Epstein Pal Jean-Luc Brunel and His Terrified ModelsRead 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.

Man who dragged shark to death from speedboat and poured alcohol down throats of fish is jailed
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 11:56:55 -0400

Man who dragged shark to death from speedboat and poured alcohol down throats of fish is jailedA Florida man who dragged a shark to its death from a high-speed boat has been jailed for 10 days.Robert Benac III will pay a $2,500 fine, perform 250 hours of service at an animal shelter and lose his fishing licence for three years after pleading guilty to misdemeanour of animal cruelty.

Trump lashes out at MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid, tweets that he 'never met' the TV host but that she has 'NO talent' and a 'bad reputation'
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 16:28:22 -0400

Trump lashes out at MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid, tweets that he 'never met' the TV host but that she has 'NO talent' and a 'bad reputation'Joy-Ann Reid, who recently published a critical book about Donald Trump, was the target of the president's vitriol on Twitter Saturday morning.

View Photos of Volkswagen Microbus with Civil Rights History
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 11:01:00 -0400

View Photos of Volkswagen Microbus with Civil Rights History

Second British-Australian woman jailed in Iran identified as Middle East researcher Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 00:56:08 -0400

Second British-Australian woman jailed in Iran identified as Middle East researcher Dr Kylie Moore-GilbertA British-Australian woman who has been sentenced to 10 years in a notorious Iranian prison has been identified as Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Cambridge-educated academic specialising in Middle Eastern politics.  Dr Moore-Gilbert, who was working as a lecturer and researcher for Melbourne University's Asia Institute and has published work on authoritarian governance and activism in the Middle East, was jailed in October 2018. However, her detention had not been reported in case it harmed the prospects of her release.  On Saturday, the Australian government confirmed Dr Moore-Gilbert was being held in prison in Iran. A statement from the family of Dr Moore-Gilbert, who is incarcerated in Evin prison, said they were in close contact with Australian authorities on the matter.  "Our family thanks the Government and the University of Melbourne for their ongoing support at this distressing and sensitive time. "We believe that the best chance of securing Kylie's safe return is through diplomatic channels." It is not known what Dr Moore-Gilbert was charged with, but 10-year terms are routinely given in Iran for spying. She is one of two British-Australian women whose detentions in Iran have come to light in the past week. Jolie King with her partner Mark Firkin Jolie King, a travel blogger, and her Australian fiancé Mark Firkin were arrested near a military site in Jajrood near Tehran on August 9, it was revealed on Thursday. They had reportedly been using a drone to film aerial footage in the area.  They too have been sent to Evin prison, the main detention centre for Iran's political prisoners, which also houses 41-year-old Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian mother of one who is midway through a five-year sentence on spying charges. Tehran has pursued a campaign of detaining Iranian and dual nationality academics in recent years, raising fears the Islamic Republic is using them as diplomatic leverage. The Australian government has said it is lobbying Tehran to ensure all three are appropriately looked after. Iran is believed to be holding the trio captive in the hope of exchanging one of them for an Iranian imprisoned in the US on charges of evading American sanctions. Tensions between Britain and Iran escalated dramatically after it emerged the women were being held in the first recent case of Tehran arresting British citizens who do not also hold Iranian nationality.  Sources said Tehran sees the women as bargaining chips to secure the release of Negar Ghodskani, a 40-year-old Iranian woman facing jail in the US after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to export prohibited technology to Iran.  Ghodskani was arrested in Australia in 2017 at the request of US government and gave birth to a baby boy while in custody in Adelaide. She was extradited to the US and now faces five years in federal prison.   Negar Ghodskani Credit: AP While Iran has not commented publicly on any of the arrests, in April the country's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, proposed swapping Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe for Ms Ghodskani.   According to the University of Melbourne's website, Dr Moore-Gilbert "specialises in Middle Eastern politics, with a particular focus on the Arab Gulf states," and has published work on the 2011 Arab uprisings, authoritarian governance, and on the role of new media technologies in political activism. In 2018 she was awarded a grant to investigate "Iran’s relationship with Bahrain’s Shi’a after the Arab Uprisings". Dr Moore-Gilbert's LinkedIn profile shows her first degree came in Middle Eastern Studies at Cambridge, where she also completed her Master of Arts. Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she has raised the cases of the three prisoners "many times" with Mr Zarif, and denied the arrests were politically motivated. "We have no reason to think that these arrests are connected to international concern over Iran's nuclear programme, United Nations sanction enforcement or maritime security concerning the safety of civilian shipping," Senator Payne said. What appears to be the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 off the coast of Tartus, Syria, Credit: Reuters News of the three prisoners has come amid a downturn in relations between Britain and Iran, sparked by issues including the Royal Marines' seizure near Gibraltar in July of an Iranian oil tanker, the Grace I. Iran responded by seizing British-flagged oil tanker the Stena Impero. While Britain released the Iranian tanker, the Stena Impero is still being held.  Australia also said in July that it would join the US and the UK in protecting shipping in the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian threats. Relations between Tehran and the West, especially the United States, have deteriorated significantly since the Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions, prompting Iran to ramp up restricted enrichment.

Teachers in Chicago inch closer to possible strike
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 09:43:24 -0400

Teachers in Chicago inch closer to possible strikeTeachers in the nation's third-largest school district are inching closer to a strike that could happen as early as next month. After rejecting the district's latest offer, Chicago educators are back at the bargaining table negotiating issues including pay, staffing shortages and class size. Chicago's last major teachers strike was seven years ago, but the tone, issues and financial backdrop this time around are totally different.

French group to open two hotels in Damascus as airstrikes kill civilians
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 14:17:09 -0400

French group to open two hotels in Damascus as airstrikes kill civiliansLouvre Hotels Group, owned by China's Jin Jiang, has signed an agreement to open two hotels under its own name in Damascus, it said on Saturday, a day after the UN announced an internal investigation into the bombing of hospitals in Syria. The confirmation of the two hotels opening, after recent media reports, also came as at least six civilians were killed by the Syrian regime and Russian fire in northwestern Idlib province in the past days, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance led by Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate controls most of Idlib as well as parts of neighbouring Aleppo and Latakia provinces.

Turkey orders arrest of 223 military personnel over suspected Gulen links: state media
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 02:49:54 -0400

Turkey orders arrest of 223 military personnel over suspected Gulen links: state mediaTurkey has ordered the arrest of 223 serving military personnel across the country and in the breakaway state of Northern Cyprus over suspected links to a network Ankara accuses of organizing an attempted coup in 2016, state media said on Saturday. Authorities are seeking the suspects across 49 provinces in Turkey and in Northern Cyprus, state broadcaster TRT Haber said.

How Argentina Can Prevent an Economic Crisis: Dollars
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 15:08:00 -0400

How Argentina Can Prevent an Economic Crisis: DollarsIt was dollarization in 2000 that saved Ecuador during the Rafael Correa years from experiencing the devastating economic damage that Correa’s role model, Hugo Chávez, inflicted upon Venezuela.

Bernie Sanders shakes up campaign leadership in New Hampshire
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 18:00:50 -0400

Bernie Sanders shakes up campaign leadership in New Hampshire“The people who helped Bernie win here last time knew and felt intimately that something was very different and not for the best,” said a steering committee member.

Ku Klux Klan application found in US police officer's home
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 07:08:43 -0400

Ku Klux Klan application found in US police officer's homeA police officer in Michigan was terminated on Thursday after a prospective homebuyer who had been touring the officer’s house posted a picture on social media of a framed Ku Klux Klan application he had seen there, spurring an internal investigation.Frank Peterson, the city manager of Muskegon, confirmed Friday that the officer, Charles Anderson, had been terminated, but said a report on the inquiry conducted by the Muskegon Police Department would not be released until next week.

Back Off from the ‘Resist’ Nonsense
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 06:30:04 -0400

Back Off from the ‘Resist’ NonsenseWhen Donald Trump was elected president of these United States — or, more properly, president of the federal government of the United States of America, a distinction worth keeping in mind — some of those who were disappointed by his election declared their intention to, in the now-inescapable word, “Resist.”Few of them thought very much about what that word implies. (American political partisans are the world champions in not thinking very much about things.) Not only had 2016 seen the election of Donald Trump as president but it also saw another unlikely occurrence — the making of a new Star Wars movie that was pretty good. The word “resistance” sounded cool, and it was further attractive for rhetorically linking angry and alienated progressives to the French heroes who fought against and sabotaged the illegitimate Nazi occupation government during the Vichy era.The creed of “resistance” was — and is — founded on a lie, that President Trump came to power through illegitimate means, that the election was somehow “stolen” by Republicans in cahoots with Moscow. But there is no evidence that the Kremlin’s screwball, Boris Badenov–worthy campaign of dank memery had any meaningful effect on the 2016 election. The endless investigations into Trump and his campaign have turned up a great deal of unseemly behavior and bad judgment — these being traditional Trump trademarks — but there’s a reason the effort to impeach him is going nowhere. And it is really something to see Stormy Daniels thrown in the president’s face by many of the same people who defended Bill Clinton’s shenanigans on grounds of sophistication (American rubes could learn something from more worldly Europeans, you’ll remember them telling us at the time, and take a more indulgent view of the ways of powerful men).The Democrats strive mightily to invent a crisis surrounding Trump — Russia, his travel habits, the emoluments clause, etc. — but the only real crisis for them is that they lost the 2016 election. They may lose the next one, too: Senator Warren should keep in mind that her party already has proven itself entirely capable of losing to Trump by nominating an elderly white woman with an undistinguished Senate career, bad ideas, and the soul of a hall monitor.Trump is an unusual president in that he comes from the world of celebrity and entertainment rather than from the world of politics or the military, but he is not Adolf Hitler, a white nationalist, or the second coming of Theodore Bilbo, and political rivalry with him is nothing like resistance to the Third Reich — it is only ordinary partisan opposition dressed up with excessive self-regard.But suppose for a moment that Republicans were to take seriously the notion of “resistance.” Might they have a case?The Democrats, after all, have shown themselves to be thoroughgoing authoritarians. Many of our progressive friends spent the Obama years lecturing us that opposition to the president and his agenda was tantamount to sedition or treason. They tell us now that failing to knuckle under to their political agenda is treason. Democratic prosecutors have been conducting investigations of companies and political activists for having the wrong opinions on global warming; Democrats in California have just declared the National Rifle Association a terrorist organization because it opposes them politically, and Democrats threaten companies doing business with the NRA with governmental retaliation; Democrats have proposed to gut the First Amendment; Democrats propose to put people in prison for showing films with political content without government permission; Democrats have resurrected 19th-century Know-Nothingism in their bigoted and unconstitutional campaign to keep Catholics off of federal courts; Democrats have illegally and unethically abused the powers of the IRS and other government agencies to harass and punish political rivals. It isn’t Republicans who want to censor political speech. It isn’t Republicans employing violence against college students and visitors at Mizzou or firebombing buildings at Berkeley.And now Robert Francis O’Rourke has finally decided to confess what everybody already knows by openly declaring his intention to seize Americans’ firearms in direct violation of the Bill of Rights — a proposal that other leading Democrats already have endorsed.Some of you Upper West Side types may have seen a few of your fellow citizens with hats or bumper stickers emblazoned with the Greek μολὼν λαβέ, “Molon Labe” in its Romanized form. If you’re wondering what that’s all about (and you haven’t seen 300), it’s from the Battle of Thermopylae, when the Persians demanded the Spartans lay down their arms and the Spartans replied μολὼν λαβέ, “come and take them.” Texas revolutionaries at Gonzales had that in mind when the Mexican government demanded they surrender a certain cannon, displaying a flag emblazoned with the image of that artillery over the slogan “Come and Take It.” The Gonzales flag remains very popular among Second Amendment advocates, with the cannon sometimes being replaced by a modern rifle, one of the naughty black ones. If that seems weird and extremisty to you, consider that that’s what “Resist!” looks like to a lot of the country.It isn’t only progressives who can “resist.”Assuming that there is any real electrochemical action in that three-pound lump of meat that Kid Callow calls a brain, what does Robert Francis O’Rourke of El Paso imagine is likely to happen if the federal government should attempt to go door-to-door rounding up gun owners and stripping them of their constitutionally guaranteed rights? Might they . . . resist? And might they even be justified in doing so?Republicans are far from blameless when it comes to overheated political rhetoric (neither am I, for that matter) and, indeed, the so-called conservative party has positioned itself, at least as a matter of emotional tenor, as a right-wing revolutionist party, albeit one that still seems to care more about tax cuts than about anything else. The talk-radio callers are positively giddy anticipating the social and political collapse of the United States. But if losing an election to a buffoonish reality-television host is legitimate grounds for “resistance” (resistance that implicitly judges the government of the United States of America to be illegitimate) then what about us rusticated right-wingers out here in the sticks with our guns and our funny notion that the Bill of Rights means what it says — and that what it says is worth fighting for?Or perhaps we should back off from the Third Reich analogies and the “resist” nonsense and begin to take our duties as citizens at least halfway seriously. That begins with an understanding, among other things, that the Bill of Rights is not up for renegotiation, that perverting regulatory and counterterrorism powers for narrow political ends is a dereliction of duty and a misuse of power that should result in the offending party’s removal from office, that abusing one’s political office to bully individuals and businesses simply for having political preferences at odds with your own (talking at you, Joaquin Castro) is dishonorable and destructive, and that losing a presidential election does not render the government illegitimate or invite overturning the constitutional order.Political stability requires, in the long term, consensus and cooperation, and these are impossible to achieve if you act like it’s the invasion of Poland every time an election doesn’t go your way.Grow up, Democrats. You lost to a game-show host in 2016. And if the Thursday Night Follies showed America the best you’ve got, you just may lose to him again in 2020.